URI-EICHEN GALLERY

1% PRIVILEGE IN A TIME OF GLOBAL INEQUALITY The 3rd month in a five month series of art shows and discussions about income inequality in America

URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted

Opening - July, 8 6-10pm


An exhibit curated by Myles Little and with written commentary by

-Joseph Stiglitz, PhD, Nobel Prize-winning economist and inequality expert

-Geoff Dyer, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning writer

This project was inspired in part by conversations with Daniel Brena (b. 1982, USA), director of Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Photo credit: Varvara in Her Home Cinema, Moscow, 2010, Anna Skladmann

Featuring dozens of artists interpreting the tremendous inequality in our world today.

Discussion 7pm: The Chicago Fight for $15! Featuring organizers and workers from the front line and how you can get involved in the fight!

Founded in November of 2012, the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago is a union of fast food workers fighting for a $15/hour living wage, the right to form a union without retaliation, and respect in the workplace. Workers live and work in different neighborhoods across the Chicagoland area including Chicago’s suburbs. The Fight for 15 campaign has won major victories in cities across the country such as Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. We believe that people who work hard for a living should make enough to support themselves, their families and their neighborhoods—and that workers should be treated with dignity and respect. Fight for 15!

Miles Little:

The story of inequality is impossible to ignore these days. My morning commute through Manhattan affords me glimpses of both appalling poverty and magnificent wealth. Everyone from billionaire businessmen to the Pope has spoken out against this troubling development.

While we may think we understand wealth through television and tabloids, what we see represents only a drop in the bucket. In 2014, the highest paid athlete in the world, Floyd Mayweather, made $105 million. In the same year, the highest paid hedge fund manager in the world, Kenneth Griffin, made $1.3 billion. And yet Mayweather is world famous, while for most people Griffin doesn’t register at all. And while we may think we understand inequality, in fact we don’t at all. Harvard Business School asked Americans how much they think major CEOs earn relative to ordinary workers. The median respondent thought the ratio was perhaps 30 to 1. The reality? It's over to 350 to 1.

There is a long history of photography denouncing poverty, such as Jacob Riis’ photos from 19th century New York slums or Mary Ellen Mark’s photos of Seattle’s homeless children. But recent decades have witnessed a boom in strong photography questioning privilege. Consider Jim Goldberg’s "Rich and Poor" shot in San Francisco, or Lauren Greenfield’s "kids + money" shot in Los Angeles.

In curating 1%: Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality, I have tried to gather images that examine wealth globally and in many different ways. One reference point I had for my project was Edward Steichen's 1955 exhibition The Family of Man. Curated in the optimistic postwar era, it presented over 500 documentary photos of very different people from around the world, grouped under common themes such as family, religion and work. It argued for, in Steichen’s words, "the essential oneness of mankind". But as inequality reaches historic levels, I find this thesis less and less viable. Consider, for example, that the 6 heirs to the Walmart fortune own more wealth than the bottom 42% of Americans combined. I wanted to respond to Steichen’s project by finding images on similar themes but taken in the realm of wealth. While The Family of Man was a sprawling, varied and democratic mix of images by both known and unknown photographers, I took a different approach, befitting the exclusive spirit of my topic. I selected a small number of polished, well-crafted, medium format photographs by some of today’s best photographers. I wanted to borrow the language of privilege and use it to observe and critique privilege.

Some of the images map out points in the world of affluence, such as education, leisure and healthcare (while avoiding clichés like fur coats and private jets). Other images are positioned outside the world of the 1%, looking back in. For example, one of Nina Berman’s images shows a crowd of hopefuls attending a church in the American South that teaches that Jesus wants us to be rich. Some images contain juxtapositions of class, such as Guillaume Bonn’s photo of maids in a wealthy Kenyan household. Still other images are more abstract, such as Sasha Bezzubov’s photo of a cloud of golden dust over a logging road in Gabon, which evokes for me the ephemeral nature of wealth.

In March 2015, billionaire private equity investor Paul Tudor Jones II publicly declared that the wealth gap “cannot and will not persist...it will get closed. History always does it. It typically happens in one of three ways: either through revolution, higher taxes, or wars.”

So then, what will it be? I hope this project helps spur that conversation.

—Myles Little

Open by appointment through August 5. Please call 312 852 7717 for an appointment.





Income Inequality A Cartoon Exhibit

Join URI-EICHEN for our 4th show in a 5 month series about Income Inequality in America.

Opening - August 12, 6-10pm
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted, Chicago IL 60608
credit: Mike Konopacki
Kirk Anderson
Clay Bennett
Gary Huck
Mike Keefe
Mike Konopacki
Jimmy Margulies
Jack Ohman
Joel Pett
Andy Singer
Signe Wilkinson
Matt Wuerker

credit: Jimmy Margulies











URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 South Halsted
CHICAGO Illinois 60608
info@URI-EICHEN.com
www.uri-eichen.com


PAST EVENTS >>


WHEN

Second Fridays of the Month

HOURS

6PM - 10PM












URI-EICHEN Gallery Board

Richard Berg is the Past President of Teamsters Local 743 where he was an activist in the Teamster reform movement for more than 20 years before being elected president. He was a member and union steward for the Teamsters while working in the Department of Environmental Services at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He has also worked as an Organizer for AFSCME, as a Business Agent for the Teamsters and as a Union Representative for SEIU Local 73. He was also previously the Treasurer of the Chicago Area Labor Support Committee, Executive Board Member of the Chicago Chapter of the Labor Committee for Latin American Advancement, International Steering Committee Member of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, 30th Ward Coordinator for Harold Washington for Mayor in 1987, Staff for James Exum for 48th Ward Democratic Committeeman, Steering Committee Member of the Illinois Chapter of the Labor Party, Wisconsin Chair of the Midwest Coalition Against Registration and the Draft, Co-Chair of the Marquette University Coalition for Divestiture and President of the Marquette University Progressive Student Organization . Richard is currently a Staff Representative for Illinois AFSCME Council 31 and serves on the Steering Committee for the Chicago Labor Speakers Club. He also enjoys fine art whenever possible.


Paul Durica is a teacher, writer, and public historian. Since 2008 he has been producing a series of free and interactive public history programs under the name Pocket Guide to Hell. These talks, walks, and reenactments use costumes, props, music, and audience participation to make the past feel present. Paul has collaborated on programs with a range of cultural institutions from across Chicago including the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, Chicago History Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Gallery 400, Smart Museum, and Sullivan Galleries among others. Paul recently received grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Chicago Park District to do a series of public history programs in Chicago parks and is one of seven Chicago artists selected to be part of the citywide People Plaza project. Pocket Guide to Hell has been written about in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic Cities, and Huffington Post, and Paul has appeared multiple times on WBEZ and WTTW. Paul’s writing on Chicago history and culture has appeared in Poetry, The Chicagoan, Mash Tun, Lumpen, and elsewhere and, with Bill Savage, he is the editor of Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America (Northwestern UP, 2013). In May 2014 at the Logan Center for the Arts, he organized with Leigh Fagin Let’s Get Working: Chicago Celebrates Studs Terkel, a three-day festival of conversations, readings, film screenings, and musical performances celebrating the life and work of the radio personality and oral historian Studs Terkel and those who continue his work in the present. He is currently the Programs Coordinator for The Arts Club of Chicago.


Ruth Needleman, professor emerita in Labor Studies at Indiana University, has taught labor and Latin American studies since the late sixties. After 4 years in Latin American Literature & Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she worked for the United Farm Workers under Cesar Chavez.

Ruth has been awarded honors for excellence in teaching, research and service, for her work, including a book, Black Freedom Fighters in Steel: the struggle for union democracy, and many articles on black history, race, class and gender, leadership development and on movements in Latin America. She contributed to a book on the right-wing in Chile, published by Quimantu, Allende’s publishing house, prior to the fascist coup. She has traveled extensively, presented in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Japan, Colombia and more.

She pioneered courses in Labor & the Arts at IU, and established a 15-year college-degree program called Swingshift College, enabling steelworkers to complete college degrees in a customized worker program based on transformational pedagogy. Currently she is writing about this program and the role and character of “pedagogy for liberation” for the 21st century. She is also teaching a course on global social movements at the School of the Arts Institute.


John Pitman Weber is active in community based public art, having co-founded the Chicago Public Art Group almost 45 years ago. His public works in mosaic, paint, cement, and brick are currently found in Chicago, New York City, Minneapolis, Vitoria-Gasteiz, (Spain), Spencer, IA and libraries of Broward Cty, FL. He is also active in the studio with painting and woodcuts. One of his large woodcuts is currently included in the Gulf Labor Coalition’s presence at the Venice Biennale. He is emeritus, retired from Elmhurst College. His home-studio is in Pilsen.


Larry Redmond: I've always had an interest in art. As a child, I used to draw comic book characters. When I entered college, I had hoped to major in art. However, at the time UIC didn't have an art department.

Now, I express myself visually through photography. I love photographing life in the street, especially marches and demonstrations. But my interest is expanding to fine art photography. I hope to do portraits and still lifes within the next year or so.

I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I majored in Philosophy and minored in English. I later attended the John Marshall Law School, earning a Juris Doctor degree. I studied art and photography at Chicago State University where I developed my passion for Documentary Photography and Photojournalism.

I have recently become a member of the Chicago Alliance of African-American Photographers because I appreciated the organization's dedication of professionalism and excellence in the practice of the art of photography. I am also a member of the Washington Park Camera Club.

I currently live in Chicago with my wife and family.

Kathy Steichen co-founded Uri-Eichen Gallery with her husband, Christopher Urias, in 2011. She has led the programming development and coordination of over 100 visual art and community events at the gallery in the last 4 years. She built an organization that brings thousands of people into the space to enjoy music and participate in discussions on social justice themes. She has been involved in racial justice, anti-war and human rights issues for over 25 years. She is an alumna of several social justice and arts programs at Las Palomas de Taos, housed in the Mable Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. She founded and presided over Amnesty International chapters at the University of Iowa, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She worked as the Student Program Coordinator of Amnesty International in the Mid-west Region. She worked for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s first primary run as the field coordinator of the 48th Ward in Chicago in the first Campaign School. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has a M.S. in Union Leadership and Administration from UMASS Amherst. She has worked in the labor movement for more than 17 years as an organizer and union staff representative where she represents private and public sector local unions. She has been a practicing print-maker for over 25 years focused on work related to social justice themes.

Christopher Urias co-founded Uri-Eichen Gallery with his wife, Kathy Steichen, in 2011. He is a Pilsen, Chicago native who loves to live so close to good food. He is a graduate or the School of the Art Institute of Chicago focused on printmaking. He develops all the social media for the gallery and completes all the needed design work. He works at the American Bar Association.