Projects > Sandra Binion: Autobiography of Looking

Sandra Binion: Autobiography of Looking
A retrospective exhibition celebrating the five-decade career of interdisciplinary artist Sandra Binion at Experimental Sound Studio and various venues across Chicago.

Experimental Sound Studio (ESS) will host Sandra Binion: Autobiography of Looking, a retrospective exhibition surveying the career of interdisciplinary artist Sandra Binion. Curated by Mariana Mejía, this exhibition celebrates Binion’s prolific five-decade career and will run from April 12 – June 9, 2024, presenting archival ephemera materials, several selected re-enactments of the artist’s early performances, and recent photographic and video works.

Sandra Binion started her artistic career in the mid-1970s as a solo performance artist. Her work became increasingly interdisciplinary incorporating film, video, live and recorded sound, and collaborators from various disciplines. Since the 2000s she has been producing intermedia projects incorporating video, photography, sound, painting, objects, and scents, often based on literary or historic themes. Throughout her career she has collaborated with renowned figures such as Lawrence “Butch” Morris, Tatsu Aoki, Leroy Jenkins, Harrison Bankhead, Eponine Cuervo Moll, Amos Poe, Dirk Bakker, and Marc Dilet. Sandra Binion: Autobiography of Looking, will delve into these collaborations, exploring the intersections of performance, installation, music, dance, visual art, literature, architecture, and cinema.

The exhibition at Experimental Sound Studio opens on Friday April 12, 2024 at 6:00 p.m., with a very special performance by percussionist Michael Zerang.

The core exhibition at ESS will present print materials, photographs, video and sound media, and performance props and objects that document Binion’s multi-faceted career and her singular poetic vision. Her recent photographic series Searching for Emma (2021) will be displayed in the ESS garden as 20 wall-mounted dye-sublimation prints with an accompanying sound work composed by Lou Mallozzi. In addition to the core show at ESS, the exhibition will include a series of satellite events at venues around Chicago presenting re-enactments of selected early performances including Suite for Bass and Ironing Bored Variation (1983), Duras Piece (1998), Figure, Painting (1983), Yellow at Noon (1979), and Homage à Odilon Redon (1979) A recently uncovered 1978 collaboration with filmmaker Amos Poe and oboist Joel Marangella, Ascending Descending, will also be screened. Additionally, open archive sessions will be hosted by Hyde Park Art Center where the audience and the HPAC community will have the opportunity to engage deeply with Binion’s archive through guided explorations by the curator and the artist.

About Sandra Binion
Sandra Binion is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago who makes visual art works, video installations, and live performances. In a career of continuous artmaking spanning nearly five decades, she has presented performances, exhibitions, and screenings in numerous venues in the US, Europe, and Japan including the Abbaye de Noirlac in Bruère-Allichamps, France; Maison de George Sand, Nohant-Vic, France; Centre d’art contemporain de la Matmut, Saint-Pierre-de Varengeville, France; Kunstraum Stuttgart; Galleria Passaggi Arte Contemporanea, Pisa; Kyoto City University of the Arts in Japan; Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art; The Swedish Embassy, Washington, DC; the Evanston Art Center; Link’s Hall Chicago; The Goodman Theatre; and Durand Art Institute of Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois. Most recently her practice has manifested in multimedia exhibitions that draw together video, photography, painting, sound, and objects in dialogue with architecture, resulting in poetic refigurations of specific places, histories, and narratives, such as her multimedia project Distillé based on Gustave Flaubert’s 19th-century novel Madame Bovary, which has been shown in various iterations in the US, France, and Japan. She is currently working on a video commissioned by the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to create a transhistorical dialogue with the Norwegian painter Harriet Backer (1845–1932) which will premiere in September 2024.