Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: humanity on the move

“I saw in this camp sometimes dying per day 10,000 people,” says Sebastiao Salgado in Paul Carlin’s 2000 documentary The Spectre of Hope. “And it’s difficult to see 10,000 people die. It’s very hard. They were dying because we had not any way to save them.” As he speaks, the Brazilian economist turned award-winning photographer […]

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Scout Niblett

Last year’s EP I Conjure Series (Secretly Canadian) gave the impression that British singer Scout Niblett was deliberately sabotaging her songs, trying to scuff up the offhand beauty she revealed on her stunning 2001 debut album, Sweet Heart Fever. Niblett’s raspy vocals have invited comparisons to Cat Power’s Chan Marshall; despite her sometimes wobbly intonation, […]

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Chicago

I’ve seen many versions of this 1975 Bob Fosse-John Kander-Fred Ebb musical, and this one is the most effective. It’s less slick and more lively than previous touring productions of director Walter Bobbie’s still-running 1996 Broadway revival. The cynicism of Fosse and Ebb’s script (based on Jazz Age journalist Maurine Dallas Watkins’s play) seems less […]

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D’nell Larson

A familiar dilemma facing gallerygoers–which direction to go around a room–is neatly solved by You Kill Me, one of three pieces in D’nell Larson’s show at Bodybuilder and Sportsman: 60 arrows on the walls point in the same counterclockwise direction. Larson says the arrows, made of five different lengths of wood and decorated with Swarovski […]

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Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator

An exhilarating and terrifying journey through youth-culture hell. Video maker Helen Stickler devoted six years to this swift and compact documentary, which uses the tale of Mark “Gator” Rogowski to chronicle the marketing of skateboard fashion in the 80s. Raised in a broken home in southern California, the teenage Rogowski astonished fans with his stylish […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Who’s really on drugs here? According to a household survey detailed in the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s “Research Bulletin” (August), the percentage of Illinois adults who said they used an illegal drug in Illinois in 1990: 4.9. In 1998: 7.6. The number of prison sentences handed out for drug offenses in Illinois in 1990: […]

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Idealistic Realism

Thomas Struth at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through September 28 El ojo fino at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, through October 5 My favorite variant of the idea that the real world is a bleak, tedious place is the phrase “reality hit me,” implying as it does that reality is a violent, unforgiving […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Tension is brewing between Zell Kravinsky, 48, and his family over his extraordinary altruism, according to an August profile in the New York Times. Not only is Kravinsky a passionate philanthropist (he’s already given away $15 million of the money he’s made in commercial real estate), he’s also such a strict utilitarian that […]

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Datebook

SEPTEMBER 12 FRIDAY Tony Fitzpatrick is primarily known as a printmaker, but after his father died in 1998 he started making collages as a way of dealing with his grief. Inspired by Joseph Cornell’s “Penny Arcade” series, the former bouncer and boxer has compared the process to quilting, “where your hands are all over it […]

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Trust Funnin’

Trust Funnin’, Red Robin Productions, at WNEP Theater. Steve Scholz’s one-man sketch-comedy show supposedly examines the nature of trust, but that’s the kind of thing pretty much devised for press releases only. When it comes to nuts and bolts, he’s a capable performer who’s mastered a variety of ethnic accents, never makes concessions to political […]

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Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival

The 15th annual Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival, presented by Chicago Filmmakers, runs Friday through Sunday, September 12 through 14, at Columbia College Ferguson Theater, 600 S. Michigan, and Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark. Tickets are $7; for more information call 773-293-1447. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Program one See Critic’s Choice. (Columbia College Ferguson […]