Muting as Manner feat. Izah Ransohoff+Tannaz Motevalli+Nabil Vega

An Interrupted Screening

Join us on Wednesday, April 4th at 7pm for an interrupted screening with Nabil Vega, Tannaz Motevalli and Izah Ransohoff. Doors open at 6:30 pm. This event is free.


Rather than seeing muting in the form of a technical difficulty, the screening works to explore muteness as an experience. Does this forced silence enhance the room that it exists in? Does it enhance the presence of the people within this space? And if so, how can these disruptions not be mistaken as distractions, but rather, as an extension of the content that is being screened? Within gallery and cinema etiquette, the audience is often silent and asked to take on the role of a listener. This formality puts the speaker on a pedestal, which then gives an opportunity of being talked at. This is when the audience is forcibly silenced. Remaining too attached to the artist, this outdated structure makes apparent of the negative repercussions within speaking in formal platforms—often resulting in a subtly violent and unresponsive exchange between the artist and the audience members. By initiating this screening, we wonder if it is possible to recognize the value in the audiences’ labor and how the artists can utilize these mannerisms in order to create a more democratic shift in attention while implementing a more accessible and non dominant gaze.


Curated by Sam Chao and Jean Cho with artists Nabil, Tannaz Motevalli, and Izah Ransohoff, the interrupted screening was conceptualized in the hopes to open up and examine how disruption can transform gallery and cinema etiquette into an encounter. Interested in the undocumented conversations that occur after a screening + an artist talk, we’d like to see how this space extends what is being shown. How can people speak for themselves without taking what’s not theirs? How do these artists extend their own experiences by shifting themselves back into the roles of an audience member?

Nabil Vega


Nabil is a Chicago-based Bengali artist working with new media, photography, socially engaged art and performance. Their most notable projects include “Visiting Thahab” (ongoing), a rich exploration of the contemporary presence and experience of the Muslim femme. Vega creates immersive works that examine elements of our lived experiences as they intersect with identity, personal politics, and queerness. Since 2014 they have been organizing and curating performance and new media works in collaboration with organizations and artist run platforms such as MIX NYC and their own platform VIX: Virtual International Exchange. Vega is recipient of the prestigious Traveling Fellowship (2018) and Springborn Fellowship (2011) from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Their works have been exhibited nationally and internationally in museums, festivals and galleries; including a solo exhibition at the New Bedford Museum of Art (2018) and featured in publications such as The Guardian, Huffington Post, Emergency Index Vol. 6, The Washington Post & The Aerogram.


Tannaz Motevalli


Tannaz Motevalli is a second-generation Iranian-American performance artist, writer, and thinker. She grew up in Baltimore, MD, but is now based out of Chicago, IL. Her multidisciplinary practice, often starting from the central act and practice of writing, explores a variety of ideas and concepts including invisible disability/illness and its relationship to the performing body, the mediated and technological body, fantasies of the reproductive/reproducing body in the age of reproductive technology, performance lecture as a methodology for personal narrative, and exploring notions of interiority, self-containment, and self-actualization within the female erotic landscape. Tannaz has performed and exhibited works in the International Museum of Surgical Science, Links Hall, Comfort Station, TCC Chicago, TriTriangle, The Chicago Home Theater Festival, 2nd Floor Rear Festival, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Oak Hill Center for Education and Culture. Currently, Tannaz is working on a memoir about her grandmother through interviews and careful studies of over 160 notebooks that her grandmother kept since a year or so prior to the 1979 Enghelab, Revolution, to present day U.S. This memoir explores, not only her tremulous yet evolving relationship with her grandmother, but also the private and intimate ways her grandmother has navigated political trauma, emigration, dual-citizenship, patriotism, mental illness, and womanhood.


Izah Ransohoff


A long time fan of animals in nature videos, Izah Ransohoff celebrates the purpose of movement, motives of the viewer, and uses intuitive movement to explore taking up space and the space in between us. They seek to make a space for others as they make a space for their own body. By opening the body to exist as medium, wandering, sex, making, working, are comprehensible as form. Like two long strings connecting past and present, multiple pasts and potential futures, it brings us to a single present, the state of presence. Izah relishes the mystery to be prodded at, values respect, humor, intuition, individuality, the everyday, and the occasional oddity.  Izah is part of S h l i p S h l o p s , a collaborative performance duo and has shown work at Links Hall, Mana Contemporary, Ballroom Projects, The Foxhole, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Archer Beach Haus, and various apartment galleries around Chicago.

A.L. Nielsen + Duriel E. Harris

On Thursday, April 5th at 7pm, A.L. Nielsen and Duriel E. Harris will give readings. Doors open at 6:30 pm. This event is free.

A.L. Nielsen was the first winner of the Larry Neal Award for poetry, and has since received the Josephine Miles Award, the Darwin Turner Award, the Gertrude Stein Award, the Kayden prize and others.  His books of poetry are Heat Strings, Evacuation Routes, Stepping Razor, VEXT, Mixage, Mantic Semantic, A Brand New Beggar and Tray. He currently serves as the Kelly Professor of American Literature at Penn State University, having taught in the past at Howard University, San Jose State, UCLA, Loyola Marymount, and Central China Normal University.  His works of scholarship include Reading Race, Writing between the Lines, C.L.R. James: A Critical Introduction, Black Chant and Integral Music. With Lauri Ramey he has edited two anthologies of innovative poetry by Black American writers.  His edition of Lorenzo Thomas’s Don’t Deny My Name received an American Book Award, and he is currently working with Laura Vrana on The Collected Poems of Lorenzo Thomas.
Poet, performer, and sound artist, Duriel E. Harris is author of No Dictionary of a Living Tongue, Drag and Amnesiac and coauthor of the poetry video Speleology. Current undertakings include “Blood Labyrinth” and the solo performance project Thingification. Harris is an associate professor of English in the graduate creative writing program at Illinois State University and the Editor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.

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Lou Mallozzi + James Yood in Discussion: A Duet in Response to Lou Mallozzi's 1:1

On Saturday, April 7 at 4:30pm, a discussion with Lou Mallozzi and James Yood. This event is free.

James Yood teaches modern and contemporary art history and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is an Associate Professor and Director of the New Arts Journalism program. Active as an art critic and essayist on contemporary art, he has been Chicago correspondent to Artforum and writes regularly for GLASS magazine, art ltd., and Visual Art Source.  Educated at the University of Wisconsin and at the University of Chicago, he has lectured on issues in modern art at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Terra Museum of American Art, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Akron Art Museum, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Boise Art Museum, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Grand Rapids Museum of Art, the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Dayton Art Institute, the Spertus Institute in Chicago, the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, the Madison Art Center, the Speed Museum in Louisville, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, the Jewish Museum in Milwaukee, the Huntsville Museum of Art, and at many other venues.
 He serves as a writer and consultant to Encyclopaedia Britannica in modern and contemporary art  and has been a regular correspondent to WBEZ National Public Radio in Chicago.

Frédérique Guétat-Liviani + Nathanaël 

On Thursday, April 12th at 7 pm, Frédérique Guétat-Liviani and Nathanaël  will translate poetry. Doors open at 6:30 pm. This event is free.

Born in Grenoble in 1963, Frédérique Guétat-Liviani makes installations that speak of languages, and writes texts that she builds like images. A founding member of the artists’ collective Intime Conviction (1988–94), she is now the publisher of Fidel Anthelme x. The author of several collections of poetry, she is of the caste neither of poets nor of artists. Instead, she inhabits a space in-between. She lives in Marseille.

Nathanaël is the author of more than a score of books written in French or in English and published in the United States, Québec, and France. Recent works include N’existe (2017), L’heure limicole (2016) and Feder: a scenario (2016). Nathanaël’s translations include works by Catherine Mavrikakis, Édouard Glissant, Hervé Guibert and Hilda Hilst (the latter in collaboration with Rachel Gontijo Araújo). She lives in Chicago.