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Art & Art History

Opening Reception: Precarity: Contingency in Artmaking and Academia

Friday, June 24, 2016
Gallery 400
400 S. Peoria St.

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Please join us for the opening reception of Precarity: Contingency in Artmaking and Academia, an exhibition curated by Lorelei Stewart and featuring artists and organizations Christian Nagler, Ahmet Öğüt (with Natasha Sadr Haghighian, Dan Perjovschi, Martha Rosler, and Superflex), Cassie Thornton and the Feminist Economics Department (the FED), and Vanessa Viruet and Julia Arredondo of Vice Versa Press, Adjunct Commuter Weekly, BFAMFAPhD, The Debtfair collective, PrecariCorps, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.).

In response to a nexus of economics that make it increasingly difficult to earn a living as artists, obtain higher education, and work within colleges and universities, Precarity: Contingency in Artmaking and Academia examines artistic and activist approaches to critical economic issues in US education and art making. These issues include income inequality, rates of artist compensation, wage stagnation, the precarity of part-time faculty, rising tuition costs, and increasing student debt. Through satire, exposition, creative solutions, advocacy, and other inventive means, the artists in this exhibition seek outcomes outside current social and economic models, while making clear the costs of these growing crises.

From print publications for commuting adjunct professors, to sculptures that function as collection points for public contributions to a student debt canceling initiative, to a performance that considers the legacy of Nobel laureate economist, free market proponent, and late University of Chicago professor Milton Friedman, the artists in this exhibition confront the critical issues facing higher education today. Situating this exhibition in a university setting allows both students and faculty—in other words, those most deeply affected by the precarious nature of American academia—as well as our wider Gallery 400 community, to collectively engage with these issues affecting us all.

**At 6:30pm artist Cassie Thornton and CPS educator Elizabeth Coughlan read from their book “Mystery Hands.”**