Home Sweet Home
Artist: Amie Sell
Date of Action: June 27, 2014
Region: North America
Location: Chicago, IL
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Confronting Bodies: Mark Fishman
Description of Artwork: The work consists of four fleece blankets printed with enlarged photos of Fishman properties above text (e.g., "A combination of confusion and fear are being used to spook current residents into leaving"), a chair with its back cushion cross-stitched "Home sweet home" in five different languages (a nod to the community's immigrants), and a collage of photos and acrylic paint on vellum.
The Incident: Sell got an e-mail asking her to call one of the show's curators, who said there was concern that her installation would be upsetting to Fishman, who'd donated the space. Sell got there shortly after to find that Home Sweet Home had already vanished. Sell says I AM Logan Square board chair Geary Yonker told her that Mark Fishman had threatened to close the space if her installation stayed, which would have meant that the group show wouldn't be seen either. That's not something she wanted to be responsible for, Sell says. So she retrieved her work and went home.
Results of Incident: Sell's statement: "I knew he was the landlord of the space, and I knew it would be confrontational in some way," Sell says. "But I always figured that within the art space there's some sort of safety, and there can be dialogue about these things. I was just taking a stand with the tools I have as an artist. I thought we could have discussion; apparently I was naive."
Sell mounted her artworks again in nearby venues in August and September 2014. On October 6 2014, Sell won a petition she startet to remove Fishman from the I AM Logan square board, to stop the removal of residents and to guarantee the freedom of art.
http://amiesell.com/home-sweet-home http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140630/logan-square/milwaukee-avenue-arts-fest-yanks-work-critical-of-m-fishman https://www.change.org/p/geary-younker-board-president-remove-mark-fishman-treasurer-from-your-board