Joe Bucciero is a writer born in Chicago, based in Brooklyn.
Eleven tapestry-like painted objects hang from the gallery ceiling in symmetrical arrangements, delineating pathways, establishing something of a community.
In August, Brooklyn’s Spectacle Theater hosted CON-MYTHOLOGY: The Moving Images of Conrad Schnitzler, four programs that showcased films by or featuring the titular German artist (1937 2011), selected by Schnitzler collaborator Gen Ken Montgomery.
The Illinois Parables, a documentary by the Chicago-based filmmaker Deborah Stratman, begins with a brief series of shots from above the titular state’s landscape. Illinois is “flyover country” after all: most coastal Americans see it as a undifferentiated stretch of farmland, flanked by the Mississippi on one side and cut through by the country’s two longest interstate highways, I-90 and I-80.
“All nature here is new to art, no Tivolis, Ternis, Mont Blancs, Plinlimmons, hackneyed and worn by the daily pencils of hundreds; but primeval forests, virgin lakes and waterfalls.” So rhapsodized British-born painter Thomas Cole (1801–1848) on the appeal of the American landscape.
“What is art?” asked Baudelaire. “Prostitution?” His question underlines the tenuous power dynamics between artist and viewer in the modern age.