Artist Edra Soto Examines the Sexual Prowess of Iris Chacon at MCA

By Jen Hazen in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 5, 2009 3:40PM

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vintage poster (feastoffools)
Remember the stars who you idolized as a kid? Our bedroom walls were plastered with Tiger Beat pics of Blair from Facts of Life, which then morphed into teenage shrines to Marlene Dietrich and Siouxsie Sioux. Chicago-based artist Edra Soto, who was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1971, grew up watching buxom beauty Iris Chacon, the charismatic Puerto Rican performer who starred in the 1970s variety TV show "El Show de Iris Chacon." Beyonce, you're dismissed.

As part of the MCA’s UBS 12 x 12 New Artists/New Work series, Soto’s installation, "The Chacon-Soto Show" (June 6 - June 28), seeks to explore her childhood memories of watching the legendary red-haired diva shake it—all of it—on the tv screen, clad in skimpy costumes, flanked by male back-up singers and dancers. A large hand-crafted stage and drawings inspired by Chacon's popular family variety show will reflect Soto’s examination of female sexuality issues, the liberation of Puerto Rican women in the 70s, and how Chacon’s persona translates in American culture. Soto will also discuss her work and inspiration for the exhibition at the MCA on Tuesday, June 16.

MCA, 220 East Chicago Ave., Exhibit runs Saturday, June 6 - Sunday, June 28. Museum general hours: Tuesday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Wednesday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is free all day on Tuesdays year round. Suggested general admission is $12. Artist talk: Tuesday, June 16, 6:30 p.m. at the MCA Theater. Call 312-280-2660 for more information.