to Apr 20

David Schalliol: Three Communities

We shape our surroundings at the same time our surroundings shape us. Communities and their environments are inseparable. Yet as we go about occupying, utilizing, and altering our natural and built worlds, how much do we think about the connections we share with the others who inhabit the place we call home?

For his exhibition at Tube Factory artspace, David Schalliol addresses the interdependence of people and place through photographs and video interviews with residents of three geographically and culturally unique places.

First, he explores the very neighborhood in which this exhibition takes place, Bean Creek, a hamlet of homes and businesses on the Southeast Side of Indianapolis. The waterway for which the neighborhood is named has undergone a peculiar evolution as homes, churches, and businesses have grown around it. In some places, Bean Creek flows undisturbed, a trickling rill winding through thickets of gently bending trees. In other places, the creek has been covered by roads and other obstructions, only to remerge more than 100 yards away. The odd evolution of landscape and municipal planning has caused some houses to face the creek—today’s residents enter through the back door, as the front faces nature.

Next, Schalliol takes us to the South Side of Chicago, where since 2011 a tight-knit group of neighbors has watched their community disappear as the owners of a nearby freight yard buy up houses in order to expand their facilities. The few remaining homeowners have banded together to try to preserve whatever is left of this place and its unique culture. The economic powers that are being exerted, however, will likely prove too powerful to bear.

Finally,Schalliol visits former coal mining communities in the north of France. Following decades of economic contraction, the French government ceased all coal mining in the country in the early 2000s. Towns like the one in these photographs must completely re-imagine their future economic and cultural identities. Meanwhile, the visual and social fabric of the region is affected in every conceivable way by its historic attachment to coal. For example, the “spoil tip” hills interspersed throughout the town, created by waste rocks from the mines, now serve as artificial mountains being re-purposed for motorsports and ecological tourism.

Though located worlds apart from each other, the three communities share threads of kinship that hint at possible human universalities.

David Schalliol describes himself not so much as an artist, but as a visual sociologist. He is an assistant professor of sociology at St. Olaf College and a principal of Scrappers Film Group. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, and been exhibited extensively. Recent exhibitions include the 2017 Chicago Architectural Biennial, the Belfast Photo Festival, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s Midwest Photographers Project. He is the author of Isolated Building Studies. His directorial film debut, The Area, premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in April 2018. He earned his BA from Kenyon College, and his MA and PhD in the Department of Sociology at The University of Chicago.

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to Mar 23

Osamu James Nakagawa and Conner Green: Fences/Imperia

Artists Osamu James Nakagawa and Conner Green will present new works that explore outmoded forms of conquest, power, and control—both real and imagined. Nakagawa’s work will consist of an installation of cyanotype prints created while in Okinawa. Green’s new work extends his exploration of monumentality and power through the language of architectural blueprints. The two seemingly disparate bodies of work present the question: How do the forces of power and control manifest themselves in real, immediate ways and in our collective conscious? 


In James Nakagawa’s work, the landscape often functions as a witness to history and suffering, as well as a platform to examine conflicts political and personal in nature. Raised in Tokyo, Japan, his family moved to Houston, Texas when he was fifteen. As an artist he mines the complicated pasts of both countries, touching on issues related to nationalism, family, pop-culture, tensions between eastern and western ideals, and war. Since 2006, James has produced several series reflecting on the legacy of World War II and Japan-U.S. relations on Okinawa. 

Nakagawa started FENCES several years ago, as he was visiting the island to complete MAPS, a series using a frottage technique to create rubbings of words from war memorials. During this time, he had received permission to photograph inside a U.S. base looking through the fence at Okinawa. Nakagawa’s clearance was revoked before he could begin the project following a disagreement with the colonel assigned to him as a PR liaison. The conversation concerned the benefits of the U.S. military station to the island population. In reaction to this change of circumstance and the protests over the Henoko relocation, Nakagawa used leftover paper and cyanotype chemistry to make photograms of the outside of the base’s fence.

The planned installation of the work is key to counteracting the associated clichés. When James made the photograms, he did not align the sheets of paper in the same orientation against the fence. Presented in grids on four sides of a wall, the images are forceful and oppressive. Viewed edge to edge they crackle with energy and immediacy. The experience is disorienting; the barrier feels like it is both advancing and receding. Without an accompanying statement, this project would provoke more questions than answers—on which side is the photographer? Is the viewer looking up or standing squarely in front of it; are they floating? Like his prior work, he taps into feelings of claustrophobia, visualizing the latent histories that continue to linger in the Okinawan landscape.


Conner Green seeks to investigate the social ramifications of monumental architecture through collages of found materials, drawings, and photographs. “I understand ‘architecture’ to refer to more than just the design and decoration of buildings, but also to how thought or action can make order and meaning out of random space,” Green says. "My work, in part, attempts to excavate those embedded meanings." To create his work, Green digitally assembles his materials into sketchy, black inkjet prints that resemble schematic drawings or computer renderings, producing a sense of disorder in the otherwise highly organized and rigid, even scientific, discourse of architecture. The rendered forms do not refer to any extant structures, rather they attempt to portray a kind of typological composite of different built forms throughout history. 

Osamu James Nakagawa was born in New York City in 1962 and raised in Tokyo. He returned to the United States, moving to Houston, Texas, at the age of 15. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of St. Thomas, Houston in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Houston in 1993. Currently, Mr. Nakagawa is the Ruth N. Halls Distinguished Professor of Photography at Indiana University, where he directs the Center for Integrative Photographic Studies. He lives and works in Bloomington, Indiana.

Nakagawa is a recipient of the 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2010 Higashikawa New Photographer of the Year, and 2015 Sagamihara Photographer of the Year in Japan. Nakagawa’s work has been exhibited internationally, solo exhibitions include: Eclipse, PGI, Tokyo (2018); Kai, sepia EYE, New York (2018); OKINAWA TRILOGY: Osamu James Nakagawa, Kyoto University of Art and Design (2013);GAMA Caves, PGI, Tokyo; Banta: Stained Memory, Sakima Art Museum, Okinawa, Japan (2009); Kai: Osamu James Nakagawa, SEPIA International Inc., New York (2003). 

His work is included in numerous public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; George Eastman Museum; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Sakima Art Museum, Okinawa; The Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Grand Rapid Museum of Art and others. Nakagawa’s monograph GAMA Cavesis available from Akaaka Art Publisher in Tokyo, Japan.

Conner Green (born 1984) is an artist from Indianapolis, IN. He studied art and literature at Indiana University and received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Much of his work combines disciplines, incorporating found sculptural and print-based elements. His work explores concepts of institutional critique, myth, desire, and master narratives. He finds all of these concepts rife for excavation in the consumer-based material world and the built environment. His process allows for a certain degree of chance or disorder to come into play, which he believes enables the phenomenal world to speak for itself.

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6:00 PM18:00

Princess-Out There

Join us for the Indiana premiere of Out There, a concept video album and live performance by the band Princess that explores the roles men play and those they ought to be playing during the current cultural reckoning with misogyny. The video’s science fiction narrative explores the power of the Divine Feminine through collaborations with musician JD Samson, visual artist Jennifer Meridian, and the band TEENOut Thererecalls the original power of MTV by building on the long legacy of concept albums like Ziggy Stardust and Deltron 3030.

Princess is a performance art duo, a collaboration between Alexis Gideon and Michael O’Neill that uses music as the backbone of a multidisciplinary practice that explores issues of queerness and the concept of masculinity. Princess was formed in 2004 in the Chicago DIY Performance space, Texas Ballroom. The duo released a self-titled LP and performed until 2006 when they went on to pursue other paths, reuniting for this project in 2017.

Alexis Gideon has performed and exhibited throughout the world, including at Moderna Museet Stokholm, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Vdrome, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Wexner Center for the Arts, and Time Zones Festival Italia. He has toured internationally and opened for Dan Deacon and tUnE-yArDs.

Michael O’Neill has collaborated with JD Samson of Le Tigre and, with her, formed the acclaimed art/performance band MEN. MEN toured extensively around the world including festival appearances at Coachella (USA) and Sidney Mardi Gras (AUS), at museums such as SF MoMA (USA) and Museo Rufino Tamayo (MX), and support tours with the Gossip and Peaches.

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12:00 PM12:00

Discover Design – Discover Bauhaus

The workshop Discover Design – Discover Bauhaus by the German Design Museum Foundation provides an opportunity to acquire new knowledge of a shared German – American cultural heritage in a practice-oriented fashion. Why are the ideas of the Bauhaus as a legendary school of architecture, design and art still relevant today? How can we use its ideas for our future? This exciting journey of discovery through the world of design is linked to the celebration of 100 Years of Bauhaus!

The design workshop combines intercultural content with imagination and creativity. Trained designers will provide support and advice. During the theoretical section, key facts about Bauhaus as an evolutionary movement, its leading figures, important projects and ideas will be taught. During the hands on section, the participants can let their creativity run wild and produce their own designs.Theeducational and cultural initiative Entdecke Design(Discover Design) has thus far enabled around 15,000 children and adolescents to discover the world of design.

This workshop is recommended for ages 10-17.

Space is limited. RSVP to info@bigcar.org

This workshop is part of the Year of German-American Friendship initiated by the German Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut, and supported by the Federation of German Industries (BDI).

Photo Credit: Christof Jakob

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6:30 PM18:30

Monrovia, Indiana (film screening & discussion)

MONROVIA, INDIANA explores a small town in rural, mid-America and illustrates how values like community service, duty, spiritual life, generosity and authenticity are formed, experienced and lived along with conflicting stereotypes. The film gives a complex and nuanced view of daily life in Monrovia and provides some understanding of a way of life whose influence and force have not always been recognized or understood in the big cities on the east and west coasts of America and in other country.

About filmmaker Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman is an American filmmaker, documentarian, and theater director. His work is “devoted primarily to exploring American institutions”. He has been called “one of the most important and original filmmakers working today.”

Discussion will follow.

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6:30 PM18:30

The Legend of Leigh Bowery (film screening &discussion)

“Filmmaker Charles Atlas documents the life and work of Bowery, up to his AIDS-related death in 1994. Part fashion designer, part performance artist, part promoter, Leigh Bowery is a singular creation of his own making. An imposing-looking man even without his often startling, always outrageous costuming, the Australian-born Bowery becomes a legend of the London club and underground art scenes in the 1980s. The film features archival footage and interviews with Bowery’s family and friends.”
1 hr 23 min.

Presented in partnership with LOW PONE. Discussion to follow the screening. Admission is free.

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to Feb 16

Casey No& Taylor Rose: Crashing Through The Front Door

Crashing Through the Front Door is a culmination of photography, essays, and oral histories examining queer life in Indianapolis, Indiana through the lens of once-a-month dance party.

Photographer Casey No and writer Taylor Rose met over a decade before the ideation of this project in southern Indiana. Though the town was small, and seeped in rural midwestern tradition, the two found a group of LGBTQ friends who were a safe haven. In fact, Casey was the first person Taylor came out to at the age of 16. Both have developed their individual crafts over the years, talking about doing a collaboration for several of them. When Low Pone, an Indy-based queer dance party, came to life the subject matter was clear -- the two would chronicle the lives of their queer community as it intersected over one night every month.  

No and Rose are capturing a rare and novel movement in queer Indianapolis. One where much of the LGBTQ community is hungry for inclusion of all races, genders, non-genders, and expressions. On a sociological level, they are examining the need for public celebration of holistic queer existence by showing the vibrancy that comes from a space where the queer community can unapologetically show their identities. Low Pone is doing something that’s outside the norm in this city: It's creating a space for those who have felt displaced. Crashing Through the Front Door is documenting what they view as a historical queer moment of creation and community.

Over the last eight months, dozens of people were interviewed about the impact that a small pop-up queer, trans, and people-of-color inclusive space had on their lives. By no means is a dance party the solution or even a delineation of the queer community in Indy, but it does bookmark a moment in time and offers a periscope view into queer life.

The culmination is a story about how that one night becomes a sanctuary, paying homage to the idea of home, to a chosen family, to rising above the fragments that society bends us to fit neatly into their stackable boxes. The photographs and personal narratives illuminate the process of finding triumph in the face of tragedy and refusing to be defined by it, how a chosen family finds one another, grapples with gender, sexuality, and identity in the midst of a cultural movement.

No and Rose consider themselves documentarians and creative culture makers. No is a local musician in the band Spandrels and an award-winning photographer living in Indianapolis. He is interested in closing the negative space between artist, audience, and community. Rose is a non-binary journalist in Indianapolis who has worked as the Arts Editor for NUVO and as the Communications Director for the ACLU of Indiana. Their work has won numerous Society of Professional Journalism awards for social justice and community based content. This relationship between an artist and journalist is collaborative. Both artists have experienced discrimination based on class, gender, and sexuality. They both found power in their perspective mediums by boldy claiming their own identities. This project is not only personal, it is how these artists hope to encourage similar endeavors in the arts community of Indianapolis.

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to Jan 19

Rachel Leigh: Light Scheaux

Welcome to a world where grownups still build forts and play with flashlights. Where physics are not a classroom subject but a tender and flamboyant muse. Rachel Leigh teases out the sumptuousness of thrift-store glass and discarded TVs, bathing visitors in luminous, improbable delights.

Wear comfortable clothing and join us for a 20-minute live interactive audiovisual performance by the artist: Jan 9, 13, and 21 at 6pm.

Rachel Leigh is an Indianapolis-based graphic designer, electronic musician, and all-around visual tinkerer who spent formative years in Europe. Her intricate, immersive work invokes subtleties of physics, geometry, and history. Leigh is a member of performing art collective Know No Stranger, contributing to numerous original stage shows and multimedia experiences since 2014. Her graphic design work has appeared at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Simon Malls. Light Scheaux is her debut solo exhibition.

Follow her projects at majuscule.co. Follow on instagram @reallyearly.

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6:00 PM18:00

Nicholas Mirzoeff Talk and Dinner

Nicholas Mirzoeff is a visual activist, working at the intersection of politics, race and global/visual culture.

Among his many publication, The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality (2011) won the Anne Friedberg Award for Innovative Scholarship from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies in 2013.

How To See The World was published by Pelican in the UK (2015) and by Basic Books in the US (2016). It has been translated into ten languages and was a New Scientist Top Ten Book of the Year for 2015.

His new project, The Appearance of Black Lives Matter was published in 2017 as a free e-book, and in 2018 as a limited edition print book with the art project “The Bad Air Smelled Of Roses”  by Carl Pope and a poem by Karen Pope, both by NAME Publications, Miami.

Since Charlottesville, he has been active in the movement to take down statues commemorating settler colonialism and/or white supremacy and convened the collaborative syllabus All The Monuments Must Fall.

A frequent blogger and writer, his work has appeared in the New York Times, the GuardianTime and The New Republic.

RSVP to info@bigcar.org

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6:30 PM18:30

The Dinners Project

Bring your favorite dish and the recipe and join us for The Dinners project. The project is designed to bring together artists, community leaders, and neighbors to explore the role of art in building a strong democracy and imagining a better future. On the weekend of Oct 4-7 people will gather all across the country to break bread and discuss art and democracy. The Dinners Project is a non-partisan initiative of Creative Capital, in partnership with For Freedoms 50 State Initiative and #LoveArmy. Artists have always played a key role in how societies and cultures evolve–now is no different. In challenging times artists can lead the way. This is a time for imagination and vision. This is a time for artists. How can we stand alongside artists in creating change? What role will you play in shaping the future of our country and our democracy?

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