Ground Floor artists, Ále Campos aka Celeste, Ajmal Millar aka MAS MAN, and Corey Smith, present new works at the Art Center. Through their embodied practices, these artists utilize performance to explore alternative worlds, and personal and cultural histories. Sound artist, Anna Johnson, collaborates with Ground Floor artist, Sofía Fernández Díaz to activate Sofía’s sculptural installation Círculo. Titled Voz en Círculo, the experimental vocal music performance was created in response to the organic shapes and shadows in the immersive environment.
About Ále Campos aka Celeste
Ále Campos (also known as Celeste) is a multi-disciplinary artist and performer currently based in Chicago, where they recently received an MFA in Performance from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Their body of work is elastic in nature, stretching across a variety of modalities, mediums, and presentational formats. Their studio practice rests within a commitment to drag and their persona, Celeste. As curator, producer, performer, and host of a variety of happenings and events that center drag and queer performance, Campos is an active member of the LGBTQ+ community worldwide. In 2018, they started Queer Night of Performance, a monthly event in Hudson, NY to nurture a wide range of live queer acts. A large archive of images and texts from the Queer Night of Performance series, is the subject of a book produced by Printmedia Institute with the support of Buddy Chicago. Campos received a grant from the City of Hudson to then design and create a queer operated, mobile stage project called HI-BEAM, to host and financially support a variety of artists and performances outdoors during the pandemic. Campos recently performed with Guillermo Gómez-Peña and the legendary performance troupe, La Pocha Nostra at Jane Addams Hull House during the Casa Museo exhibition and co-curated a night of drag and dj sets by queer, BIPOC artists with Jeffrey Gibson at Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago.
About Ajmal Millar aka MAS MAN
Ajmal ‘MAS MAN’ Millar was born on June 30, 1986 in Brooklyn. He is a self-taught contemporary visual artist and mas man (carnival costume designer). His work is multidisciplinary including installation, paintings, and mixed-media sculptural works that combine collage, painting, repurposed materials, scrap metal, performance, and photography. He interrogates notions of cultural heritage, sexual and gender identity, and ritual practices as a first-generation African American black queer man born to Trinidadian immigrants. He earned an undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in 2008 and earned an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2021. Currently, he lives and works in Chicago.
About Corey Smith
Corey Smith is a composer, writer, and performer from Chicago. They have been an artist in residence at High Concept Labs, the University of Illinois Springfield, Light Box Detroit, the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, and Grin City. Their work has been seen at Links Hall, the Detroit Fringe Festival, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Emil Bach House, and numerous venues around the USA. Their longstanding project, The New Prairie School, has been featured by Architectural Digest.
Corey is an avid collaborator and has worked in various capacities as sound designer, director, performer, composer, and devisor with artists such as Lia Kohl, Jasmine Mendoza, Every House Has a Door, Rough House Puppet Theater Company, the Suburban Piano Quartet, Lindsey Barlag-Thornton, among many others. They received an MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
About Anna Johnson
Anna Johnson’s practice encompasses performance, musical composition, immersive installation, moving image, and social organizing. She engages spiritual, material and interpersonal energy in order to render emotional and psychological landscapes made manifest within one’s body. Her work prioritizes liveness and somatic experiencing in pursuit of embodied strategies for resisting alienation and challenging hegemonic economies of time. She aims to open holistic, transformative ways of being and relating, spaces in which symbiotic vulnerability can emerge. Her current work navigates the membrane – and tension – between her position as an individual and that of the surrounding collective body of human and nonhuman life. Anna’s performance and exhibition work has been presented at spaces including Links Hall, Roman Susan Gallery, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Companion Cooperative, the Cedar Cultural Center, Red Eye Theater, Open Eye Figure Theatre and The Cowle’s Center. She performs solo music under the name Ovovi and collaborates with Microviolet, an improvisational dronepop music project. She is completing an MFA in the Performance department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.