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Baskets are places of gathering. They embrace what they hold. They await. They receive. They keep things safe. They offer. Baskets help us carry and carry on.
In this lecture José Santiago Pérez reflects on his recent basketry work and the ways that gathering, holding, and carrying form an embodied repertoire of care, empathy, and love that informs his performative approach to making and transforms how he mourns the passing of family elders in the wake of the pandemic.
[Image description: Promotional poster with pink and white text on a forest green background. There is an image of a coiled sculpture made from shiny silver emergency blankets wrapped in neon pink and orange thread.]
José Santiago Pérez José is a Salvadoran-American artist and educator that weaves plastics into markers of time and containers of intimacy and empathy. José is a 2020 recipient of the Chicago Artists Coalition SPARK grant and a 2021 recipient of an Individual Artist Support grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. His 2020 solo exhibition Palacios (fantasy structures) at Roman Susan was reviewed by David Getsy in Artforum. Solo exhibitions include Ignition Project Space and Wedge Projects in Chicago. He has participated in two-person and group shows and performances in Chicago at Chicago Artists Coalition, Evanston Art Center, Heaven Gallery, Ohklahomo, The Museum of Surgical Science, Defibrillator Gallery, Comfort Station, The Graham Foundation, and the MCA Chicago; Fort Mason, San Francisco; Pink Noise Projects, Philadelphia; and Fort Warren, Boston. José has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he teaches in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies.