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"I like when people look at a picture of me and be like, 'Oh, he looks like he'll do something bad like this,' says DeMarco (below), in the text that accompanies his portrait in photographer Dawoud Bey's multimedia exhibit "The Chicago Project." "Some people might look, like, 'Oh, he looks like a bad kid, or...like, I can picture him doing...beatin' up somebody or taking something from somebody,' whereas that's not me at all." During Bey's three-month residency at the Smart Museum he met with high school students from three south-side schools to discuss representations of teenagers in popular culture. His 40-by-50-inch color photographs of the 12 participating students are accompanied by audio portraits of them made by local radio producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister. The project also includes "Group Portrait," an exhibit of photography selected by the teenagers and displayed against a backdrop of their graffiti, and a Web site, smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/chicagoproject, featuring the teenagers' art and writing. "I think people should come [to the exhibit] to find out something about someone else that they don't know," says Bey. "That should be the reason for confronting art: to find out something that you don't know--to find out something about yourself that you don't know." The free exhibit runs through June 22 at the Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood. Hours are 10 to 4 Tuesday through Friday (until 8 on Thursday) and 11 to 5 Saturday and Sunday; call 773-702-0200 for more information. At 4:30 on Sunday, May 18, Brian Wallis, chief curator at the International Center of Photography in New York City, will lecture on race and photography in America at the U. of C.'s Cobb Hall, 5811 S. Ellis, in the Film Studies Center, room 307. It's free.

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