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Works of five contemporary female artists focus of new I space exhibition

Melissa Mitchell, U. of I. News Bureau arts writer, 217-333-5491
Mary Antonakos, I space director 312-587-9976

video installation
Click photo to enlarge
Courtesy of the artist and Alexander Bonin Gallery,
New York
Emily Jacir
"from Texas with love," 2002
single channel video installation on DVD, with interactive audio


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —The work of a cosmopolitan collection of artists will be featured in a new exhibition on view Feb. 8 through March 22 at I space, the Chicago gallery of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The exhibition, titled “We Construct the Chorus,” brings together the work of five influential female artists contributing to today’s international discourse on contemporary art:

• Emily Jacir, a U.S.-born conceptual artist based in New York and Ramallah (a city about 10 miles north of Jerusalem), who has exhibited in the New York in the Whitney Biennial, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, and at the Museum of Modern Art, and is a finalist for this year’s prestigious Hugo Boss Prize.

• Alice Könitz, a German-born artist, now based in Los Angeles, who will be among the exhibitors in the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

• Katrina Moorhead, a sculptor who was born in Northern Ireland, lives in Houston and is the 2007 recipient of the Arthouse Texas Art Prize, the nation’s largest regional award for emerging artists.

• Rivane Neuenschwander, a Brazilian artist and 2004 Hugo Boss prize finalist who has exhibited internationally in group shows, including the Venice Biennial, and last year had a solo show at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

• Luz Maria Sanchez, a Mexican-born sound artist who divides her time between Guadalajara and San Antonio, and has presented her work at contemporary music festivals throughout the world, most recently receiving special mention in the “New Musics” category at last year’s Phonurgia Nova Prix in Arles, France.

The I space exhibition’s title is a nod to artist Barbara Kruger’s 1983 work “Untitled (We construct the chorus of missing persons).” It was organized by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, the Pamela Alper Associate Curator at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Widholm enlisted the collaborative support of four other young female curators working at museums across country: Ursula Davila-Villa, assistant curator, Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin; Apsara DiQuinzio, assistant curator, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Marisa C. Sánchez, assistant curator, Seattle Art Museum; and Stacen Berg, assistant curator, Wattis Institute, San Francisco. Each curator selected one female artist to be represented in the exhibition.

“My criteria were simply that each curator picks a strong example of work by a female artist they feel is significant, regardless of age, nationality or media,” Widholm said. “The plurality of voices that comprise a chorus provides an appropriate metaphor for the idiosyncrasies of curatorial practice and how curators inevitably bring their own voices and perspectives to the process.”

An opening reception is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the gallery, 230 W. Superior St., Chicago. I space gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.