Pate ConawayMarch 8th, 2011
As discussed in CAM’s previous article “Performance Art MFA,” performance is a complex and ethereal art form that has found a unique home in Chicago. Likewise, installation, from epic indoor museological pieces to the work of guerrilla street artists, lends a vitality to the Chicago art scene, balancing the more traditional forms of painting, drawing, and sculpture. Performance and installation have proven themselves as mediums both vetted by public institutions, such as the “New Blood” exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center, and topics of controversy, as was seen with the Joseph Ravens Pop Up Gallery debacle. The artists presented here, working in performance, installation, or blurring the lines betwixt, are not exhaustively representative. This is simply a smattering of what Chicago has to offer.
Pate Conaway –
Chicago artist Pate Conaway treads the line between sculpture and performance, weaving structures of vague vestigial appendages or accessories implying that we are the Lilliputians. In discussing the ideas behind his work in his 2003 interview with Jeff Abell, Conway says, “I realized I could embrace the parts of me that are male, embrace the parts of me that are female, yet be neither of both. I mean, I have male genitalia, I don’t consider myself a straight man, and I don’t consider myself a woman. So I’m probably that ‘third gender’–that lovely balance of all that falls between the cracks and grows up.” Pate is a graduate of the Interdisciplinary Arts Graduate Program at Columbia College Chicago, as well as the Second City Training Center.