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A Perfect Union ... More or Less

November 14 – December 19, 2004

Sun, Nov 14, 20044:00 pm

Opening reception and poetry reading

Jennifer Benka

Location: The Renaissance Society, Cobb Hall Room 307 (below the gallery)
At 5:00 pm, Jen Benka will read from A Revisioning of the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America, an artist book made in collaboration with Mark Wagner of Brooklyn publications.  Benka has had work published in The Progressive, Ms. Magazine, So to Speak, Off Our Backs, and on La Petite Zine. She is the recipient of grants from the Xeric Foundation, Intermedia Arts, the Poetry/Film Workshop, and was a 2001 Wisconsin Arts Board Poetry Fellow. Benka has performed her poetry and music at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Brooklyn Lyceum, Bowery Poetry Club, and on NPR's World Cafe. She is the managing director of Poets & Writers, Inc.
Sun, Nov 21, 20042:00 pm


The State and the Work of Art
Eric Slauter

Location: The Renaissance Society, Cobb Hall Room 402 (below the gallery)
Admission: free
Eric Slauter is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at The University of Chicago. His current book project, The State as a Work of Art: Cultures of American Constitutionalism, 1776-1787, examines foundational links between aesthetics and politics in a society that feared the arts but developed a legal understanding of the artificiality of the state. Slauter has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and was a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago in 2003-04.
Sat, Dec 11, 20049:00 am
Sun, Dec 12, 20049:00 am


Federal, 2003
Digital video, dual projection (Duration: 24 hours)

Mary Ellen Carroll

Location: The Renaissance Society, Cobb Hall Room 307 and 425 (below the gallery)
Admission: free
Mary Ellen Carroll filmed the front and back of the Federal building in Los Angeles, located at 11000 Wilshire and designed by Charles Luckman, for 24 hours straight. (She?s got Warhol?s Empire beat by 16 hours.)  The Federal Building has been described in architectural guidebooks as the ?embodiment of bureaucracy.?  Although we think of the federal Government as a discreet entity, its many components exceed the capacity of the imagination.  Carroll captures the building over an entire day, in part to give us a clear image of what our government looks like.  Housing the divisions of the Department of Veteran Affairs, the State Department, the FBI and the CIA; documentation of the building turns these high-level government agencies from the watchers to the watched.

The Renaissance Society
is a contemporary art
museum free and
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