by Sarah Nardi
Edie Fake is a conjurer of spirits, the prime mover of a mystical world. In his reimagined Chicago, it is forever night and there is nothing to scare the ghosts away. Fake's "Memory Places" is a series of intricate drawings of buildings, structures that seem, like the view through a kaleidoscope, to both expand and recede into themselves. Drawing from a history of Chicago subcultures, Fake recreates iconic dance clubs and punk bars like Club La Ray and La Mere Vipere, places that have ceased to physically exist but live on in the city's collective memory. His Chicago is a dreamscape, a place too strange and beautiful to be real, reimagined with all the fantasy that a loving memory confers.
"Memory Places" also includes five "Gateways," tribute architecture Fake has designed for friends who've passed away. The process of creating the drawings, some of which took 80 hours to complete, was cathartic for Fake, a "formal approach to mourning" that allowed him to use only an isolated block of his brain. The juxtaposition of Fake's obvious technical skill and the quiet mysticism of his subjects is what makes him so compelling. I have the sense that beneath the precision and geometry of his work is an unwavering belief in the unknown—a hope that gateways work in both directions, allowing ghosts to come and go as they please.
"Memory Places" will end with a closing party, book signing, and discussion with Edie Fake. Fri 2/15, 6-8 PM, Thomas Robertello Gallery, 27 N. Morgan.