June 21, 2012

Chicago Cultural Center’s “Transforming” New Exhibit

USSA 2012: The People’s Palace’s Gift Shop June 23 – August 31

Mary May    mmay@cityofchicago.org 312.744.0576

(CHICAGO)  The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announces the transformation of an existing space in the Chicago Cultural Center to expand opportunities to showcase visual arts.  The USSA 2012: The People’s Palace’s Gift Shop from Chicago artist Zachary Cahill will open in the former Chicago Cultural Center Gift Shop.  The “grand opening” is set for Saturday, June 23 continuing through Sunday, September 9. 

Cahill will transform what was the Chicago Cultural Center’s Gift Shop into a meditation on commerce and gift-giving by creating an installation that is a simulation of a gift shop centered on the theme of bears -- from the Soviet variety to team mascots and of course, the Chicago Bears. "Gift items" will include parodies intermingled with some of the Cultural Center's old stock of gift items once sold in the retail space.

Cahill’s body of work “investigates the mercurial nature of ideologies as manifested in language and symbols, especially in propaganda as well as in high art.”  Furthermore, “it parodies and opens to examination the nature of commoditization, oddities of official language, the hyperboles of political discourse and the pretense of the art world.”

Zach Cahill received his MFA from the University of Chicago in 2007 and a BFA from Cornell University in 1995. His installations and performance work have been in numerous exhibitions, including ones at The Banff Centre, Alberta Canada; ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany; threewalls and University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently a Lecturer and Open Practice Committee Coordinator at the University of Chicago.

The USSA 2012: The Peoples’ Palace Gift Shop is the first installation in the space and will offer visitors a unique perspective on the meaning of gifts, shopping and the spirit of gift giving.  For more information and exhibit hours visit www.cityofchicago.org/DCASE.




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