Turn the Light
January 17-March 7, 2020
Turn the Light offers a snapshot of a vital art practice in Chicago today. These artists examine particular histories that are crucially present in our current lives and ask critical, often confrontational questions about why these histories have not been fully scrutinized. The works presented derive from a sense of urgency and necessity to reckon with suppressed histories.
In the U.S. and in Chicago, contests recur over our collective historical responsibility. The question is how can decolonization and equality be pursued without addressing the ills of the past, or without following Ida B. Wells’ insistence on turning the light of truth upon the oppressions of the past and the present? Pioneer Chicago forces, from Wells to today’s Jamila Woods, from Gwendolyn Brooks to Rudy Lozano, have helped to establish what can be called a Chicago sensibility that emerges from a tradition of solidarity, protest, resistance, and nourishment. The artists in Turn the Light build on that legacy: representing, historicizing, and materializing an evolution of what can be traced as Chicago’s revolutionary ideology. Their works ask us to reconsider the past and engage in grappling with the complexities of today.