At eighty-three years old, Richard Hunt still works almost every day in his studio in Lincoln Park—a cavernous, mid-twentieth century power substation for the Chicago Transit Authority.
History is now. And then now. It’s still happening now. And it appears it’s all about me.
Do you hear the engines beneath the model of the city giving out?
“Virginia Woolf’s amazing essay ‘On Being Ill’—where she interrogates literature’s lack of focus on illness, the collective obsession with the drama of romance over the drama of often inseparable physical and mental ailments—has been a jumping off point. So, I’m writing though some of my own experiences via Woolf and also some other artists and writers.”
Could we walk into a dark gallery and by feeling objects on a wall encounter something akin to a story or a narrative? Can we adapt a symphony or a short story for the somatic perception, the way we adapt a novel to a film?
Within the materials lies Schenkelberg’s remarkable talent for recapturing wonder. “Symptomatic Constant” is a massive work. It starts as rubble on the marble floor with plaster dust and shards of ceramic, resembling a shore of beach glass, then steadily the work grows up into the high space of the lobby’s ceiling with fabric draped to an old cast-iron heating register. Schenkelberg builds in layers with architectural salvage culled from the site itself as well as local thrifting. Her cultural archeology is distinctive in its details and restless as the whole of her ship-like installation.