Calendar for March 4, 2015


First Mayoral Runoff Debate
Rahm Emanuel’s failure to acquire a majority last Tuesday launches him and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia into an unprecedented runoff campaign. Between February 24 and April 7, Garcia and Emanuel will have to compete for the many Chicago voters—about one in five—who opted for neither of them in the first election. The campaigns have agreed to hold three debates in order to try and peel off some of these votes; the first will be held at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and broadcast on NBC-5 and Telemundo. Emanuel and Garcia have both released statements in anticipation. Garcia expresses hope that as the unlikely challenger, he will be able to properly introduce himself to Chicago residents, something he struggled to accomplish as one of five candidates in the February 24 election. Emanuel’s statement contains a promise to present a clear difference between himself and Garcia, and perhaps, in his mention of the “five healthy debates” already held, a note of exasperation. Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, 5707 S. Woodlawn Ave. Saturday, March 16. (Adam Thorp)

Women Warrior Wednesdays: Accessing Resources for Female Veterans
Women’s History Month is upon us, and the Women’s Business Development Center is celebrating by hosting a unique open house event to raise awareness of the resources available to female veterans in Chicago. Partners will deliver short presentations about opportunities for veterans hoping to start businesses, continue education, or take advantage of social services. Both recognizing the service of female vets and providing a multitude of future prospects (entrepreneurial, educational and otherwise) for them, the casual event should be an invaluable aid for former servicewomen. Jackson Park Boardroom, 1452 E. 53rd St. Wednesday, March 18, 6pm-8pm. Free. (312)853-0145. (Zoe Makoul)

Obama Presidential Library Hearing
Never before has city parkland been so contested. Despite public support for the construction of the Obama Presidential Library on the South Side, civic organization Friends of the Parks objected after the Chicago Park District allocated twenty acres of green space along Stony Island Avenue for the project. The issue will be presented at a hearing for a third go-around on March 9, this time on the floor of City Hall. Facilitated by the Chicago Plan Commission and open to the public, the hearing will have immediate implications for the University of Chicago in its bid to gain the library foundation’s favor. What’s at stake? Nothing less than the contentious economic development a presidential library could potentially bring with it, and the spiritual resting place of Barack Obama’s legacy. Come decide for yourself. City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St. Monday, March 9, 11am. Open to the public. (312)744-5000. (Will Cabaniss)

International Women’s Day 2015
Global Strategists Association, an organization that works to increase African-American participation and engagement in politics, global affairs, and leadership, will host its second annual International Women’s Day event, with the theme (and hashtag) #WomenMakingitHappen. The event’s three speakers are Dr. Margaret King, director of the nonprofit Economic Recovery Institute and a Chicago State University professor with a focus in international studies; Clyde El-Amin, a higher education professional; and Krupa Patel, who works as the International Relations Manager for the DeVry Education Group and has conducted volunteer projects around the world. If the speaker’s backgrounds are any indication, the event will address women’s leadership and empowerment in a political and international context as it urges action for the advancement of women. Little Black Pearl, 1060 E. 47th St. Saturday, March 7, 10am-1pm. $20 if purchased online on EventBrite; $25 at the door. (Mari Cohen)

Restoring Justice: Film Screening and Community Discussion
The third entry in the six-part documentary series The School Project, Restoring Justice is a ten-minute film exploring the gradual reform of punitive policies in CPS schools. Created by youth filmmakers from Free Spirit Media, the documentary charts the movement within CPS schools from the harsh, ineffectual disciplinary systems that gave rise to terms such as “the school-to-prison pipeline,” to the eventual emergence of restorative justice, characterized by its focus on problem solving through peer mediation, as a viable and popular alternative successfully championed by grassroots organizations. After the screening, there will be a community discussion and panel, moderated by Xavier Ramey of the University of Chicago’s Community Service Center. North Lawndale College Prep, 1313 S. Sacramento Ave. Thursday, March 5, 5:30pm-8pm. Free. RSVP requested. (Christian Belanger)

WTF Is the IWW
The International Workers of the World have spent more than a hundred years playing an important role on the left wing of the labor movement. Their goals include creating “One Big Union” and abolishing the wage system. The Chicago branch of the IWW is conducting a roughly three-hour, presumably well-run, workshop on how “to hold meetings that are shorter, democratic and more productive”. The workshop will also provide content for the meetings by introducing attendees to the IWW and the group’s arguments for the importance of class consciousness and workplace organizing. Chicago IWW Office, 1700 S. Loomis St. Saturday, March 14, noon-3pm. Free, donations encouraged. (Adam Thorp)

Stage and Screen

Daisies, filmed in 1966 by Věra Chytilová, is the hallmark of the Czechoslovakian film miracle. A bizarre film, it documents two teenage girls, both named Maria and played by Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová, through a series of pranks. Though it was banned by Czech authorities for depicting “the wanton” and wasting food (Chytilová was banned from working in Czechoslovakia until 1975), the innovative film was released two years before the Prague Spring, a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia. Avant-garde film programmer and founder of Cinema 16 Amos Vogel described it as, “the most sensational film of the Czech film renaissance . . . a philosophical statement in the guise of a grotesque farce.” Join Doc Films for a screening of this milestone film on Sunday.  Doc Films, 1212 E. 59th St. Sunday, March 8, 7pm. $5. (Clyde Schwab)

Love Battles
The cover of Doillon’s most recent film, Love Battles, shows a couple smeared in mud, legs and arms contorted around each other, copulating in the muddy waters of what appears to be a swamp. This Monday, the wrestling match comes to Hyde Park. French director Jacques Doillon famously said, “I don’t want to express my opinions through the cinema,” but this doesn’t mean he didn’t create controversial and interesting work, and it hasn’t stopped critics from expressing their opinions on his films. Generally, they see them and say they are good. Now you can see his latest, for free, and form your own opinion about the director, who will attend the screening in person to introduce the film and answer questions after the screening. Open minds necessary, mud-wrestling not condoned. Doc Films, 1212 E. 59th St. Monday, March 9, 7pm. Free. (Robert Sorrell)

Andrej Żuławski’s 1981 “horror psychodrama spectacular” has recently been restored and will be shown in an advance screening this Friday at the UofC’s Film Studies Center. This intense, over-the-top film features actress Isabelle Adjani’s phenomenal performance—one for which she won the Best Actress award at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. On the surface level, the film follows the relationship between an international spy and his wife as they navigate divorce, but the cult classic soon devolves into a series of hysterical, disturbing events. Possession, which will be shown in 35mm film, will be preceded by two short films as well—Hand Movie, directed by Yvonne Rainer in 1966, and Pulling Mouth, directed by Bruce Nauman in 1969. The screening will be the first in a two-part series presented by the Department of Cinema and Media Studies 2015 Graduate Student Conference, Performing Bodies: Gesture, Affect, and Embodiment on Screen. Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Friday, March 6, 7pm. Free. (773)702-2787. (Maha Ahmed)

Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
After a successful night at the Academy Awards, where it took home the Best Picture Oscar, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman will be making its way to Max Palevsky Cinema. The film gained widespread critical acclaim following its release, with particular attention paid to the acting of Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone. Powered by these outstanding performances and a layered story, Birdman is an ambitious technical showcase that tells the tale of Riggan Thomson (Keaton). Thomson, a washed-up actor known for playing the superhero Birdman, is working hard to reinvent himself as a Broadway actor, director, and producer. In the meantime, he battles his family, costars, and his own ego — not to mention the voice in his head. Come for the hype surrounding the movie, but stay for the award-winning cinematography and Antonio Sánchez’s jazzy score. Doc Films, 1212 E. 59th St. Saturday, March 7, 7pm and 9:30pm; Sunday, March 8, 3:30pm.  $5. (773)702-8574. (Shelby Gonzales)

The theatrical release poster for D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance describes the film as a “colossal spectacle,” and this could not be more accurate. Lithely weaving four parallel plots together, Griffith’s masterpiece creates a grand picture of humanity’s intolerance throughout history. From a short melodrama about crime to the story of Jesus Christ’s death, the film paints an intricate picture of mankind’s apparent tendency toward intolerance and its consequences, leaving the film to be interpreted as an exposé of racism’s ethos or an apology for mankind’s — or even Griffith’s earlier films’ — racism. Somtow Sucharitkul, director and founder of the Bangkok Opera, will be accompanying the silent masterpiece on the grand piano. Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Saturday, March 7, 7pm. Free. (773)702-2787. (Kanisha Williams)

The Good Book
What do you do after you transform one of the most famous poems of all time into an Obie Award-winning one-man show? You move from the twenty-four books that comprise the Iliad to just one book: the Bible. The duo behind An Iliad, Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson, have reunited to transform one of the most famous books of all time into The Good Book. Commissioned by Court Theatre and premiering next month, The Good Book is the first original play developed entirely with Court. Though rooted in the UofC (the Divinity School is to thank for scholarly help, the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry for workshopping), the play itself roams far and wide to explore faith, stories, and religious crisis: from a teenage aspiring priest to a Biblical scholar, from sacred spaces to university offices, from ancient Mesopotamia to medieval Ireland and the American suburbs. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. March 19-April 19. $35–$65. Discounts available for seniors and students. (773)753-4472. (Julia Aizuss)

Space Is the Place & The Last Angel of History
Science fiction fans, rejoice! On March 6, Black Cinema House will be showing a double feature: the 1974 movie Space is the Place followed by short documentary The Last Angel of History. Space is the Place, written by and starring Sun Ra, begins when the Chicago jazz legend mysteriously disappears while on tour, eventually landing with his “Arkestra” on another planet. He decides it’s well suited for an African-American colony, and so he “returns to earth in his music-powered space ship to battle for the future of the black race and offer an ‘alter-destiny’ to those who would join him.” After Space, director John Akomfrah’s The Last Angel of History—an exploration of the relationship between Pan-African culture and science fiction—will be shown. Originally released in 1996, the movie digs into the works of black cultural figures such as Sun Ra and Octavia Butler, discussing the ways in which their works emerged as centerpieces of the Afrofuturism movement. Black Cinema House, 7200 S. Kimbark Ave. Friday, March 6, 7pm. Free. RSVP recommended. (Christian Belanger)

Task of the Translator
Google Translate is not an infallible tool. Though handy for words and short phrases like “Hi!” and “Where can I find the bathroom?”, when asked for more complex grammatical structures with subjunctives and relative clauses, what it spits back may not make much sense. That’s why David Bellos, a professor of comparative literature at Princeton University and an award-winning author, thinks that translation has a greater future in the pencil-wielding hands of humans than in the cyber-hands of computer programs like Google Translate. After all, scholars have been translating the works of ancient writers for thousands of years and don’t show signs of stopping any time soon. A steadily growing field that often goes overlooked, translation lies at the foundation of more than just the humanities. Bellos’s lecture “The Task of the Translator” promises a thorough treatment of just how translation keeps the world running smoothly and how it is at the heart of all we do. Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Thursday, March 5, 6pm. Free. (773)702-2787. (Emeline Posner)

Visual Arts

Endless Rest
Much like the utopias they hope to copy, self-sufficient artist communities rarely seem to be anything more than a dream. They are established with the hope of permanence, but are eventually met with the realities of a world that champions a strict supply and demand chain of multifaceted skills that fall far outside the realm of artistic creation and thought. Following the story of Jane Byrd McCall Whitehead and Byrdcliffe, her failed Woodstock, New York artist colony, artists Jessica Harvey and Blair Bogin explore the vulnerabilities of love and failure in the combined exhibition, “Endless Rest.” A joint effort in photography, video animation, and mixed audio, “Rest,” which opens on Sunday at ACRE Projects, hopes to tell a story of both loss and preservation. ACRE Projects, 1913 W. 17th St. Sunday, March 8, 4pm-8pm opening reception. Through March 30. (Patricia Nyaega)

For years, the question of Northern Ireland’s independence has plagued British and Irish relations. Otherwise known as “The Troubles,” this conflict has taken over 3,500 lives since its “official” beginnings in 1969. Colm McCarthy, an Irish-born, Wisconsin-based photographer and printmaker started to work on his series, “Killed,” in 2008, in response to the 250 children lost to the conflict. For this tribute, McCarthy researched each child extensively in order to separate them from the violence that ultimately took their lives. The purpose of “Killed” is not to make a political statement, but rather to display the pointlessness of the violence. Uri-Eichen Gallery, 2101 S. Halsted St. Friday, March 13, 6pm–10 pm opening reception. Through April 3. (312)852-7717. (Jola Idowu)

Carmen Parra: Suave Patria
Though she traveled throughout Europe—studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome and learning from master printmakers in Paris—Carmen Parra reserves the utmost devotion for her home country of Mexico in her artwork. In her exhibition at the National Museum of Mexican Art, “Carmen Parra: Suave Patria,” Parra explores her love of Mexico through an exploration of the nation’s natural wonders, religious icons, and shared symbols (the royal eagle, the monarch butterfly, and the Main Aztec Temple feature prominently in this exhibition’s prints). Parra’s visual exploration of her country’s most compelling national images reveals her many influences, from her European training to her early exposure to Mesoamerican arts. National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St. Friday, March 20, 6pm opening reception. Through August 9. Free. (312)738-1503. (Meaghan Murphy)

Bridgeport Art Center’s Third Annual Art Competition
For the past month, Chicago artists-turned-judges Amanda Williams and Monika Wulfers have taken off their smocks and put on their critic’s caps for the Bridgeport Art Center’s third annual art competition. The judges have now selected a number of the works submitted by amateur and professional artists, living and working within one hundred miles of Chicago, to be put on display at the Bridgeport Art Center. The selected pieces, which include a full array of media—photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media—will be unveiled on Saturday evening alongside a spread of prizes of up to $3,000, drinks, and food. Come see the artwork for yourself and size up these Chicagoans’ talent. Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St., 4th floor. Through April 5. Monday-Saturday, 8am-6pm; Sunday, 8am-12pm. Awards ceremony Saturday, February 28, 7pm-10pm. Free. (773)247-3000. (Lauren Gurley)

Every year, the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) dedicates Gallery 5 to ArtShop, and each time Gallery 5 is filled with the artistic creations of kids from all across the South Side. The ArtShop is an extension of Pathways, an arts education program based out of HPAC that serves CPS students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The program aims to enrich students with rigorous art training, and provide them with the opportunity to refine their talents and showcase their work to large audiences. ArtShop is one of the showcasing events for teens involved in the Pathways program. Every work is entirely self-directed: the artists execute their vision with no source material. The title of this year’s ArtShop is “Collective Possibilities”—each piece is inspired by a myth of each student’s choosing, including their own imagination. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Avenue Chicago. Through April 19. Monday-Thursday, 9am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. Free. (773)324-5520. (Kanisha Williams)

The Density of the Actions
Density is the distribution of a mass per unit of volume or, for London-based, Argentine-born artist Varda Caivano, the substance of labor that can be packed into each square inch of canvas. Her first solo exhibition in the states, “The Density of the Actions”, will open at the Renaissance Society on February 22. Each piece in the series presents a rumination on the physicality that it took to make the painting—layers of paint are “rubbed, scratched, and reworked” so that each stroke is dense with time, invoking not just one moment, but many. The exhibition is sure to be dynamic, the paintings “vulnerable, unfolding, failing, becoming, and disappearing.” The Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis Ave. Through April 19. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5pm. Free. (773)702-8670. (Kristin Lin)

Until it becomes us
Rituals—actions and beliefs prescribed by traditional, regulatory performance—are both personal and communal. Jesse Butcher, an artist and current photography instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, intends to showcase his investigation of private rituals, beliefs, mantras, and longings in his solo exhibition, “Until it becomes us.” This is Butcher’s first solo exhibition in Chicago since 2010, and is sure to be a culmination of his most recent exploratory work, which starts from the claim that we are all “cognizant islands longing for a personal Pangaea.” Ordinary Projects at Mana Contemporary Chicago, 2233 S. Throop St., 5th floor. Through March 20. Opening reception Friday, February 20, 6pm-9pm. (Zach Taylor)

Objects and Voices: A Collection of Stories
Rummaging through a family attic, you might find collections of past significance that have accumulated with the long-settled dust. After seeing these disparate objects in the same space, patterns of meaning begin to emerge. “Objects and Voices” is exactly this type of eclectic collection, a celebration of the objects both forgotten and validated by time. Curated by a diverse array of individuals ranging from university professors and artists to graduate students and professional curators, this show is the second of the Smart Museum’s fortieth anniversary exhibitions. Curator Tours, led by some of the twenty-five collaborators featured in the exhibition, will give you a foray into micro-exhibitions like “Fragments of Medieval Past” or “Asian/American Modern Art.” It might be worthwhile to add this exhibition to your own collection of memories. Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood Ave. Through June 21. Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am-8pm. Opening reception Wednesday, February 11, 7:30pm-9pm. (773)702-0200. (Kristin Lin)

Ground Floor
Marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Hyde Park Art Center, “Ground Floor” features artworks from prominent Chicago MFA programs, and showcases of emerging talents so new they haven’t even begun their careers yet. The twenty artists, selected from over one hundred nominations, represent a wide range of mediums, forms, and universities: Columbia College, Northwestern, SAIC, the UofC, and UIC. These artists have also had the chance to exhibit at September’s EXPO Chicago in HPAC’s booth. This unique program, showcased throughout the entirety of HPAC’s ground floor gallery space, offers the chosen artists a helpful push toward a career in the art world; “Ground Floor” alumni include two artists who have recently displayed artwork at the Whitney Biennial. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Through March 22. Monday-Thursday, 9am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 12pm-5pm. Free. (773)324-5520. (Sammie Spector)


Chrisette Michele at the Shrine
Chrisette Michele’s creative output over the last half-decade has been nothing short of prodigious, an overload of expression that reflects a breakout from her days filling in rap hooks in the mid-2000s. Now a fully developed diva, Michele has the swagger of an A-list singer and the artistry to back it up. Last year’s The Lyricists’ Opus is both a traditionally sensual R&B album and an exercise in this newfound attitude: “Some days I wish I was Ye or Drake,” she sings on “Art,” “but truth is I got a bit of both / ‘cause I wasn’t born with a funk to fake.” When she plays City Winery this week, one can expect to hear that same self-assertiveness powering lush strings and carrying Michele’s own soaring vocals. Come down to the Shrine afterward for an after-party with further performances and DJ sets. The Shrine, 2109 S. Wabash Ave. Friday, March 6, 10:30pm; after-party 10pm-4am. $45. (312)753-5681. (Will Cabaniss)

Xavier Breaker at the Promontory
It would hardly be an overstatement to say that Xavier Breaker, jazz drummer, composer, and arranger, is the most exciting young drummer in Chicago. Having started drumming at age five in church, the prolific musician is now helping to reinvigorate the Chicago jazz scene. A South Carolina native, Breaker received a B.M. degree from the University of Southern Carolina but then moved north to study jazz at Northern Illinois University. His coalition combines classical, gospel, R&B, and jazz influences in clean but exciting tunes, and it will feature a host of other local musicians accompanying Breaker on trumpet, guitar, bass, and piano. Join them at the Promontory this Friday in a performance sponsored by South Shore jazz promoter Mo Better Jazz. The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Friday, March 6, 8pm. $15. (312)801-2100. (Clyde Schwab)

Prog Jazz Night at Reggies
In a throwback to the seventies, Reggies has dedicated this Sunday’s show to prog jazz, a genre that has been developing for at least forty years as a “modern” take on classic jazz. Out to prove that the style has stayed fresh since Miles Davis and Gary Burton introduced it to the world, Reggies has lined up a show that should promise even the most ardent fans of fusion something they haven’t heard before. Streetdancer, the brainchild of Chicago-born bassist Kest Stanciauskas, has been bringing a Lithuanian flair to the world of American jazz since its formation in 1973 and shows no signs of slowing down. If a knockout performance from one of Chicago’s greatest living jazz legends doesn’t catch your interest, the night promises to offset Stanciauskas’s wild energy with a smoother sound from The Humble Organisms, an organ-heavy group with a penchant for breathing new life into old classics. Reggies, 2105 S. State St. Sunday, March 8, 8pm. $5. (312)949-0120. (Jon Sorce)

Jazz/Hip-Hop Exploration at the Promontory
The birth and growth of jazz was an integral part of the South Side’s history in the twentieth century, and the renaissance of hip-hop has been an integral part of its history in the twenty-first. David Boykin, a renowned saxophonist and Promontory regular, has put together a series attempting to show “the shared aesthetics” of these two genres. The latest installment in this series will pair South Side-based rap duo Primeridian, whose lyrics treat “harsh, contemporary themes with positive inspiration for the youth,” with Boykin’s own jazz-based group, the David Boykin Expanse. A DJ set from DJ Ayana Contreras will serve to round out this musical conversation between the “genius” of the two genres. The Promontory Chicago, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Thursday, March 12, 8pm. $10. (312)801-2100. (Jake Bittle)

88 Fingers Louie at Reggies
The punk band 88 Fingers Louie is poised to bring real punk back to the band’s hometown of Chicago. Formed in 1993 by vocalist Denis Buckley, guitarist Dan Wlekinski (aka “Mr. Precision”), drummer Dom Vallone, and bassist Joe Principe, the band disbanded after three years due to fights between band members, reformed in 1998, and disbanded once again in 1999. Punk is punk. Afterward, Principe and Precision formed the popular punk band Rise Against. During their on-again-off-again period, 88 Fingers pumped out various songs and records composed of fast beats, harsh guitar and catchy riffs, all interrupted by wailing vocals not so different from those of their successor. Whether you’re reliving your 1993-96 nostalgia (good times) or in need of any old punk rock show, come check out the re-re-reformed 88 Fingers Louie at Reggies next Friday. Reggies, 2105 S. State St. Friday, March 6, 8pm. 17+. $15-$20. (312)949-0120. (Clyde Schwab)

The Persian Concert
The Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, affectionately referred to as MEME, is taking the Logan Center stage one more time, back by popular demand. Directed by the brilliant Wanees Zarour, this fifty-piece orchestra celebrates the contemporary, traditional, and folk music of Persia (modern-day Iran and Afghanistan). Compositions by composers such as Majid Derakhshani, Homayoon Khorram, Hossein Dehlavi, and others will be performed. Tender banter will be had between the orchestra members in between the numbers, and hearts will break over the power of a densely ornamental and lyrical music repertoire, the full-bodied representation of a centuries-old culture. Logan Center, 915 E. 60th St. Sunday, March 8, 7pm. Free. (773)702-2787. (James Kogan)

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