Flashback: Sterling Ruby in Weekend Roundup 2004

by Kathryn Born

Sterling Ruby is back in town! Tonight (2/18/10)  they’re showing his film at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Last night (2/17/10) the Art Institute of Chicago hosted Conversation: Sterling Ruby with Robert Hobbs, which featured a slideshow of Ruby’s work. Unfortunately, there were no images from his show back in ’04 at 1R (I think that was the name of the gallery). I used to do the Friday Night Flash Review, in which I covered the 1R show, so here is the post, with images, from ’04. Enjoy!

Friday Night Flash Review (Episode 9/10/04): The Big Dogs Are The Big Dogs for a Reason

I am dead tired, so I’m just going to blow through this and say what I liked. Usually there is a long artsy rigmarole between my relationship to the piece, the evening itself, and all the things that affect the way one audience member sees a piece, but tonight…

Sterling Ruby at 1R

Yes, the gallery that liked my camera the least won me over. Nirvana started blasting through my MP3 player just as I was walking in. The room was mostly empty, just this on the walls. It was intense, and with Nirvana playing it was perfect. I mean, I’m a bad girl with a rough history, and I feel like I’m being… well, marketed to a lot. I picked up a copy of “Bust” magazine, and it’s geared for Riot Girrrls and… I hated it. I don’t like that magazine, and that name Riot Girrrl is friggin stupid. So when I see something that is really punk, that really appeals to that side of me, that ISN’T TRYING TO BE TOUGH OR HARD, well, it just touches my little anarchist heart. So anyway, I’m taking pictures and sort of get, well, caught. But Jesus, taking pictures when you’re not supposed to is a blast. So I’m trying to explain to the guy there about this site, and doing a lousy job of it. And I ask who the artist is. And he’s the dude who’s been sitting right there, very quiet, and watching me shoot. He’s hot, he’s a grown up, he was wearing a black suit and looked like a mix of between a rock star and the coolest art dude ever.

So he wins the pick.

Here’s a detail, not a good photo, heh heh …

But see the rope? It’s just a cool extra thing. A tough, edgy, natural thing. Looks like barbed wire, but it’s clearly string. I’m not going to let it rest, here’s detail of the fucking string.

one more shot:

You know what it is? The room, the color, the cloth (the walls are covered with cloth), really surround you with this dark, warm, anarchist energy. It didn’t feel angry, it felt alive and radical.

Other Picks From The Week Of 9/10/04:
(for full list, visit the original post here)

Stephanie Brooks at Rhona Hoffman

Cody Hudson at Bucket Rider

Jitish Kallat at Walsh Gallery

Wrapping it up with Pilsen