Farmer Family Gallery

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Shooting the Breeze

Exhibition Statement:

A group of newfound friends assemble in a grassy field alongside a lagoon, standing in a rough line, holding quivering archery targets in front of their chests. Another person faces them and slyly produces a camera, tethering it to her side before pressing the shutter–an attempt to “shoot from the hip.” A pile of square bricks of snow rest on a red blanket in anticipation of an ensuing snowcube fight. Several geometrically shaped concrete blocks are painted to match lane lines and tennis courts in Chicago’s Eugene Field Park. Today, these camouflaged casts still remain where they were placed. 

In Shooting the Breeze, these mischievous public exercises find themselves documented, so to speak– translated into the gallery setting through a system of mapping, patterning, shaping, and transforming. Not taking the conventions of exhibition for granted, the tasks serve as an opportunity for the exploration of drawings that pretend to be photographs, photographs that slip into objects, and objects that want to be drawings. How much credence does the photograph warrant, in and of itself–and how does pattern figure into or break apart its composition? With dots of ink making up the image and lines of shapes that repeat row after row, the documentation images seem to be somewhat unreliable in meaning. At the same time, however, they fall well within the parameters of what might be considered a traditional photograph. How might a poetics of pattern–the infrastructure of the printed image–bring to bear further implications, whether critical or potential, not only for the photographs themselves, but for any system of knowledge asked to support “here” the documentation of an elsewhere?


Barbarita Polster headshot

Barbarita Polster (b. Cleveland, OH (1987); l. Chicago, IL) is an artist, writer, and Ph.D. student in Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University. Since 2019, she has served as faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Solo exhibitions include: Critical Practices, NYC; The Neon Heater, Findlay; GLASSBOX, Seattle; William Busta Gallery, Cleveland. Group exhibitions include: Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago; Field Projects Gallery, NYC; AIR Gallery, Brooklyn; Cleveland Museum of Art. She contributes to Artforum (forthcoming), The Brooklyn Rail, ArtSpiel and Wrong Life Review. Other publications include Flatland, Critic’s Union and Shifter Magazine. Residencies include: Ox-Bow School of Art, School of Visual Arts, the Poor Farm Experiment (Living Within the Play), and the Studios at Mass MOCA, with the latter supported by an Illinois Arts Council Agency IAS Professional Development Grant and a City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Individual Artists Program (IAP) Grant. She was awarded the MOCA Cleveland Neznadny + Schwartz Visiting Curator Selection by João Ribas, Steven D. Lavine Executive Director, REDCAT. MFA 2018, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; BFA 2010, Cleveland Institute of Art.