Three Performances for Uptown 2013 to 2015
Unto Each Their Own Safe + More at the Bridgeview Bank (2013), 4753 North Broadway Ave on October 19 & 20 for Open House Chicago.
Performers: Meghan Moe Beitiks, Olive Stefanski, Natalia Nicholson and Carron Little
Islands in the Sky at Buttercup Park (2014)
Performers: Nora sharp, Alana Parehk, Jessica Kearney
LOVE over MONEY at Buttercup Park (2015)
Nora Sharp, Amy Sinclair, LaMar Gayles and Carron Little
Curated by Eden Unluata
Photos by Joanna Matuszak and Jamie Gannon
The Queen of Luxuria was invited by curator Eden Unluata to create three performances for Uptown from 2013 to 2015. The first performance was at Bridgeview Bank for Open House Chicago entitled 5 Artists/ 5 Stories (2013). It was supported by Uptown United to celebrate the unique architecture of the neighborhood. This interactive performance was created for members of the public passing through the bank. The Queen of Luxuria was accompanied by the performers: Meghan Moe Beitiks, Natalia Nicholson and Olive Stefanski. The Queen of Luxuria interviewed forty people over the two days and wrote each person a check evaluating the wealth each person should have received in their lifetime due to pay inequity. For example, if a woman was being interviewed she calculated the number of working years and the discrepancy of how much a woman earns compared to her male counterparts. If a person revealed they were unhappy at work she gave them an extra $80,000 to take a year off and give someone the independence to do and create what they really wanted to do. If a person earnt under $80,000 she also made up the difference. According to #queenofluxuria $80,000 should be the average wage in the USA if you factor in health insurance, education, the current cost of living etc. The Queen of Luxuria has collated the data from this performance.
In 2014 I was invited to create a public interactive performance for Buttercup Park. I was working on a project called City Alive with Dreams for the City of Chicago and was touring a dance and poetry performance called Islands in the Sky which I performed at Ragdale Foundation and Wicker Park Art Fest. This piece was structured on a three-part score: A Dream Garden; Dream poetry where the public was invited to create their own phrases and Dream Music where Yuri Lane transformed it into music on the spot.
When Eden invited me back for the third year I was already thinking about creating a trilogy. The idea of connecting dreams and the economy seemed like a fascinating proposition if one thinks about the illusion of the American Dream. I decided to create the piece LOVE over MONEY and I had everybody from a contemporary art collector to young people enthralled by the performance. Over the year I built 24 sculptures inspired by the public dreams collected in Buttercup Park the previous year. The public could then go through a process of getting a check based on the principles I devised in Unto Each Thier Own Safe + More. They were invited to come to me and collect a Public Dream Sculpture with the check. The performance addressed questions of value and ethical markets when it comes to the art economy and capital.