2nd Floor Rear, the annual contemporary arts festival celebrating Chicago’s alternative art spaces and DIY creative practices, is coming to Logan Square on Sat., Feb. 6. From apartment galleries to street corners, cardboard boxes and protest rituals outside the L station, a wide variety of free events in pockets across the neighborhood invite you to create and investigate with this vibrant artist community.
As in years past, 2nd Floor Rear will take place in neighborhoods off the Blue Line including Logan Square, Avondale, Bucktown, Humboldt Park and Wicker Park. Since its founding in 2012, the festival has emphasized its ephemeral nature by limiting its existence to 24 hours of concurrent events in pop-up art spaces and temporary projects and performances.
Breaking with tradition, festival organizers announced an exciting new change. In celebration of its fifth year, 2nd Floor Rear is expanding into a weekend-long festival with events in Northwest Side neighborhoods throughout the day and night on Feb. 6. More arts happenings will follow on Feb. 7 in Pilsen and Little Village, new regional additions to the festivities.
The festival’s growth inspired this year’s overarching theme for the weekend’s diverse activities, “We Are Here: a meditation on the meanings of being somewhere.” According to the 2016 Curatorial Statement, the festival will ask participants to reflect on some aspect of movement, the politics of being and acting in a specific space and their relation to others within it. With the wave of new property developments rapidly cropping up in Logan Square, the theme certainly hits close to home for many residents.
“We’re thinking about places driven or defined by people, power, people in power, gentrification, migration, dis/placement, urbanization and ecology, peripheries and centers (why do we DIY?), productive hangouts (parties as form), productive callouts (protest as form), and productive dropouts,” writes 2nd Floor Rear staff on the festival blog.
We’ve selected a few highlights taking place around Logan Square that you won’t want to miss. Descriptions are from the 2nd Floor Rear website.
Logan Square CTA Blue Line Stop
WITCH is a performance collective that focuses on inequality and injustice in the Chicago area. WITCH explores the connection between art, performance, ritual and place-specific social justice issues. The group will perform a hex and a protective spell in Logan Square itself, close to the Logan Square CTA stop.
Logan Square is the fastest gentrifying neighborhood in Chicago, and the one with the fastest growing income disparity in the city. WITCH wants to bring attention to this dynamic, hex those who profit from it, and protect those who suffer from it.
Fashion Show & Exhibition
Hairpin Arts Center (2810 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd Floor)
Gallery Show Hours: 1-8 p.m. | Fashion Show: 6 p.m.
By exploring textiles and human form, Don’t Tell Me I’m Pretty engages ideas of “being somewhere” through the body’s experience with the material world. This exhibition encourages viewers to search for new understanding in their own bodies and the bodies of others, and in the shared relationships within the spaces we inhabit.
Hairpin Arts Center
Gallery Show Hours: 1-8 p.m. | Reception: 5 p.m.
Banished from the homeland, looking in from the ‘badlands’, we getting’ our papers together, trawling homelandsecurity.gov, cookin’ the books, the revolution begins at home. Stovetop H/earth brings together artists from different countries to investigate the insurgent nature of the domestic sphere which localizes the global.
Featuring work by Soheila Azadi, Sherwin Ovid, Grace Cross, Soo Hyun Kim, Chiara Galimberti, and Elizabeth Cambron. Curated by Jesus Gonzales Flores in collaboration with the artists.
Participatory Performance Event
2504 N. Linden Pl.
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Come join Hank & Tannaz (alongside collaborators Kim Chayeb and Bow Ty) for a night at the home office! Industry of Affect: Day at Work is a participatory performance event at Tannaz’s home (2504 N. Linden Pl.) in which you can engage in a series of one-on-one performances/services, group impromptu exercises, fill out artist-made forms and surveys, and chit-chat with our staff!