What Time Is It?: A Portrait Project by Irina Zadov

Monday, Apr 5 – May 1, 2021

5020 S. Cornell
Chicago, IL 60615

What Time Is It? debuts a rotating series of large-scale digital portraits of some of Chicago’s most influential cultural community members on the facade of the Hyde Park Art Center. These 50 hand-painted portraits, created by Chicago-based artist and organizer, Irina Zadov, highlight contemporary artists, authors, activists and thinkers working now to radically transform our city.

The digital portrait series represents individuals across the spectrum of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, and age - with a focus on Chicago’s Black, Indigenous, POC, and LGBTQIA+ communities and includes Makazin Alexander, D’onmonique Lovie Boyd, Rachel Caidor, Stefan Caizaguano,  Aymar Jean Christian, Teishetta Daniel, Marcus Davis, Jordan Easen, William Estrada, Krista Franklin, Emmanuel Garcia, Silvia Inez Gonzalez, Tracie D. Hall, Benji Hart, Juarez Hawkins, Tempestt Hazel, Brenda Hernandez, Zeb Hurst, Tonika Johnson, Juniper, Faheem Majeed, Nicole Marroquin, Vivi More, Patricia Nguyen, Zakkiyyah Najeeba Dumas O’Neal, Todd Palmer, Hilesh Patel, Fawn Pochel, Aislinn Pulley, Compton Quashie, Kamilah Rashied, Brant Rosen, Rochele Royster, Natalia Smirnov, David Stovall, Alexis Villagomez, Savannah Wood, Chun-Shan “Sandie” Yi, and avery r. young. For a complete list of these portraits, go to https://www.irinazadov.com/whattimeisit.

The title of the exhibition derives from a quote from American revolutionary and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015) who, along with her husband and civil rights activist, Jimmy Boggs, visualized 3,000 years of human history on a 12-hour clock where each minute represents 50 years. Boggs asked her collaborators and critics alike, “what time is it on the clock of the world?” Extending this metaphor, the couple argued that revolution as the primary driver of social change is only 5 minutes old. Since May 2020, Zadov has used the medium of portrait painting and dialogue to engage artists and organizers around this question, while re-imagining community safety, radical care, housing, displacement, belonging, climate justice, access, and accountability.

The portraits are one part of a larger cultural and civic archive developed by Zadov including podcasts produced by Najee-Zaid Searcy, a publication, and a public art series in collaboration with J Sath and Rivka Yeker of Hooligan Creatives that is installed within neighborhoods where the individuals reside, with an emphasis on the South and West Sides of Chicago.  For more information on this archive titled What Time Is It? visit https://www.irinazadov.com/whattimeisit

Irina Zadov (she/they) is/are an artist, educator, and cultural organizer. A queer post-Soviet Jewish refugee, their practice explores the liminal space between the individual and the collective, diasporic community and chosen family, the home and the state. Zadov aims to co-create joyful, healing, and liberatory spaces for youth, people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQIA+ communities. Zadov is a student of adrienne maree brown and Mariame Kaba; their highest intention is to practice emergent strategy and abolition within all aspects of their life. Learn more about their practice atirinazadov.com.

What Time Is It? is supported by the Illinois Arts Council. 

Running concurrently inside the Hyde Park Art Center galleries will be two additional solo exhibitions: Cuts and Beats, by Chicago-based artist and educator Cecil McDonald, Jr., incorporating photomontages to subvert the racist representation of Black artists from history, on view through June 12, and Playmate: Maggie Crowley, a new series of textile work and large figurative paintings in acrylic on silk examining her admiration and personal connection to service, through June 5.

 Admission and hours

The admission for this outdoor exhibition is free, and no advance registration is required. For latest exhibition hours and advance registration for indoor exhibitions, visit www.hydeparkart.org.

 About the Hyde Park Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center, at 5020 South Cornell Avenue on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, is a hub for contemporary arts in Chicago, serving as a gathering and production space for artists and the broader community to cultivate ideas, impact social change, and connect with new networks. Since its inception in 1939, Hyde Park Art Center has grown from a small collective of quirky artists to establishing a strong legacy of innovative development and emerging as a unique Chicago arts institution with social impact. The Art Center functions as an amplifier for today and tomorrow’s creative voices, providing the space to cultivate and create new work and connections.