Since the mid 1980â€™s, Boston-based visual artist Luther Price has been known for his iconic, deeply personal, and at times disturbing, Super-8mm films and live performances. In recent years, Price has moved from the Super 8mm format to recycled, distressed, and hand-painted 16mm films and 35mm slides, initially as a practical way of sharing a likeness of his films without risking the original works. Eventually, Price began sequencing these slides and projecting them as loops. Selections of the slide-based work were featured in the 2012 Whitney Biennial and recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art and the ICA Boston. This exhibition features selections from Price’s most recent series of 35mm slides, Sugar Fractures, alongside 2 carousels from his 2012 series Utopia, and 2 carousels from his 2015 series Meat Chapter 3, the third chapter in Price’s ongoing, multimedia series, Meat.
The Meat series is inspired by a violent incident in Nicaragua in 1985 when Price was shot with a high-powered rifle in his abdomen. Priceâ€™s injury 31 years ago, literally opened up the artistâ€™s body and body of work to unabashed explorations of childhood trauma, sexual desire, and years later, the experience of losing his sister, mother, and father to cancer in a three-year span. The year following his shooting, the artist began making pscyodramatic autobiographical films of his childhood memories under the character pseudonym, Tom Rhoads. He changed his name to Luther Price in 1989 during the production of his infamous and controversial Super 8mm classic, Sodom. Price spent the 1990’s collecting footage and audio recordings of his family in his childhood home in Revere, MA. Following the death of his sister Sally, Price compiled the film and audiotape into his unflinching, repetitive, nightmarish home movie classic, Home (1999). Anthology Film Archives digitally preserved Home in 2013. The piece is displayed here for the first time as a looping video installation. Priceâ€™s visceral explorations of mortality and decay in his 35mm slide work is inexorably linked to his experimental film, performance and sculpture practices.
In the last 10-15 years, Price has expedited the decay of film emulsion in his works by burying his film or applying various household materials to the film surface: salt, cleaners, soil, and most recently, sugar. His latest approach culls visions of the artistâ€™s most well known pseudonym, Tom Rhoadesâ€™ Cunt character from his early film and video work: Luther at his home (just a few blocks from where he grew up), smoking a cigarette, apron draped, in his kitchen, cooking up a batch of sugary 35mm slides with his three cats, Mr. Grey, Gurly, and Cartoon.
This exhibition is co-sponsored by Mana Contemporary and The Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF). Luther Priceâ€™s work appears courtesy of the artist, Callicoon Fine Arts, and Anthology Film Archives. On Saturday June 4th, CUFF will screen two recent Anthology Film Archives’ digital restorations of his classic Super 8 films, Clown (1992/2003) and A (1995). The films will screen at the Logan Theater on June 4th at 8pm.
No Body Now On Earth But Yours brings together the interdisciplinary works of Cassandra Davis and curated live performances to explore larger themes of ritual, spiritual experience and ecstasy. The exhibition will showcase her recent video installation Baptism in conjunction with the Chicago Underground Film Festival as this year’s featured video installation artist, as well as additional interdisciplinary works in this solo show. Cassandra Davis’ current body of work explores cloth as a form of establishing shroud and sanctuary, seeking to capture the spiritual ecstasy experienced by devoted believers. Her work arrives at intersections between her photographic discipline and investigation of materiality, her Pentecostal upbringing and current exploration of queer identity.
Cassandra Davis is a Chicago-based artist, currently pursuing an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Fiber and Material Studies. Her current work examines the spiritual experience, exploring cloth as shroud and sanctuary. Themes of the erotic, spiritual ecstasy and transformation emerge from an interdisciplinary practice that engages photography, video and installation. You can view more of the artist’s work at www.questionsfromthesoil.com
Stop by the Logan Theatre Lounge and check out these video installations created by Chicago artists. Both pieces run continuously throughout the festival!
Michael Lopez and Chris Collins
Artists Michael Lopez and Chris Collins bring you the digital-art-game-arcade-zone entitled, One Player Place. Are you or your friends smart or brave enough to take on these unique, challenging, and mesmerizing vignettes or environments? This digital galaxy of adventure and entertainment includes Crystalized Third Act, Body Double Mountain, Whole Earth Land, Secret Handshake, and Stuff on Stuff on Stuff and more. Free! See the future! In the lounge area.
â€œIn 2005, I was in the middle of college, trying to figure out how to make art and how to engage meaningfully with both the histories and futures of artist cinema. Or experimental film. Or video art. Or media art. Or whatever I was calling it then and am calling it now. I made a piece – my first big one – called NTSC. Now, a decade deeper into making art, that piece acts as a fascinating portal into a younger artists’s concerns and enthusiasms. Some things are the same, some things have been abandoned, a number of things have been added. STILL NEVER THE SAME is a remix, a reconsideration, a retrieval, a reconvening.â€ JM