Society! Artwork-In- Residence Program featuring Joseph G. Cruz

Evanston Art Center

Aug. 2, 2024 - Sep. 11, 2016

1717 Central Street
Evanston, 60201
(847) 475-5300


July 1, 2016

Society! Artwork-In- Residence Program featuring Joseph G. Cruz

DATES: August 2 – September 11, 2016

GALLERY HOURS: 9am – 9pm, Monday – Thursday; 9am – 5pm, Friday; 9am – 4pm, Saturday & Sunday


The Evanston Art Center (EAC) is pleased to announce its second Society! artist resident, Joseph G. Cruz, who will occupy the upstairs gallery at the Art Center from August 2 – September 11, 2016. Cruz received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2011 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and went on to receive his Masters of Arts from the University of Notre Dame in 2016 with a GLOBES Fellowship in Environment and Society. Cruz’s book titled, “the death of god left the angels in a strange place” (volume 1) was recently published through Are Not Books & Publishing. Cruz has exhibited nationally with solo exhibitions at Comfort Station, Chicago; Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago; SUG’s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and a solo project at EXPO Art Fair, Chicago. Notable group exhibitions include: Hyde Park Art Center, Illinois; Soap Factory, Minnesota; Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art, Arizona; Slought Foundation, Pennsylvania; and Cabinet Magazine’s Exhibition Space, New York. Cruz has attended numerous residencies, lectured or paneled on his work at Kavi Gupta Editions, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Slought Foundation, and Chicago Artist Coalition.

In an experimental exhibition titled Across the Sky Came a Screaming, Joseph G. Cruz will present a selection of ongoing and new photographs, sculptures, works on paper, texts, video and Historical artifacts from a years-long project, The Death of God Left the Angels in a Strange Place. This combination of found and made materials mines specifically the histories of the creation of the V2 rocket, the world’s first long range guided missile, in 1942, and its transition into becoming the first man made object to reach outer space, thus becoming the progenitor to all space programs as well as intercontinental nuclear transportation. It was from aboard a V2 that the first images of Earth from outer space were ever taken, which represented not only a sea change in visual culture, but a fundamental shift in the way that humans understand the horizon, our position within the cosmos.

In an exploratory demonstration of the ambivalent nature of technology (what does it want?), Cruz’ selection of images and objects (from art and historical to pop cultural) sourced from site visits to Germany and New Mexico, eBay and his studio, privileges the everyday over the iconic. Spanning and interweaving the military, scientific, industrial and pop cultural sphere of influence, works on display may include parts of an actual V2, drawings made with powdered shrapnel, magazine advertisements, appropriated fiction, hand carved rocks and landscape photographs. Viewers may find few measures taken to distinguish art objects from artifacts, or images of historical record from the artists’ compositions.

To this end, Cruz will use the project space not as a site of artistic production in the physical sense: instead, he will purposefully work creatively within the curatorial and display aspects of the installation of this work as an exhibition. Throughout the month, the artist will quietly make moves and gestures with works on view, experimenting with display, didactic methodologies and ancillary programming, such as film screenings. All of this will be done in the service of extracting purpose from what we might call the “paratext” of the exhibition space: all aspects of the gallery from materials lists to didactic texts. For work that is entirely about empowering viewers to become aware of their own potentiality for reinterpreting material and political history the artist hopes to understand how such moves and gestures narrowly impact the viewer’s engagement with the work itself; and, more broadly, the history and philosophy of science, military and popular influences on culture.

“Joseph G. Cruz’s use of the project space as an artistic and curatorial laboratory and hub for programs around a deeply-researched ongoing body of work exemplifies what we envisioned for the Society residency series,” states curator Jessica Cochran. “I can’t wait to see how his works and engagements connect with members of the Evanston Art Center community on many levels — from fostering entirely new ways of understanding history to cultivating deeper senses of visual literacy”.

Launched in June 2016, Society! is an artwork-in- residence program curated by Jessica Cochran and hosted by the Evanston Art Center. The program brings 6 artists over the course of a year to “move into” the gallery for 4-6 week residencies where they can work on projects-in- progress, experiment with the display of their artwork, host studio visits, and engage the community of the Evanston Art Center. For each artist, this studio/exhibition space is a blank slate, fresh semi-public environment and a temporary platform designed for making, showing, thinking, writing, experimenting and talking within a dynamic and thriving creative community. In addition, artists are invited to utilize the studios and class offerings at the Evanston Art Center for the duration of their residency.

Jessica Cochran is a curator living and working in Chicago. She is currently completing a curatorial
fellowship at the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and her upcoming exhibitions include Roman Susan (Chicago), McCormick Gallery (Chicago), Center for the Book (New York) and the Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago). After seven years spent in academic galleries, she is now a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the curatorial manager of a growing private collection of contemporary art based in Chicago, Indiana and Palm Springs.


Saturday, August 13: Executive Order Karaoke

8:00 pm until 11:00 pm

Presented by Finishing School

Executive Order Karaoke was first presented as public action performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Participants were invited to sing their favorite mixes of US President George W. Bush’s Executive Orders inserted into hacked karaoke files. Prizes were awarded for best performances. Finishing School is excited to announce a brand new version, Executive Order Karaoke – The Obama Years to be presented this summer (Aug 16) at the Evanston Art Center. Los Angeles-based, Finishing School is a socially engaged artist collective that playfully explores an expansive range of subject and media territories at the many intersections of art, play, power, politics, praxis, participation, and the everyday. The collective has five members who represent a broad range of skills and research interests. Finishing School produces interdisciplinary actions, installations, workshops, design, publications, film, studio art, performance and new media.

Friday, September 9: Closing reception and artist talk

6:00 – 8:30 pm

Participants: Joseph G. Cruz, Jessica Cochran and Lucas Korte

In addition to resident artist Joseph G. Cruz and Curator Jessica Cochran, guest artist Lucas Korte will engage in dialogue on topics and themes related to the exhibition. Korte received his M.F.A. from the University of Notre Dame and he is currently visiting professor of drawing at the University of Notre Dame. His work deals with the nonhuman generally, originally focusing on invertebrate forms as revealed by the science of biology, with an aim towards questioning the figure of the human and the central position it has held in the universe in Western culture. More on his work and ideas can be found at

Upcoming residents during the Society! program include Kirsten Leenaars from October 2 – October 30, 2016, Judith Brotman from November 6 – November 27, 2016, David Giordano from January 8 – January 22, 2017, and Adriana Kuri Alamillo from March 5 – March 26, 2017. Evanston Art Center, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, is dedicated to fostering the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences. The Art Center offers extensive and innovative instruction in broad areas of artistic endeavor through classes, exhibitions, interactive arts activities, and community outreach initiatives.

Evanston Art Center is located at 1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL. Evanston Art Center Gallery Hours: 9am – 9pm, Monday – Thursday;9am – 5pm, Friday; 9am – 4pm, Saturday & Sunday. First and second floor gallery spaces are handicapped accessible. Limited free parking is available.

For more information, please visit us online at or contact Gabrielle Burrage, Manager of External Affairs, at (847) 475-5300. Visit the Evanston Art Center on Facebook:, follow us on!/evartcenter, or on Instagram: @EvanstonArtCenter.

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