Men of the World | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Men of the World 

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The work of Men of the World is difficult to preview, since generally no one, including the artists, knows what it's going to be until the last minute. Mathew Wilson, half of the duo, explains that he and partner Mark Alice Durant often stay up late the night before planning the action for the next day. Sometimes their work, made up of simple images and elegant gestures executed for the most part on city streets, takes its impulse from the politics of the moment. The Anita Hill hearings spawned an event in Washington, D.C., as did the Daryl Gates brouhaha in Los Angeles. For their Chicago event, entitled "Ten Days in May," they've decided to do an homage to the American work ethic. Conceptually based, borrowing from sculpture, theater, and photography, Men of the World's happenings appear like sweet little dreams in a landscape of concrete and business suits. With eloquence and simplicity--pouring 12 glasses of water into each other's mouths, cleaning statues of war heroes with scrub brushes, laying nine bars of soap and nine clean shirts on the steps of the Supreme Court--Men of the World clarify the poetry of the ordinary. "Ten Days in May" will begin at noon Saturday with a flag-raising ceremony at N.A.M.E. It will be followed by ten days of actions in and around the Loop (the only dates confirmed at this point are May 19 and 20 in Daley Plaza from 8:30 to 11:30 AM). Next Friday Men of the World will perform at N.A.M.E. in conjunction with the opening of their installation, which will remain on view until June 25. N.A.M.E., 700 N. Carpenter, 226-0671. May 15 and 21: Saturday, noon; Friday, 6 to 8 PM. Free. Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn, 226-0671. May 19 and 20: Wednesday-Thursday, 8:30 to 11:30 AM. Free. Call for other program information.


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