Screening Times Weekdays 11:00, 1:30, 3:00, and 6:30 (Thursdays only) Saturdays and Sundays 1:30 and 3:00
Since the early 1970s, Los Angeles–based artist Charles Ray has produced mostly sculptural works that command space in unusual ways, exploring its aesthetic and psychological implications. Central to his work is his choice of subjects that may at first seem simple but, on closer observation, reveal an ambitious combination of formal and technical complexity, contributing to an ambiguous sense of unreality or hyperreality.
The same is true of his only completed film, Fashions. Here, Ray depicted his friend Frances Stark, who is now herself a noted artist, modeling 100 outfits—designed and then stapled or taped together by Ray—while rotating slowly on a small platform. Her stance mimics both the stoicism of a classical statue and the stiffness of a modern commercial mannequin. But her clearly visible tattoo, uneven tan lines, and blinking eyes signal that she is in fact quite real.
Fashions combines ideas about pose, scale, and attire that appear in Ray’s previous work, including his mannequin sculptures of the early 1990s, with an investigation into the concept of fashion as a signifier for identity. Indeed, clothing continues to play a role in his recent work—including Horse and Rider (2014) and School Play (2014), both currently on view as part of the Art Institute exhibition Charles Ray: Sculpture, 1997–2014—by adding a contemporary context to figural sculptures that engage historical genres.
A film installation that should be viewed from beginning to end, Fashions is meant to be shown with a whirring, flickering 16 mm film projector, a nearly outmoded format that in turn echoes the movement of Stark’s platform.
1 day 2 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Congratulations to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on their grand opening this weekend. The building, designed by architect David Adjaye, is a truly historic addition to the National Mall in Washington D.C. #APeoplesJourney #MakingHistory
1 day 5 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Time machines, superheroes, wild creatures, and more… JourneyMaker makes every visit to the museum an adventure.
Try this new digital interactive for families in the museum’s Ryan Learning Center, located in the Modern Wing, or print out a tour at home.
2 days 3 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Today marks the autumn equinox and the official end of summer. Celebrate the changing of the seasons with the latest in ARTicle’s Sound and Vision series, matching songs from around the world with our encyclopedic collection.