The Beast Agenda Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended Image

When: April 13-Aug. 2 2014

John Preus had a detailed plan for The Beast, his installation that opens this week as part of the Hyde Park Art Center's 75th birthday celebration, but he threw it away. "A plan with no room for intuitive decision-making becomes boring to me," says Preus, perhaps best known for his work as lead fabricator for the artist Theaster Gates. As of two weeks ago, all he knew was that The Beast was going to be a large (30 by 60 feet) structure, built from two-by-fours, that would use up most of the space in the HPAC's main gallery, including the catwalk above the first floor and the five garage doors that open the gallery to the outside, and contain within it furniture repurposed from some of the Chicago public schools that were shut down last year. (Preus has a relationship with the company CPS contracted to remove the furniture; his collection, stashed in a storefront on the south side, includes lots of desks and tabletops and a rocking chair.) The structure would have to be strong enough to bear a lot of weight, both physical and ideological. It would also be in the shape of a steer. Continue reading >>

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