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Pencil This In: "A Long Time Coming"

By Julia Weeman in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 10, 2012 8:00PM

Marvin Astorga's Stars and Stripes Forever, 2007

This Friday, ACRE and Heaven Gallery present "A Long Time Coming," with works by Cole Robertson, Elina Malkin, Elisa "Pooper" Harkins, Marvin Astorga, and Virginia Aberle. The show is described as "an alchemical vision of hidden histories, trash culture, and synchromysticism."

We always look forward to ACRE shows—their residency program is an incubator for emerging artists who take risks, resulting in innovative and thought-provoking work. This group show "aims to dispense with the austere and the hyper-analytical... asking the hidden realms of the mind to come out and play."

The theme of the show starts with the idea of a great magician and master creator who has the endless power to create and bend elements to her will. It then explores how the suggestion that the world will then end creates a need for new realities. The mere suggestion "presents the opportunity to fall in love with your world again, turn language inside out, and revel in the absurdity of experience." The artists invite you to "create your own reality, open yourself to possibility, and embrace the unimaginable."

Robertson is a photographer whose work often disrupts the transaction between viewer and image and subtly toys with the observer's mind. Malkin's multimedia work spans the mediums of video, photography, collage, sculpture, performance, and installation and recently examines spiritual pseudoscience. Harkins is a Native American composer and artist, raised on pop culture and computer game who uses that lens to investigate Native American stories, rituals, and spirituality. Her work includes music, animation, paintings, and paper mache sculptures. Astorga's work uses futility as a starting point and embraces the pathetic, using the language of failure to criticize the value systems in contemporary art and artist's identities. Aberle makes talismans out of a combination of painting, sculpture, sticks, and trash. Her exploration of object-making is to "fulfill desires both extraterrestrial and trivial."

The opening reception for "A Long Time Coming" is Friday, June 15 from 7-11 p.m. Heaven Gallery is located in Wicker Park at 1550 North Milwaukee, 2nd floor.