Leaving something in the walls, in the floors: The Modern Salon

On March 23rd, 2019, we curated The Modern Salon: South Side Edition at the Stony Island Arts Bank. More importantly, we were just one element within of a night of inspiring and provocative art-making alongside creatives from across Chicago.

It was all just so damn REAL. The performers and the audience talked perception, and blind spots, and rigor, and race, and Chicago. An artist’s answer to a question in this salon setting may be verbal, or it could be Theaster Gates diving under an organ to pummel out a bass line with his fists on the pedals over which the Black Monks immediately improvise. A performance may be Spektral interpreting the page in Samuel Adams’s quartet, or it could be avery r. young breaking from his “stage” to get the audience feverish and stomping with a powerful version of the hymn, “He Touched Me.” There were moments of quiet reflection – as with A. Martinez’s autobiographical poetry or Kim Alpert’s found footage installation; unexpected virtuosity – as with Tonia Ko’s bubble wrap break down; and unbridled kineticism – as with The Era footwork crew’s breakneck choreography or Max Tamahori spinning records from the Frankie Knuckles collection..

This was one for the ages, and we’re lucky that we had world-class photographer Daniel Kullman (Bitter Jester Creative) capturing the entire event, which we share with you here.

As avery put it, both at the top and tail of the night: “We leave something in these walls, and in these floors.”