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ShowPods celebrate the 20th anniversary of Alleys & Ruins

ShowPod presents “Alleys & Ruins: 1991-2011″

The Chicago Art District’s seven ShowPods, along the district’s main strip, are displaying large Alley pieces (three 8×10-foot prints, and four 44×55 pieces). The show runs from Dec 9-Feb 6 and is curated by the director of the arts district, Cynthia West.

A reception will be held in ShowPod 7 (1843 S Halsted St) on Friday, Jan 13 (oops, scary!) from 6-10pm

And if you’re passing through the InterContinental Hotel at Chicago’s O’Hare, you’ll see two 32×40 Alley pieces. They’ll be on display there from Dec 22, for the next 6 to 12 months.

Dec 9, 2011 - Feb 6, 2012 the showPODs along the 1800 blk of South Halsted St.

showPOD Presents: 20 years of Alleys & Ruins: Dark, Menacing Spaces, shunned by most are the are the inspiration for these haunting images of discarded urban life.

Featuring work by Xavier Nuez

Curated by Cynthia West and Xavier Nuez

Exhibition dates Dec. 9, 2011 - Feb. 6, 2012

exhibition opening dates:

Dec. 9, 2011 6p-10p - during 2nd Fridays in the Chicago Arts District

You may be familiar with Xavier Nuez and the Alleys and Ruins series, but you have never seen the images quite like this. Large scale images, hauntingly beautiful, invite you in to the places most of us fear to tread. Dec 9, 2011 through Feb 6, 2012, showPOD brings you in for a closer look, the opening reception is Friday, Dec 9 from 6-10pm, at 1843 S Halsted Street. Curated by Cynthia West and Xavier Nuez, the show features 8x10 foot and 44x55 inch Ultrachrome prints and will be on display in the seven showPODs along the 1800 block of South Halsted St. through Feb 6th.

Alleys and Ruins

They are dark, dangerous places where you are warned not to go. But for photographer Xavier Nuez, bleak urban settings are his inspiration and second home. Since 1991, he has ventured into some of the country's most threatening corners, always very late at night, and frequently leading to trouble. Whether it is an eerie alley in Compton, California, an inner-city ruin in Detroit, or a dead-end back-lot in Chicago, he is driven to create monuments of these shunned places.

I've been chased by violent street gangs, accosted by crazed addicts and drug dealers, and have been held at gun point. If the police see me lurking in a dark alley, often I am questioned and searched. And yet under these trying conditions, and within the filth and stench of the city's gutters, I find inspiration. With a family history of homelessness and with a belief that I was next, I found the need to dignify what has been rejected."

Nuez shoots with 50-year-old Hasselblad film cameras. He captures the vivid colors in his images, with battery-powered lighting equipment and colored gels, combined with long exposure times - sometimes exceeding an hour in length. In a recent review, The New York Times called Nuez's Alleys & Ruins series a "Masterpiece."

Xavier Nuez's photographs have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout North America, including the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in California; the Attleboro Art Museum in Massachusetts; the Masur Museum of Art in Louisiana; the Museum of the Living Artist at the San Diego Art Institute; the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts; and the Farmington Museum in New Mexico. His work is in numerous public, corporate and private collections, including those of the University of Richmond Museum in Virginia; the University of Michigan; the Norfolk Southern Collection; the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Ohio; and the Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum in Guanajuato, Mexico.


Dec 9, 2011 - Feb 6, 2012 see the 7 showPODs on the 1800 block of S. Halsted St. CHICAGO

What is showPOD?

showPOD; (sho pod) n. 1.) a vessel to bring or put into sight; 2.) a seed for public display or exhibition

showPOD is a high exposure exhibition space, compact, dynamic, unmanned, and designed to support concepts of art experimentation and installation. Developed by the Chicago Arts District, showPOD creates an instant art experience in the non-traditional space and format of 24/7/365 exposure to art installation. showPOD by design, can be viewed by anyone at anytime during the life of its installation, allowing a rich public art experience that breaks down the traditional limits of gallery space or museum.

For additional information:

· Cynthia West - 312-738-8000 x 108

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