Plack Blague Credit: Christian Trippe

Chicago has no shortage of free museums, and the DePaul Art Museum (935 W. Fullerton) is one stunning example. While it’s never a bad time for a visit (hello, it’s free!), their new exhibition “A Natural Turn” is worth checking out. Artists María Berrío, Joiri Minaya, Rosana Paulino, and Kelly Sinnapah Mary use surrealism to explore constructions of beauty and identity. How are our individual imaginations influenced by shared experiences like social, natural, and political circumstances, and how can we use them to reshape those situations? How do they/we shape ourselves? In this group show, the artists create a visual journey about metamorphosis and personhood underscored by a critique of colonialism. The museum is open from 11 AM-7 PM today, but if that doesn’t work, the exhibition is on view until February 19, 2023; check out their website to find a time that works for you. (MC)

Conversations at the Edge, a weekly series of screenings, performances, and talks by media and visual artists organized by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation, kicks off the fall season tonight with an appearance by artist, scholar, and filmmaker Jessica Bardsley. In much of Bardsley’s work, landscapes like images of the desert and camera explorations through caves serve as a metaphor for human emotional states. Bardsley’s films often borrow images from Hollywood (for example, clips from the film Girl, Interrupted are included in Bardsley’s 2013 short The Blazing World) and combine them with original footage to create visual essays. Tonight Bardsley will present five recent shorts and discuss her work and experimental narrative with the audience. The evening starts at 6 PM at Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State) and tickets are $12. (SCJ)

An excerpt from Jessica Bardsley’s 2013 film The Blazing World

It’s day one of Cold Waves, the famed industrial festival that happens in select cities throughout the year. The Chicago edition is hosted at Smart Bar, Metro (3730 N. Clark), the Riviera, and Le Nocturne through Sunday. And while I’m not one to poo-poo the sold out lineup at Metro tonight (TR/ST headlines alongside openers The KVB, Actors, Kontravoid, Leathers, and New Canyons), I’m much more intrigued by the aftershow at Smart Bar. At 11 PM, Andi Harriman will warm up the dance floor with a DJ set followed by a performance by Ritualz. Then Plack Blague, Nebraska’s most exciting disco leather daddy, takes the stage to make you piss yourself with excitement. Trust me, you’ll gladly do it. Tickets are $15 and available to those 21 or older. (MC)