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2nd Floor Rear 2016: We Are Here

February 6-7, 2016

2nd Floor Rear 2016: We Are Here is a meditation on the meaning(s) of being somewhere.

2016 marked 2nd Floor Rear’s 5th anniversary. To celebrate, we invited Pilsen to join our annual alternative space art-hop. This move got us thinking about the social and cultural politics of being and acting in a specific space. If what Heraclitus said is true, that you can never step in the same river twice, so too with the city street—its cultural landscape is constantly in flux. And like the bright red arrow that pinpoints our location on a map, the creative output of a place is the pulsing beacon that heralds and gives form to our cohabitation. It’s a way to let people and history know that we are breathing, living, thinking, working, making, and dreaming, here.

For 2nd Floor Rear 2016, we were interested in the socio-cultural politics of being and acting in a specific space. How do spatial relations and social relations arise together? How might places be binding and normative or potentially liberating? How are they shaped by the bodies they contain or exclude? How can a place be at once material and ideological, natural and fabricated, public and private, static and in flight? How can various socio-spatial forms and practices define or defy the way we relate to a particular place in time, as well as to each other, our outlooks, and ourselves?

2016 featured curators, collaboratives, ongoing series and artists producing solo projects include Fidencio Martinez, Richard Medina, Hank & Tannaz, WITCH Collective, Katie Vota, Alejandro T. Acierto, Lauren Leving & Elizabeth Lally, Victoria Bradford, Potluck Salon, Etc. Gallery, Angela Davis Fegan & Brett Swinney, Lindsey French & Willy Smart, Dao Nguyen, VAM STUDIOS, The Wretched Nobles, Meghan Borah + Calla Dobmeyer + Elaine Rubenoff + Hannah Cushing, The People of Ieya, 3A, John Harness & Grace Needlman, Stella Brown & Liz McCarthy, Apt 512, Matthew Silva, Malik Lemon + Lindsey Sherman + Gordon Pond, Alex Palma + the Dojo Collective, Uptool, and PiNK EYE

2016 exhibiting and participating artists include Na Chainkua Reindorf, Grace Kubilius, Soheila Azadi, Sherwin Ovid, Grace Cross, Soo Hyun Kim, Chiara Galimberti, Elizabeth Cambron, Falak Vasa, Fontaine Capel, Lauren Clark, Bohrer, Jessie Brett, Lyra Hill, Scott Merchant, Ray Rehberg, Leanna Savoie, Carina Yepez, Katia Perez, Lulu, Christopher Allman, Efren Arcoiris, Jerry Boyle, Laura Callier, Amanda Joy Calobrisi, Heather Gable, Here, Molly Hewitt, Sara Heymann, Jose Hernandez, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Manal Kara, Ly La, April Lynn, Peter Overman, Jenny Pulse, Isabel McGuire, Charles E. Roberts III, Olive Stefanski, Amanda Stilwell, Julia Zinn, Alex Palma, Rachel Bell, Daniel Kyri, Julia Klein, Curt Miller, John Szczepaniak, Sofia Moreno, Molly Hewitt, Zachary Hutchinson, Rebecca Ladida, Armando Lozano, Low Life Scum (Selma Dye + Fryd Resting, BERLIN), Efren Arcoiris, Here Marie Vernon, IMP Queen, Caleb Yono, Ariel Zetina, and more.

Featured exhibition spaces include The Whistler, Box Gallery, Corner, Hume, Hairpin Arts Center, The Storefront, TUSK, OuterSpace Studios, Slow Pony Project, Templehead, Salon, Eco, The Dojo, naomi FINEARTS, and 1618 Gallery.

2nd Floor Rear 2016: We Are Here was curated by 2016 Associate Curator Jesus Gonzales Flores and 2016 Curatorial and Production Fellows Erin Delaney and Egon Schiele in collaboration with Creative Director Katie Waddell.

Learn more about 2nd Floor Rear 2016.



"11 art gallery exhibitions to see in February" | Jenny Lam for TimeOut Chicago, February 1, 2016

"2nd Floor Rear 2016: We Are Here" | Michelle Gan, Christopher Good, Emeline Posner, and Stephen Urchick for South Side Weekly, February 16, 2016.

"2nd Floor Rear Arts Festival Marks Fifth Year" | Kate Morris for F Newsmagazine, February 18, 2016

"Hexes, Homes and The Hairpin: Explore 2nd Floor Rear Art Festival 2016" |  Megan Moran for the LoganSquarist, February 1, 2016

"VAM Presents: 2nd Floor Rear" | VAM Studios