Latham Zearfoss: Very Fine on Both Sides

Friday, Jan 3 – Feb 13, 2020

Chicago Artists Coalition
2130 W. Fulton St., Chicago, IL 60612

Reception: Jan. 3, 5-8pm

Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Very Fine On Both Sides, a BOLT exhibition featuring new sculptural, textual, painterly and video-based work by artist-in-residence Latham Zearfoss. The exhibition opens on Friday, January 3, 2020 with a reception from 5-8 pm.

Very Fine On Both Sides uses absurdist humor and the metaphorical potential of the palindrome to disarm the dystopian energy of our calcified political present. Palindromes are a self-satisfied form that serve no clear purpose beyond the trivial. In this regard, they present a fertile, almost funny parallel to mainstream political discourse, which continues to excuse the ideologies of rape culture and white supremacy through an insitence on false equivalencies. Or as President Trump infamously said, there are very fine people on both sides. Further, Very Fine On Both Sides proposes that new articulations of resistance are more important than ever by rendering reactionary politics of any kind as flaccid and even narcissistic - mirror image of its opposite, attached at the hip.

Latham Zearfoss produces time-based images and objects about selfhood and otherness. Often collaborative, these works ask: how do we come to know ourselves as social human subjects? Across media, the work is anchored in the belief that identity is a cumulative, political effect, inherited through a kind of collective bargaining. These themes find evocative, sensual resonances through dramatic shifts in color and light, reverberating soundscapes populated by disembodied voices, queerly uncanny iterations of the not-noticed and everyday, and “soft borders” - spatial markings of undetermined significance that invite participation, transgression, even penetration.

Latham Zearfoss works in Chicago, where they produce time-based images, objects and experiences about selfhood and otherness. Outside of the studio, they contribute to collective motions toward joy and reflection through social projects such as a queer dance party (Chances Dances), a critical space for white allyship (Make Yourself Useful), and an itinerant conference on socially-engaged art (Open Engagement). Latham graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA in 2008 and the University of Illinois at Chicago with an MFA in 2011. They have exhibited their work, screened their videos, and DJed internationally and all over the U.S.


Image: Courtesy of the Artist.