"to begin to write it, to begin to fade" | October 5-20
new works by KRISTINA FELIX & JOHN LUI | curated by RAVEN MUNSELL
Opening Reception: Sunday, October 5, 4-8pm
Open Hours: Sundays & Mondays, noon-4pm
1913 W 17th Street, Chicago IL
This city can be known only by an activity of an ethnographic kind: you must orient yourself in it not by book, by address, but by walking, by sight, by habit, by experience; here every discovery is intense and fragile, it can be repeated or recovered only by memory or the trace it has left in you: to visit a place for the first time is thereby to begin to write it: the address not being written, it must establish its own writing.
to begin to write it, to begin to fade, is an exhibition of new works by Kristina Felix and John Lui. Felix explores the global traveler’s experience through found, purchased and constructed cultural artifacts and souvenirs. Through these objects she critiques the constructed nature of the tourism industry; she begins to write a new story, a new experience of these places that include handmade good luck charms and pseudo-spiritual objects and speculative propagandic t-shirts, ready to enter the market. By leveling the value of the real and fake objects, this body of work examines the paradoxes in the desire for an authentic or traditionalexperience and calls into question one’s memory of a trip. Drawing from her own recent solitary visit to the Andes, Felix points to one’s reliance on collected objects, photographs and travel companions in order to remember and validate an experience. With time and retelling, the experience changes and shifts until it no longer matches the place or the traveler.
Lui observes and documents his surroundings closely. Traversing both urban and rural areas, he comes to know these spaces by capturing them off-guard, uncovering subtle gestures and inscribing new meaning and language to them. In this new series of work he pairs incongruous images, often absurd or humorous and seemingly nostalgic, to construct new narratives and cause fissures between the images presented. With their soft light and hazy surfaces, Lui’s placeless photographs appear as if from a dream or from someone else’s memory.
 Roland Barthes, Empire of Signs, trans. Richard Howard (Hill and Wang: New York, 1982), 36.
KRISTINA FELIX is a Brooklyn-based artist who makes artworks that explore the creative potential of language, labor and found narratives. Felix’s works are often rational interpretations of topics such as love and desire, the supernatural and the homogenization of personal and spatial exploration after the Internet. Felix earned an MFA in Transmedia from The University of Texas at Austin in 2010, and a BFA in Studio Art from Columbia College Chicago in 2004. She recently completed a Fulbright research project in sculpture that focused on mnemonic devices in Andean textiles and crafts. Her work has been exhibited nationally, most recently at the Chicago Artists' Coalition as part of Hatch Projects where Felix was a resident artist from 2012-2013.
JOHN LUI is a Hong-Kong based photographer and moving-image maker. Lui received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and his BFA from Pratt Institute. His work has been screened at film and video festivals including Festival Miden, Greece; Milan Design Week, Italy; Daytripper: A Film Series, USA; and PERFO!, Finland. He has been an artist-in-resident at CAMAC (France), ARTELES (Finland), CAN (Switzerland), ACRE (USA) and most recently, Vermont Studio Center (USA), where he received an artist grant. His work has been exhibited at Kuhn Fine Arts Gallery at Ohio State University, Forum Gallery, Mogura Gallery, Studio Couture, and Cranbrook Academy Art.
RAVEN MUNSELL is a curator, writer and arts administrator based in Chicago. She co-directs the mobile exhibition space and artist bumper sticker project TRUNK SHOW and creates exhibitions independently, institutionally and with Third Object, a collaborative curatorial group she co-founded. She earned dual M.A. in Art History and Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014.