A Conversation with Spudnik Press Resident Artist João Oliveira and Jessica Cochran

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2019 6 – 7:30 pm

1821 W Hubbard, Ste. 302, Chicago, IL 60622

Join us for an evening of informal conversation with resident artist João Oliveira and writer and curator Jessica Cochran, as they discuss João’s residency project and his participation in the international artist exchange program Close to There < > Perto de Lá.

Little amusements: i’m going to love you, hold you, squeeze you, until you’re in tiny pieces is the result of the impression of plastic animals bodies, torn apart by the same method that I used as a child (and experimental medical coroner). after being misplaced and shredded, these animals undergo a heating process, developed by me to turn them into two-dimensional matrices that I print with the same procedures traditionally used on engraving, resulting in a kind of graphic stain; a unique mark of violence that links the author to his act.”

–João Oliveira, 2019

João Oliveira is a visual artist with a BA in Visual Arts from the Universidade Federal da Bahia (2011), and a Master’s in Creative Process in Visual Arts from the same university (2017). He is trained in lithography and metal engraving through the Workshops at the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia (MAM-BA). He works on the encounter of metal engraving with other supports, appropriating personal experience in order to create works with a forged autobiographical nature, obtained through small rituals of self-fiction.

Named a “curator to watch” by Chicago Magazine in 2013, Jessica Cochranhas curated exhibitions for numerous venues and groups, including the Contemporary Arts Council, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Franklin, What it Is, the MDW art fair and Center for Book Arts in New York. For over seven years, I was a curator in academic galleries at Columbia College Chicago and Dominican University; in 2014 she was a participating fellow at the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries Leadership Institute at Northwestern University. She has developed innovative public programming as Director of Marketing and Programs at Art Chicago and NEXT: The Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art, and organized the inaugural Converge Chicago: Contemporary Curators Forums.  Jessica also served on the board at Spudnik Press 2013-17.

Close to There < > Perto de Lá is an international artist exchange project between Comfort Station (Chicago, USA) and Projeto Ativa (Salvador, Brazil), in collaboration with Harmonipan (Mexico City, Salvador), made possible by the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund. By bringing members of these two artistic communities in proximity with one another, this project aims to gestate long-term artistic collaborations between the participants, share arts-organizing models from their respective socio-political-artistic contexts, and encourage creative discourse around ideas such as the African Diaspora and contemporary Latinx/Latin American identities.

The exchange will begin with a multi-disciplinary group of Salvador-based artists visiting Chicago August 9th – 29th 2019, carrying out a variety of programs, performances, and research through Comfort Station and its partner spaces across the city. In February of 2020, a group of Chicago-based artists will in turn visit Salvador to engage with the city’s creative landscape via Projeto Ativa’s network of artists and cultural institutions.


Image: João Oliveira,Coma meu coração sem pena, enquanto é tempo,  2012.