January 7 – February 18, 2017 Arrowhead Gallery
Bloodspot (death by gun) by Krista Wortendyke, 2016, Stack of 700 inkjet prints on newsprint each at 18 x 12 in.
Krista Wortendyke's Project Statements:
Killing Season Chicago, 2010, Foam panels, paint, spray paint, inkjet prints, 8’ x 52’ x 2”
Beginning on Memorial Day and ending on Labor Day of 2010, I tracked the homicides within the city limits of Chicago. Once the crime scenes were processed and the red tape was taken down, I visited and photographed the site of each murder. There were 172 homicides within that time period of roughly 3 months. The resulting physical piece is a 56-foot long installation of the photographs against a caution - orange background placed in a chronological graph. The form draws attention to the homicides and their frequency in a schematic way. Moving left to right in the piece, there is one column for each day the project spans. Stacked photographs in each column reflect the number of homicides that day as well as document each crime scene. From afar, the arrangement mimics a city skyline and begs the viewer to consider whether this violence is part of the fabric of the urban environment. The sheer number of images coupled with their small size (5.5” x 8.25” and 5.5” x 3.67”) forces the viewer to come in and take a closer look. What they find are quiet, peopleless images of sites that all look vaguely familiar; sidewalks in front of two-flats, garages in back alleys, gangways, playgrounds and street corners. They will also find the occasional scraps of red or yellow tape, RIPs scrawled on walls, piles of stuffed animals, impeccably arranged empty liquor bottles and a metal cross nailed to a tree. These small clues indicate that these are not just arbitrary locations, but the settings of murders.
Killing Season Chicago is a memorial constructed of temporary materials that change with each iteration and are destroyed after each installation’s exhibition. This wall, constructed of foam and held together by wood and tape, will degrade over time, just as the memory/image of each person killed degrades the vitality of the city itself.
Neighborhood Conflict, 2016, iPhones, compressor, FM transmitter, boomboxes on 88.1 FM, Variable dimensions
Neighborhood Conflict is a meditation on the nature of urban street life and the perception of its spaces through the collision of public record and personal truth. Through radio transmission, we hear a young man from the South Side of Chicago on the brink of adulthood as he navigates his neighborhood, family and friends and deals with the death of a classmate. However, his story is intermittently suppressed by the live police radio in the same neighborhood where his story is set, a neighborhood that is stigmatized by the media as a war zone. This sometimes-constant interruption highlights contemporary struggles that include ownership over-representation in disenfranchised communities, the rift between the police and young men of color, and the relationship of internal life and external reality. At times, this flow of information overwhelms listeners and mangles their sense of space. In doing so, Neighborhood Conflict confronts our assumptions about objectivity regarding the South Side of Chicago – and by proxy any neighborhood that has been stigmatized by the media – by questioning the neutrality of these accounts.
Bloodspot (Death By Gun), 2016, Stack of 700 inkjet prints on newsprint each at 18 x 12 inches
While Chicago makes national news for its gun violence, the victims go relatively unnoticed in the public eye. Their deaths are often matter-of-factly reported and reduced to mere statistics. Bloodspot (Death by Gun) consists of a stack of 700 news-printed images of an anonymous bloodspot on the pavement, a reminder of a murder in a Chicago alley. Visitors are invited to take one of the prints. The choice to print 700 prints was initially envisioned to visualize the project number of homicides that would occur in Chicago during 2016. Sadly, this projection was surpassed.
Krista Wortendyke (b. 1979, Nyack, New York) is a Chicago-based conceptual artist. She received her MFA in Photography from Columbia College in 2007. Her ongoing work examines violence through the lens of photography. Her images are a result of a constant grappling with the mediation of war and brutality both locally and globally. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Schneider Gallery and Weinberg/Newton Gallery in Chicago, The Griffin Museum in Winchester, MA, and many other venues across the United States. Her work is also in the permanent collections of both the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. Krista is currently an adjunct professor of photography at Columbia College Chicago and Loyola University.
Lecture: February 8, 2017
in Arrowhead Gallery, Dickson Center, Sugar Grove Campus
All our lectures are free and open to the general public.
Workshop: February 8, 2017
in Von Ohlen Hall, room 201, Sugar Grove Campus
Our workshops are open to all current Waubonsee students (registration required).
For more information about the art exhibitions at Waubonsee Community College, contact Cecilia Vargas, Art Coordinator, at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2964.