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Artist Maria Gaspar Explores Public Celebrations at Chicago's MCA
Maria Gaspar, Oblation for Another Parade, 2009. Courtesy the artist.

CHICAGO, IL.- A large, body-like sculpture parades through the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, accompanied by 15 performers. Parades and processions are illustrative of historical moments and mark the beginning or end of an event. Chicago artist Maria Gaspar explores these public celebrations with her dismantled parade and sculpture called "Oblation For A Parade" that is intended to represent the immigrant body and Mexican heritage. The performance, that took place at First Fridays on the evening of October 3, kicked off the exhibit as part of the monthly UBS 12 x 12 New Artists/New Work series. The sculpture and remains from the event are on view through November 1, 2009.

"Oblation For A Parade" is a unique, participatory performance that invites First Fridays guests to join the procession. Performers carry the brown sculptural shell comprised of found objects, costumes, and streamers to the 12 x 12 gallery where it is left for the remainder of the month along with a similarly constructed net-like installation that hangs from the gallery’s ceiling. Confetti and organic remnants of the parade, such as flowers, are left in the gallery to decompose and illustrate how historical moments may quickly fade or be forgotten. The exhibit is intended to demonstrate and challenge the ability of symbols to signify distinctive cultural issues, specifically issues of citizenship, race, and sexuality, related to Mexican immigrants.

Gaspar received her BFA in Painting from the Pratt Institute and her MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Gaspar leads a gallery talk about her performance and exhibition on Tuesday, October 13 at 6 pm.

October’s First Fridays theme is “Myth” and guests may view a Rag and Bone fashion show; create wearable tattoo sleeves at the Creation Station; participate in a scavenger hunt related to the Constellations exhibition; play cornhole in the sculpture garden; and dance to tunes spun by DJ Duke Shin and DJ Nate Mano. October’s First Fridays is sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Vincent Partners Marketing.

Museum of Contemporary Art | Maria Gaspar | Oblation For A Parade | First Fridays |

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