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The Bean, CMA and Christmas windows in Chicago by Ann Treacy
November 19, 2021, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Chicago

We arrived in Chicago on Wednesday for our mini-vacation to see Magnetic Fields but we budgeted a couple of days of fun too. Lily and I are stayed downtown for the night. First thing we did, ran out to see The Bean. It was rainy and coldish but it’s always fun to see it.

Then we took a walk down Michigan Avenue.

We got into the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown Chicago for free. We were there less than 30 minutes before close and we were going to give it a miss and they kindly invited us in. We saw the two roving exhibits. Christina Quarles was interesting and Lily’s favorite. She focuses on bodies entwined and often mashed up. I love her hands and feet feel like they are reaching out from somewhere much deeper than the painting. Some of her work has a political backdrop – mostly because anything done in the last four or five years is political if you’re a women or BIPOC. I loved the way she used song lyrics in the works.

I also enjoyed Bani Abidi, which is overtly political. His work, The Man Who Talked Until He Disappeared, looks at the clash between power and media and our view of ourselves and what we’ll do to change our view or the view of others. Sometimes that means going the extra yard to hope that people outside of your community see you and sometimes it’s going an extra year to be more than you are.

Back to Michigan Avenue we got a glimpse at Christmas Windows, which may actually be on State Street – either way we were impressed with the bold move to a new holiday story.

And finally Lily picked out our nighttime venue. We went to the Empty Bottle to see Idle Ray and the Dry cleaning. Idle Ray had an interesting thing where all of their banter was pre-recorded. Very intriguing. The Dry Cleaning are from London, with a less cheerful Courtney Barnett feel. Really like them!

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