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Travels through the Ocean: A Screening and Performance with A.J. McClenon and F4F

February 24, 2023 @ 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

In conjunction with artist run collective, F4F, artist A.J. McClenon presents performance of new work inspired by their ongoing research on water and the African diaspora, alongside a short film from F4F co-founder Amina Ross, and a performance from co-founder Zachary Nicol.

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku describes soap bubbles as a metaphor for parallel universes. What if these bubbles extend into our bodies of water? Coming from a parallel earth and from a parallel Chicago, AJ McClenon, brings findings from travels through the ocean and through lake Michigan from cities to cities, from species to species and from past, present and future. Messages are articulated through large bubbles; sounds from the African diaspora and species studies and footage from water travels.

This event is in conjunction with our Artists Run Chicago Fund

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About AJ McClennon: 

Born and raised in “DC proper,” A.J. McClenon studied art and creative writing at the University of Maryland, College Park, and The New School prior to receiving a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. Alongside artistic experiences, A.J. is passionate about teaching and community collaborations with the goal that all the memories and histories that are said to have “too many Black people,” are told and retold again. As a means to uphold these stories A.J. creates writings, performances, installations, objects, sounds, and visuals. These creations often revolve around an interest in water and aquatic life, escapism, Blackness, science, grief, US history, and the global future. A.J. is deeply invested in leveling the hierarchies of truth and using personal narrative to speak on political and cultural amnesia and their absurdities. A.J. currently works and lives in Chicago.

About Zachary Nicol: 

Zachary Nicol is an artist living and working in Chicago. Their work uses research in dance, movement, site, and image to unfold problems of the performing body. Their work has been shown at Links Hall, Co-Prosperity, Trap Door Theatre, Lumpen Radio, Filmfront, OuterSpace, Compound Yellow (Chicago), National Museum of Romanian Literature (Bucharest), and S1 Gallery (Portland). Nicol is a 2023 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, and has been an artist in residence at Ragdale Foundation, ACRE, Links Hall, and Annas Projects.

About Amina Ross: 

Amina Ross is an artist, educator, and lifelong learner. Ross makes videos, sculptures, sounds, and situations that consider feeling, embodied knowledge, and intimacy as survival technologies for black, queer, trans, and femme people. Their work questions how systems of power condition reality and how communities facing oppression navigate, resist, reimagine, and refigure these systems to thrive in safety. Ross worked as an educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, was a lecturer at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a critic at Rhode Island School of Design. They received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the Yale School of Art. They have recently exhibited work at Sentiment (Zurich, CH), Wave Hill (Bronx, NY), The Luminary (St. Louis, MO), Iceberg Projects (Chicago, IL), M23 (New York, NY), Springsteen Gallery (Baltimore, MD), and Centro De Cultura Digital (Mexico City, MX) among other venues. Ross was a recent artist-in-residence at Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting (Madison, ME), Wave Hill (Bronx, NY), Abrons Art Center (New York, NY), and Harvestworks (New York, NY).

About F4F:

A former domestic venue, and now nomadic project collective that cultivates a femme community, centers blackness, and expands upon understandings of what domestic space can be. 

About Artist Run Chicago Fund:

The Artists Run Chicago Fund is a unique regranting initiative designed and administered by Hyde Park Art Center has provided over half a million dollars in support of the artist community in Chicago, and we’re still going. Since 2020, The ARC Fund has awarded eighty-five $8,000 grants to artist-run platforms, infusing Chicago’s contemporary art network with flexible financial support to strengthen their diverse and experimental programs. Since 2021, the Artists Run Chicago Fund has also become a platform for collaborations between Hyde Park Art Center and artist-run platforms in the city.


February 24, 2023
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Hyde Park Art Center
5020 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago, IL 60615
Chicago, IL 60615 US
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