Boulevard Dreamers at the MCA, Chicago

DSC_0247

Boulevard Dreamers is a traveling installation and variety show responding to the specific narratives and communities of the sites and venues it visits. This collaborative project by artists Lise Baggesen and Kirsten Leenaars consists of three parts: an installation/stage set, a series of performances, and a growing collection of portraits of the performers involved.

Baggesen and Leenaars explore how we are moved by the agency of desire and the magical allure of being in the spotlight, while at the same time investigating the ways in which cultural practices and the media stage their subjects and thus form positions for their audiences.

The dialectical situation of labor versus art, personal versus political, the individual versus the group, professional versus amateur, song versus story, are articulated, enacted, staged, and, ultimately, performed. Boulevard Dreamers questions and celebrates the production of self in a society dominated by one spectacle alone: desire.

Boulevard Dreamers does not discriminate on basis of color, creed, sexual or religious orientation, or professional or amateur status. Chicago is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States, yet it can also be one of the most segregated. With Boulevard Dreamers the artists seek to break down barriers and promote social exchange by introducing new and different publics to each other.

The MCA presentation of Boulevard Dreamers includes performances by artists such as spoken word social activists Rebirth, writer, spoken word poet, and musician Marvin Tate, and experimental music group the Pillowhammer, among others.

On January 21st, Lise Baggesen and I had the great pleasure of taking our Boulevard Dreamers Project to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and transform the museum’s atrium space to a stage and green room.
DSC_0155
The day’s and evening’s performances, included some new and amazing acts, such as MCA’s own Chaz Hearne on Banjo:
DSC_0099
Chicken Fat Klezmer Orchestra:
DSC_0321
And Jessica Cambell with an unforgettable rendition of Brick House:
DSC_0305
We also had the pleasure of welcoming back some of  our personal favorites from last time, such as spoken word social activists Rebirth:
DSC_0368
And off course our green lady of the green room, Anni Holm, who closed the evening with an MCA Anthem:
IMG_0295
Apart from the above mentioned, we would like to thank Carol Laque, Mairead Case and In the Spirit, for their amazing storytelling skills, as well as Brian Sandstrom and  The Extraordinary Popular Delusions, The Pillowhammer, Marvin Tate and Michael Soto & Madeleine Aguilar, for putting in some musical muscle to bring our installation to life and becoming part of our portrait gallery -you are all our personal favorites!
Thanks to Michael Green and Joe Iverson helping us in bringing this show to the MCA, and last but not least, we would like to thank everybody who braved the brutal Chicago winter weather to come out to both the performances and the artist’s talk and to share the day and evening with us, because it is the people who make the party and without audience there is no show!
DSC_0574
DSC_0581
For more on the background of the project, please check out our previous edition Boulevard Dreamers @ The Franklin:
and/or see the press release below:
blvd_dreamers_invite_mca_small
BOULEVARD DREAMERS Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Tue, Jan 21, 2014,
noon performances at 12-1 pm and
evening event from 5.30- 8 pm
FREE admission