(Dis/Re)membering the Empire: Liz Ensz and Ivan Lozano

With Olive Stefanski "To Cradle a Kind Thought" in the Milwaukee Ave. Window Gallery

Ivan Lozano enlists Google Image Search to find “difficult” digital images that he prints and transforms into packing tape photo-transfers. For this body of work, digital images of burning American flags are cropped and cut up to remove context and are then collaged into compositions inspired by visual and mythological elements in pre-Hispanic indigenous cultures.

In search of our underlying values and aspirations as individuals and as a society, Liz Ensz enlists the commemorative properties of textiles and cast metal to examine the designed and found icons of the American character. Works in this exhibition ruminate on capitalist theology and the complex moral calculus necessary for mass-cultural investment in disposability and the simultaneous human desire to imagine permanence through emblems, monuments, and self-celebration. While disparate intentions inform these impulses- one to remember, and the other to quickly forget- each will materially describe our society to future generations.

LIZ ENSZ was born in Minnesota to a resourceful family of penny-savers, metal scrappers, and curators of cast-offs. Ensz has exhibited her textiles and sculpture nationwide, including Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, MN; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA; She has been awarded residencies at The John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program in Foundry, Sheboygan, WI; Salem Art Works, Salem, NY: Playa, Summer Lake, OR; LATITUDE, Chicago, IL; and Blue Mountain Center, Blue Mountain Lake, NY; and has been the recipient of City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Grant, The Creative Baltimore Fund Grant, The Gilroy Roberts Fellowship for Engraving, and The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Travel Fellowship. Ensz is currently based in Chicago, but is open to suggestions.

IVAN LOZANO (b. 1981, Guadalajara, Mexico) lives and works in Chicago, where NewCity Art recognized him as a “Breakout Artist” in 2014. He received a MFA from SAIC in 2011. LOZANO was the programming director for the Cinematexas International Short Film festival, co-founder of a feminist video collective (Austin Video Bee) and a net art blog (CTRL+W33D), and founder of an ad-hoc digital press (IMAGE FILE PRESS). His work has been exhibited at the Leslie-Lohman Museum for Gay and Lesbian Art (NYC), the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE), the National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago, IL), the Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago, IL), The Hyde Park Arts Center (Chicago, IL), Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL), the Texas Biennial (09 and 13), FotoFest’s Talent in Texas series (Houston, TX), and others.