Site Unseen | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Site Unseen 

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"Sites seen" is more like it. In this third annual showcase, curated by Julie Laffin, performers' audio and visual additions to the Chicago Cultural Center's grand and humble spaces alike give them new resonance. Sara Schnadt's Re-Trace is set in the third-floor kitchen, formerly the entry to the stacks when the building was the main library. Reflecting on librarians' painstaking feats of memory before card catalogs existed, Schnadt projects a sampling of information from early collections, then traces the projections in red wool, alluding to domestic labor. Annette Barbier and Drew Browning of Unreal-Estates take aim at surveillance by surreptitiously taping visitors on the first floor and projecting the images four flights up. On a lighter note, Justin Cooper creates We'll Miss You--a participatory office party complete with music and cake--in the Randolph Cafe. Joan Dickinson's multifaceted The Charioteer, a 40-minute piece (to be shown three times) in the Claudia Cassidy Theater, uses two video projections, an audio digitization of a thunderstorm, and six performers (two live and four in the videos) to relate a tale Dickinson has heard since childhood about an aunt who died at 15. For up-to-date information on all 12 pieces, visit chicagoculturalcenter.org. a Wed 11/15, 6-9 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630. F --Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Keiko Johnson.

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