Reporting from Chicago, Ocula Magazine explores the practices of just some of the artists who stood out among the 140 galleries at EXPO CHICAGO (7–10 April 2022).
CAMMIE STAROS AT SHULAMIT NAZARIAN
Of Greek origin, Cammie Staros is drawn to the materials and forms of the ancient world, which can act as shorthand for the compression and instrumentalisation of time.
To see the Parthenon overlooking the city of Athens, for example, surrounded by costly equipment for its ambitious re-construction at the height of the Greek economic crisis, was enough for some to prompt a serious meditation on the fetishisation of history and culture.
Accordingly, Staros' work challenges the hegemony of man-made time, at once formal and critical. After all, a terracotta vessel may break, but its materials will always find their way back to the earth, as suggested by the artist's first solo exhibition with Shulamit Nazarian, What Will Have Being (16 January–6 March 2021), in which terracotta vessels were turned into habitats for working fish tanks.
Among the three deconstructed ceramic amphorae paired beautifully with a duo of turquoise paintings by Summer Wheat at EXPO, was Fictile ficticium (2020). The terracotta sculpture resembles a coiled shell or the inside of an ear, and marks a continuation of the artist's 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship research, soon to be followed with a solo exhibition at the Pitzer College in September 2022.