Urban planning throughout Chicago’s history has been used deliberately to form the city’s current composition and character—for better and worse. Entorno: Grass Grows Greener on the Other Side, a show that opens at Polvo, an alternative art space in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, on 28 April 2006, is being mounted as a reexamination of what the city grid has come to mean. Polvo’s founders Miguel Cortez, Elvia Rodriguez-Ochoa, and Jesus Macarena-Avila are bringing together urban planners, community activists, scholars, and artists to collaborate on installations, video, photography and traditional sculpture and painting addressing history, current change, and the future. Macarena-Avila and Rodriguez-Ochoa are two artists whose work traverses contemporary, near-academic conceptual practices and the gleeful impulsiveness of street art. Both have dealt with issues of gentrification in their work, but rather than simply discussing displacement of economically disenfranchised people, their work questions where the practicing artist stands in the cityscape where prefabricated housing is replacing architecture.
Entorno: Grass Grows Greener on the Other Side through 20 May 2006
Opening reception: Thursday April 28, 2006, from 6-10pm
Contributed by Kristopher Irizarry