July 9 – August 30, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 6-8 pm
Logan Center Gallery and Logan Center Courtyard


Sunday, July 20, Logan Center Gallery, 12-1:30 pm
Public discussion with Andres L. Hernandez as part of the on-going series 
Absence is Fullness: A (E)utopian Assembly

Wednesday, July 23, Logan Center Gallery, 6-7:30 pm
Krista Franklin in conversation with Alexander Weheliye

Wednesday, August 27, Logan Center Gallery, 6-7:30 pm
David Boykin in conversation with Nicole Mitchell

The University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life initiative, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, and Logan Center Exhibitions present Testimony, an exhibition featuring the 2013/2014 Arts + Public Life/Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture artists-in-residence. Coming from diverse disciplines and approaches but finding common ground in their interest in oral culture (both musical and discursive) David Boykin, Krista Franklin, and Andres L. Hernandez set out to develop ambitious new works that move beyond the act of witnessing towards laying truth claims and also grounding fantasies. 

Testimony – which spans the Logan Center Gallery, the North entrance to the Logan Center, the building’s courtyard and Gidwitz Lobby – makes space for critical reflection and ritual. 

David Boykin’s initiative Sonic Healing Ministries “believes in the power of sound/vibration to transform physical matter.  Thought is a finer vibration that has the potential to shape the physical world, as our thoughts eventually manifest in the physical world.” His project for the exhibition, Drone of Testimony: A Vigil Against US Drone Attacks (2014), produced in collaboration with the sound engineer Angel Elmore and the researcher Kasandra Skistad is a vigil against US military drone attacks.  As the artist writes: “The sonic drone that is created out of the testimony of US military drone attack survivors is a vigil against future attacks.  Some people light a candle, we make a sound.  Let there be a fire always burning, a song always sung, a sound always resonating until this madness stops.  Let there be a Drone of Testimony till there are no more drone attacks.”  

Krista Franklin’s ongoing interest in AfroFuturism and AfroSurrealism, has consistently manifested itself through her poetry and collage and she has used the occasion of her residency to extend these methods to the creation of environments, where the energies of multiple authors from the past, present and future combine. “Hybridization is at the core of what I do,” she notes (in an interview with Tempestt Hazel). Developed especially for the exhibition at the Logan Center, her collaborative work, Fantastic (2014), is loosely inspired by the legacy of Detroit's late and legendary producer and hip-hop artist J Dilla. Working with graffiti artists Kane One and Stef Skills and sound curator J. Johari Palacio, Franklin sets out to produce an environment that furthers an evolving imaginary.

Andres L. Hernandez’s project Benign Neglect (2014) takes its title from a policy term coined in 1969 by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, President Richard Nixon’s urban advisor, purportedly as a means of ‘easing tensions’ following the Civil Rights Struggle, but widely understood as the institutionalization of a slow and deliberate abandonment of predominantly African American neighborhoods to poverty and arson.  Hernandez’s project reimagines the resulting vacant lots of Chicago’s Washington Park, using aerial images, not as pure documents but as ‘plans’ for a Zen Garden. Made from the debris collected on the lots in an ongoing practice of walking as research, Hernandez’s ‘garden’ will be constructed in the courtyard of the Logan Center and tended as a rite, a rhythm, and a prompt for dialogue about a wealth of social and spatial possibilities.

More about the artists and their projects during the 2013/2014 Arts + Public Life and Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture Residency:

David Boykin: David Boykin is one of the most original and dynamic artists in the Chicago music scene. He is a composer, bandleader, and multi-reed instrumentalist performing on the tenor and soprano saxophones, the soprano and bass clarinets, and the drum set. He has received many grants and awards for his talents as a composer. He is the leader of the David Boykin Expanse, founder of Sonic Healing Ministries, and an occasional collaborator with a few other artists. Boykin began studying music on the clarinet at the age of 21 in 1991 and first performed professionally in 1997. Since 1997 he has released 10 album-length recordings as a leader, contributed as a featured soloist to other musicians’ recordings, and performed at major international jazz festivals and smaller jazz venues locally and abroad. As part of his residency, Boykin’s Sonic Healing Ministries has been holding Free Jazz Jam Sessions, each Sunday at 2-5pm in his studio at the Arts Incubator in Washington Park. 

For details visit sonichealingministries.com

Krista Franklin: Krista Franklin is a poet, visual artist, and performer who lives and works in Chicago. Much of Franklin’s creative output concerns itself with the intersection of the literary and the visual, and often explores the conceptual concerns of Afrofuturism and Afro-Surrealism. Her collages have been featured as the cover art of award-winning poetry collections and exhibited nationally. Franklin is the recipient of Chicago’s Community Arts Assistance Program Grant, the Albert P. Weisman Award, and Columbia College Chicago’s Aiko Fellowship, and she has held residencies at Cave Canem and A Studio in the Woods. A co-founder of 2nd Sun Salon, a community meeting space for writers, visual and performance artists, musicians, and scholars, Franklin holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts. As part of the residency at the Arts Incubator, Franklin created the exhibition Library of Love (February 12-March 31, 2014), working in collaboration with Stephen Flemister, Norman Teague, and Raub Welch. Her ongoing reading series, Speculating Darkly, or the Folk Surreal Future, presented at the University of Chicago’s Center for Race, Politics and Culture, continues through June 22, 2014.  

For details visit kristafranklin.com

Andres L. Hernandez: Andres L. Hernandez is an artist-designer-educator who works to re-imagine the physical, social, and cultural environments we inhabit. Over the last 16 years, he has worked within a variety of institutions to develop innovative art and design curricula; to assist with research, installation, and educational activities for museum exhibitions; and to organize collaborative, community-based art projects throughout the city of Chicago. Hernandez received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Master of Arts in Art Education degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art Education since 2006. He is also a Lead Artist with the Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community & Environment (TRACE) program of the Chicago Park District, and is co-founder of Revival Arts Collective. His discussion forum, Absence is Fullness: A (E)utopian Assembly, presented in the Second Floor Flex Space of the Arts Incubator, continues through August 17, 2014. 

For details visit whimplaceknow.com