BEN RUSSELL was an art space in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Co-curated by artists Brandon Alvendia and Ben Russell and situated around the front two rooms in the apartment of its namesake, BEN RUSSELL began presenting a series of month-long 5-person shows on Memorial Day Weekend in the year 2009. Participating artists were invited to produce and exhibit work that is in accordance with the title/theme of each show, the name of which will be derived entirely from the 10 letters in the words “ben russell.” In keeping with the structural conceits of the French Oulipo language group and the spatial and material limits of what is effectively a rented apartment, BEN RUSSELL maintains a strict set of restrictions for all exhibiting artists by which:
– One artist shall produce a wall-mounted work scaled at a minimum of three quarters of the thirteen by ten foot wall.
– One artist shall produce a wall-mounted work at a maximum of one half of the opposing wall space between the two adjacent doors.
– One artist shall produce a time-based work to be presented via a CRT flat screen monitor (and associated components) with Dolby 5.1 audio in the adjacent screening room.
– One artist shall produce work to be installed in the all-weather sculpture garden.
– One artist shall produce work to be performed for the duration of 15-30 minutes during the opening.
BEN RUSSELL featured a rotating roster of Chicago-based and non-Chicago-based artists and was open for viewings one night a month and by appointment, as needed.