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Crip* Access

Introductory Wall text and audio description

Exhibition Wall Label

Applied to the wall is vinyl text, arranged in three columns. The column on the left reads: 

Crip*

Curated by Liza Sylvestre

January 14-March 12, 2022

Liz Barr

Emilie Gossiaux

Shannon Finnegan

Max Guy

Christopher Robert Jones

Alison O’Daniel

Carly Mandel

Darrin Martin

Berenice Olmedo

Carmen Papalia

And Heather Kai Smith

Brontez Purnell

The middle column reads:

Artists with marginalized or non-normative identities are often expected to “perform” for the art world by imaging themselves. From one angle this diversifies the art world; but from another angle this, in fact, pigeonholes artists, strengthens the distinction between normative and non-normative, and reduces the rich and complex knowledge gained through lived experience to a more flattened and singular interpretation.

Crip* features artists who address disability through an intersectional framework. Some of the artists identify as disabled. Some do not. But each has a relationship to (at least one) non-normative identity. While each work of art is certainly informed by these identities, the works themselves resist reduction or simplified illustration.

This group exhibition features artists who seek to fracture and reassemble how we think about disability identity in our culture. The works ask us to redefine and question our own ingrained thinking about what it means to move through a world that both rejects and capitalizes on experiences that are not perceived as normal.

The third column reads:

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Access verbal descriptions of each work by scanning the QR code on each wall label. Video works include audio description. Printed braille labels are available upon request. 

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Lead support for Crip* is provided by the University of Illinois Presidential Initiative: Expanding the Impact of the Arts and Humanities. Additional support is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and by the School of Art & Art History, the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Crip* is co-presented by the Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) where additional support was provided by the James and Beth Armsey Fund and the UIUC Disability Resources and Educational Services.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label


Interdependence is Central to the Radical Restructuring of Power by Carmen Papalia and Heather Kai Smith texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

CARMEN PAPALIA AND HEATHER KAI SMITH 

Interdependence is Central to the Radical Restructuring of Power 

2021 

Risograph print on paper 

Courtesy the artists 

Papalia’s and Kai Smith’s collaboration is interdependent. Drawn by Kai Smith, this work’s central phrase comes from Papalia’s 2015 Open Access manifesto which is informed, in part, by Papalia’s identity as a “non-visual learner.” The manifesto outlines the need to approach access relationally and with the understanding that access needs are ever changing, requiring flexibility and interdependence.

Text of verbal description of the artwork

This is a risograph printed take away, you are welcome to take one home with you. The front of the risograph looks like a drawing with a red background and script in large, uppercase, white letters which reads “INTERDEPENDENCE IS CENTRAL TO THE RADICAL RESTRUCTURING OF POWER”. The red is made out of small, hand drawn pencil marks. The white letters are made out of the negative space where the red pencil marks have not been applied. The back of the risograph is another written statement in blue letters that reads “Open Access is a temporary, collectively-held space where participants can find comfort in disclosing their needs and preferences with one another. It is a responsive support network that adapts as needs and available resources change.” Below this text, which is enclosed in a blue rectangle are the words “Excerpt from Carmen Papalis’s Open Access manifesto, 2015. Carmen Papalia and Heather Kai Smith, 2021.”

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

Pillow Fight by Brontez Purnell texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

BRONTEZ PURNELL 

Pillow Fight 

2016 

Video, 4:01 min. 

Courtesy the artist 

Pillow Fight draws upon multiple identity distinctions—race, sexual orientation, ability, and economic status—offering them to us as interconnected parts. Purnell, a transdisciplinary creative, has been influenced by dancer and composer Yvonne Rainer who often incorporated every-day movements into dance and performance.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

 

Text of the full audio description of the video

At 0 minutes: A mattress covered with a fitted sheet sits on a sidewalk in front of a chain link fence. The same mattress appears in the middle of a street, then again in front of a graffitied pull-down storefront door. At 12 seconds: One Black man and one white man approach the mattress, each carrying a pillow. They circle around, eyeing each other. The same movement repeats in all three locations. At 22 seconds: They step onto the mattress and begin to jump up and down, sometimes pulling their knees up high or kicking their feet out to the sides. They hold their pillows as they bounce. Throughout the film, the actions take place in all three locations, switching from one to the other quickly. At 39 seconds: They hold the pillows over their heads and begin to pelt each other with the plain off-white pillows. For the majority of the fight, they both go for the body, swinging their pillows toward each other’s abdomens and sides exposed by rearing back to swing their own pillows. At 54 seconds: One combatant falls face forward onto the mattress and the other grins as he smacks the pillow across his back. The fallen stands and turns to whack his opponent with the pillow. At 1 minute, 5 seconds: They struggle to stay atop the mattress during the battle. Occasionally, one steps a foot off but they always come back to the close range fight, swinging their pillows at each other. Out of breath, they pause. At 1 minute, 17 seconds: The fitted sheet loosens and lies jumbled in the center of the mattress, tangling the fighters’ feet and ankles. At 1 minute, 24 seconds: With the twisted sheet beneath them, one fighter slips twice and falls down on his butt. The first time, the other fighter reaches out to help him up, the second, he raises the pillow high over his head and rains pillow blows down on the fallen fighter until he stands. At 1 minute 42 seconds: The other fighter now falls face first onto the mattress. From his stomach, he tosses his pillow at his adversary. At 1 minute, 54 seconds: The sheet is completely gone from the mattress on the street. As the two continue to battle, vehicles drive slowly past, just feet away. One slows down as it approaches, but moves along. At 2 minutes, 6 seconds: First one, then the other drops to his knees on the bare mattress. They pitch their torsos back and forth, bending at the elbow to hammer the pillows down, one raises a protective arm over his head. At 2 minutes, 19 seconds: Both men wear similar clothing. Plain white t-shirts, dark low-rise jeans that sometimes expose their underwear, white socks and dark tennis shoes. The cuffs of their jeans are folded up, giving a vague impression of a 1950s tough guy or a character from The Outsiders. At 2 minutes, 37 seconds: As they rise to standing positions from their knees, they both heave the pillows high, then pause momentarily staring at each other. At 2 minutes 44 seconds: Now one lies on the mattress, his arms over his face. He raises his hands and legs in the air, the sheet wrapped around them, as the other man picks up the second pillow and throws it down at him. At 2 minutes, 56 seconds: They stand in the street looking at each other, one yanks his pillow back and forth as if plumping it up, the other man just tosses his pillow at him, so the first man throws his down as well. At 3 minutes, 8 seconds: They look at each other, then one turns away and looks around. At 3 minutes, 13 seconds: In the street, they slap hands, then blow on their palms. At 3 minutes, 17 seconds: In front of the fence, they throw down their pillows and shake hands, then embrace. One hops up and wraps his legs around the other’s waist. In the street, one shoves his pillow at the other, who catches it and tosses it down. They stand on opposite ends of the mattress panting. The opponents shake hands and nod, then back away. One turns and walks out of the street, the other smiles. At 3 minutes, 40 seconds: In front of the graffiti, one heaves his pillow at the other’s chest, propelling him backwards off the mattress as he catches it with both hands. He saunters back and tosses the pillow, shoulders drooping. Slowly, he steps back onto the mattress as the other steps off, looking around. At 3 minutes, 59 seconds: The pillows lie rumpled in a heap on the mattress.

Audio file of the full audio description of the video

I’m a Game #1 by Max Guy texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

MAX GUY 

I’m a Game #1 

2021 

Pencil and enamel paint on medium-density fiberboard, powder coated-steel, plastic Go stones 

Courtesy the artist 

These works respond to Guy’s experience as a diabetic and the cybernetics necessary for him to survive. They respond to his experience as a racialized subject within a global context. In these sculptures, black and white game pieces from the Japanese game “Go” are in different configurations allowing us to imagine how the game is won by the player who successfully surrounds the most territory.

 

Text of verbal description of the artwork

A table made out of a human silhouette. It has four legs and the surface is made of a solid black material approximately an inch thick. The human shape has outstretched arms that make a strong and distinct line, almost like the body is stretching. Below the arms the torso is bent slightly to the right – the left leg continuing the long, straight line of the body while the right leg is bent at the knee and drawn up closer to the side of the figure’s torso. The position feels simultaneously playful and violent—bringing to mind playful, childlike movements and also the outlines of human bodies found at murder scenes. Covering the surface of the table is a hand drawn grid. Arranged on top of the grid are several shiny plastic white and black circles from the game Go.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

I’m a Game #2 by Max Guy texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

MAX GUY
I’m a Game #2
2021
Pencil and enamel paint on medium-density fiberboard, powder coated-steel, plastic Go stones
Courtesy the artist

Text of verbal description of the artwork

A table made out of a human silhouette. It has four legs and the surface is made of a solid black material approximately an inch thick. The human shape appears to be walking with their legs separated shoulder width apart, their feet positioned like they are both on the ground. One arm is in front of the figure’s body while the other is behind it, almost creating the feeling of a ¾ degree view. The head is in profile. Covering the surface of the table is a hand drawn grid. Arranged on top of the grid are several shiny plastic white and black circles from the game Go.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

Do you want us here or not? By Shannon Finnegan texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

SHANNON FINNEGAN
Do you want us here or not?
2021
MDO, paint
Courtesy the artist
As a person with a mobility disability, Finnegan is acutely aware of how art institutional spaces create the expectation of an abled body by overlooking needs such as rest. Finnegan’s work offers both an intervention and solution. operates as a useable place to rest while also dissolving the binary between “able” and “disabled,” suggesting everyone who sits is implicated in both upholding and shifting the structures that disable.

Text of verbal description of the artwork

A simple wooden bench with only one arm rest is painted a brilliant shade of blue. On the back rest of the bench are white letters that spell “THIS EXHIBITION HAS ASKED ME TO STAND FOR TOO LONG.” Continuing on the seat of the bench, the white letters read “SIT IF YOU AGREE.” The letters are bold, capitalized, and appear to be hand drawn. This artwork functions as a useable seat and you are welcome to sit and rest for a while.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

Body Works and Conditioner by Liz Barr texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

LIZ BARR
Body Works, 2016
Conditioner, 2019
Zines
Courtesy the artist
Barr explores how body image is constructed and harmed by exploitative advertising tactics that demean women of color, women with unconventional body types, or otherwise “non-ideal women”.

Text of verbal description of the artwork

Two different zines rest on a bench. You are welcome to sit and look at them. One zine is titled Body Works, which is printed in uppercase red text at the top of the zine. Below the title is a partial image of a female body. In profile we see a portion of the soft skin of the woman’s stomach sandwiched between a bra and high waisted pantyhose. The cover of the other zine has several small round irregular shapes, inside each shape is a different texture, some of the textures look like skin but it is hard to identify each one definitively. The title “CONDITIONER” stretches among these shapes on an irregular line.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

Arm, Tail, Butthole, London Butterfly Kiss, London Mounting the Couch, Self Portrait with London and Couch, London in the Presence of the Goddess, Hand Holding Paw by Emilie Gossiaux texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

EMILIE GOSSIAUX
Arm, Tail, Butthole, 2019
London Butterfly Kiss, 2020
London Mounting the Couch, 2019
Self Portrait with London and Couch, 2019
London in the Presence of the Goddess, 2019
Hand Holding Paw, 2019
Ballpoint pen with crayons on paper
Courtesy the artist
Gossiaux’s works explore interdependence and memory as much as they disrupt the assumed connection between sight and visual artwork. Gossiaux creates these drawings with a process and tools that allow her to create a visual artwork through touch.

Text of verbal description of the artwork

Each drawing is 17 inches tall, and 23 inches long, the artist uses a ballpoint pen to draw indented outlines into the paper, and colors them with waxy crayons. If you look at the drawings up close, or if you were to touch them, you could perceive that the lines are slightly raised from the surface of the paper.
In the first drawing titled, “Arm, Tail, Butthole”. A hand comes out from the right corner of the drawing, and holds up the tail of a yellow Lab, playfully exposing its butthole.
“London Butterfly Kiss”, London is lying down in the center of the drawing. She is drawn in profile, with her body stretched out on the ground, and her head lifted up with her tongue sticking out. A purple butterfly flies near, and is about to land on London’s tongue, as if London is trying to lick the butterfly. To the left of London, another butterfly flies in the air behind her.
In the next drawing, “London on the Couch” London is seen from behind, her hind legs are on the floor, as her front paws are about to lift herself up onto a pink floral couch.
“Self portrait with London and couch”, The artist is on the left. She has long brown hair with bangs, blue eyes, and a white t-shirt. London’s face is next to her, and the pink floral couch is behind them.
“London in the Presence of the Goddess”. We see London approaching a topless white woman with long blonde curly hair. She’s lying down under pink covers and on a grassy ground with blue flowers. She props herself up on one elbow, and extends her left arm, reaching down towards London. London stands at the foot of the bed, about to touch the goddess’s hand with her nose.
In “Hand in Paw”, we see a human hand holding the dog’s paw.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

Dancing with London by Emilie Gossiaux texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

EMILIE GOSSIAUX
Dancing with London
2019
Aluminum, foam, papier-mâché, rubber, resin, nail polish
Courtesy the artist
Gossiaux, who is both a person with deafness and blindness, often depicts her guide dog London, in her work. Their relationship is revealed in both London’s persistent presence and Gossiaux’s material handling.

Text of verbal description of the artwork

Dancing with London is a sculpture of the artist’s guide dog, London, who is an English Labrador Retriever. The sculpture is made with polystyrene foam, aluminum, and paper mache that has been coated with a clear resin. London stands up, 53 inches tall on her hind legs with her front legs extended out in front of her body, as if she is about to leap into the air. The sculpture has an appearance of smooth stone, and is light gray in color. The nose, lips, and eyes are painted black. Her eyes are closed, with a serene look on her face, with a hint of a smile. The paws are sculpted with details of each little finger, and her nails are glossy and smooth. When you hold onto her paws, you can feel the underside of the paw is a leathery texture, like the soft padding of a dog’s paw. On the dog’s belly are little nipples, her back has the look of combed fur, and her tail curves up in a swoop.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

Audiologist’s Poem by Alison O’Daniel texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

ALISON O’DANIEL
Audiologist’s Poem
2018
Copper plated medical silicone
Courtesy the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles
These hearing aid molds are hung at exactly 5’7”, a speci!c height that brings our attention to the artist’s absence and presence. This dynamic is both conceptual and material in O’Daniel’s work. Often sensory loss is thought of exclusively as a lack, a fact that O’Daniel understands to be false—instead her work explores the rich and generative experience that occurs because of sensory loss, allowing us to understand that the disabled body is not lacking, but rather experiences the world in new and signi!cant ways.

Text of verbal description of the artwork

A pair of copper hearing aid molds hang from thin copper chains. The hearing aid molds are slightly larger than life size and are hung at 5 feet 7 inches from the floor. The details of the molds are clearly seen. A spotlight is focused on the molds making them shine.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

In conversation*/En conversación* by Christopher Robert Jones and Berenice Olmedo texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

CHRISTOPHER ROBERT JONES AND BERENICE OLMEDO
In conversation*/En conversación*
2021
Video, 31:25 min.
Courtesy the artist
The conversation is made possible through the access of translation, which—along with the artists’ locations, languages, and voices— becomes part of the material of the video. The conversation crosses geographical, language, and cultural boundaries. It integrates visual descriptions as well as English and Spanish captions.

Text of verbal description of the artwork

A monitor with headphones is playing a video that is a conversation between the artists Christopher Robert Jones and Berenice Olmedo.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

áskesis by Berenice Olmedo texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

BERENICE OLMEDO
áskesis
2019
Alternating pressure pad, Taylor back brace Arduino boards; Alternating pressure pad,
Cash back brace Arduino boards; Alternating pressure pad, Jewett back brace Arduino boards
Courtesy the artist
Olmedo’s work explores the structures we have established that debilitate and disable bodies. The materials and aesthetics that are often utilized by individuals with physical disabilities are often present in Olmedo’s work. In this sculpture, the boundary between body and prosthetic is amplified as the work “breathes” despite the absence of a body.

Text of verbal description of the artwork

Three beige colored, inflatable mattresses are each rolled up and corseted with a back brace. Each of the three braces is distinct but they are all made of similar white and flesh colored plastic and elastic materials. Near each corseted mattress is a white, plastic, rectangular shape. Connected to one end of the plastic shape is a light pink cord that connects to each mattress. Connected to the other end of the plastic shape is a black power cord. All three power cords are plugged into an outlet. If you look closely the mattress slowly inflates and stands erect and then slowly deflates and slouches over. This makes the mattresses feel human-like, almost like they are slowly breathing.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

PureImagination_Sextet by Christopher Robert Jones texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

CHRISTOPHER ROBERT JONES
PureImagination_Sextet
2020
OSB, wood glue, twine, USB drive, media players, computer speakers, violin-vocal rendition
Courtesy the artist
Jones identifies as a queer person whose relationship to gender and sexuality has been shaped, in part, by the failure and malfunction of their body. Their work examines and interrupts white patriarchal continuities by exploring how those lineages assert themselves aesthetically.

Text of verbal description of the artwork

Six yellow violins, six yellow violin bows, six sets of black computer speakers, and six media players are piled in a messy heap on a gray floor. The violins and violin bows are both carved from OSB and are coated in yellow wood glue. Each violin has a blue USB stick embedded in the side of the body near the tailpiece. The USB sticks are plugged into the small black media players which are in turn plugged into a corresponding set of black computer speakers. Coming out of the speakers are vocal and violin sounds humming and playing the song “Pure Imagination” from the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

Hearing 4’33”: Scene 5, 6, 60 and The Plants Are Protected: Scene 55 by Alison O’Daniel texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

ALISON O’DANIEL
The Plants Are Protected: Scene 55
From The Tuba Thieves
2013
HD video, 12:06 min.
Hearing 4’33”: Scene 5, 6, 60
From The Tuba Thieves
2013
Two channel HD video, 9:52 min.
Courtesy the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles
These scenes are from an ongoing video project inspired by a series of tuba thefts, which along with O’Daniel’s own relationship to sound informed by her hearing-loss, led the artist to create this video project through generative translational methods that undermine traditional !lmmaking. The project relies on different forms of communication—visual content, spoken words, American Sign Language, sound, creative and direct captions, and translation—and requires us, as experiencers, to synthesize this information.


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Contrapposto by Darren Martin texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

DARRIN MARTIN
Contrapposto
2016
HD video, 16:00 min, 3D printed sculpture
Courtesy the artist
Martin fractures and reassembles a gay, male body through technological means, generating questions about identity and how it is produced. The disabled body’s relationship to technology is especially complex. Martin, who has a cochlear implant, materializes the intricate boundaries present within his own experience.

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XXL Medical ID by Carly Mandel texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

CARLY MANDEL
XXL Medical ID
2019
Steel, aluminum, glass
Courtesy the artist
Drawing similarities between retail and medical spaces, Mandel’s work highlights the growing commercialization of the healthcare field, including in the wellness sector. Health consumerism positions health as a personal responsibility, not a collective one.

Text of verbal description of the artwork

Two identical, shiny, reflective silver-colored U-shaped metal bars are installed on the wall—one above the other in a vertical line. The bar higher up on the wall has a thick, messily shaped, glass cylinder resting on the lower horizontal line of the U-bar. The glass is clear with opaque white chunks of glass scattered throughout, almost like polka dots. The lower U-shaped bar has a polished silver metal chain looped around it. The chain connects with a blank, concave silver shape and looks like a very oversized medical ID bracelet. The bracelet dangles away from the wall far below the U-shaped bar.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork

Arm Exerciser by Carly Mandel texts, verbal descriptions, and audio description

 

Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics and short contextual text

Arm Exerciser
2019
Steel, ceramic, concrete
Courtesy the artist

Text of verbal description of the artwork

A cream-colored bench, like one you would find in a shoe store, rests on the floor. On either side of the bench are rectangular mirrors that angle slightly toward the ceiling. On the bench’s flat rectangular surface is a long, coiled shape made out of metal rope with roughly formed white clay balls strung on it like beads. Also strung on this chain are two rust-colored circular shapes and one larger, grey, irregularly shaped wide circle, also made out of clay. These shapes are larger than the white clay beads which can pass through the larger shapes. At each end of the metal chain with clay beads is a silver toned metal handle of an arm exerciser. One handle rests on one of the mirrors creating a reflection while the other rests on top of the bench’s flat surface as part of the beaded coil.

Audio file of verbalized Exhibition Wall Label with artwork specifics, short contextual text, and verbal description of the artwork