Everything Must Go
April 8-May 28, 2022

Chicago Art Department is pleased to present Everything Must Go, a solo exhibition featuring new work from Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist Jeffrey Michael Austin. 

Austin is best known for their uncanny and illusory sculptural installations which tend to express concerns of environmental, social and economic injustice through a queer phenomenological lens. Responding to an urgent plea for “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their October 2018 climate report, Everything Must Go is a poem about hope and the limits of imagination in a time of crisis.

The works throughout the exhibition echo the question, “What else?” 

What else do we need to witness to know that the delusion of endless industrial growth has reached its breaking point? What will it take for us to organize, mobilize, and realize “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”? What can we build with what we have now to strengthen our local communities, prepare for the climate disasters to come and uproot the ongoing disasters of capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy and individualism? And what else might we dream is possible once we collectively commit to this molting and transformation?

Everything Must Go foregrounds hope and caretaking as prerequisites for approaching these questions. Hundreds of small works throughout the exhibition are themselves plantable – yielding a variety of wildflowers when sowed and tended to – and for sale at a monetary value determined by the visitor.

A majority of the proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to local grassroots mutual aid and community agriculture projects.

The exhibition will be on view from April 8th – May 27th, 2022, with an opening reception on Friday, April 8th, 6-10pm (masks required) at Chicago Art Department, 1926 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60608. 

Image Credit: What Else; Jeffrey Michael Austin; Resin, mirror, acrylic, spray paint and digital print on pine; 24 x 24 x 3 inches; 2021

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