A flag for Black death (always flies at full mast) by Aay Preston-Myint curated by Scott Hunter for the Terrain Biennial

A flag for Black death (always flies at full mast) by Aay Preston-Myint curated by Scott Hunter for the Terrain Biennial


A flag for Black death (always flies at full mast) by Aay Preston-Myint

I am interested in the format of the flag as a way to communicate ideas of contingency, emergency, and confusion, versus its more common use to portray a sense of national permanence or historical import. How might the vocabulary of the flag be used to describe queerness, nothingness, death, and invisibility? In this moment, there is much talk of rainbows, stripes, stars and bars. The visual icons of nation and state become representations of a society that is increasingly stratified, not simply across economic classes, but also across levels of citizenship. What would it mean to look at the flag and see my condition represented?

Artist: Aay Preston-Myint is an artist, printmaker, and educator based in Chicago, IL. His practice employs both visual and collaborative strategies to investigate memory and kinship, within the context of queer community and history. In addition to his own work in interdisciplinary media, he is a founder of No Coast, an artist partnership that prints and distributes affordable contemporary artwork, serves as a DJ and organizer for Chances Dances, a party that supports and showcases the work of queer artists in Chicago, and is editor-in-chief of an online and print journal called Monsters and Dust.

Curator: Scott J Hunter is a collector, curator, and professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Chicago. Engaged deeply in the understanding, philanthropy, and promotion of contemporary practices, Scott has increasingly been considering ways of increasing the interaction between artists and their audiences, with a specific emphasis on Chicago and the Midwest. This project with Aay, Tom, and Holly is co-occurring with Scott’s curated exhibit at The Franklin, titled Finocchio. He has also curated shows at Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Psychosexual), Terrain (Sticky & Sweet), and Aspect/Ratio (a rose is a rose is a rose).

What It Is is an artist run exhibition space founded in 2009 by co-directors Tom Burtonwood and Holly Holmes. What It Is has been on hiatus since 2013 but plans are afoot to bring it back online soon with a new program of exhibitions and editions.

To find out more about the Terrain Biennial go to:

We r not in the Loop anymore…. well we r doing a show this month in the Loop, BUT in general What It Is is back in sunny Oak Park - for now….. so don’t go to the space on Madison - coz u won’t find us there. kk … but if u want to hang out and say midweek and stuff come find us at The 3D Printer Experience our new venture we co-founded with some really cool folks here in Chicago.

Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Current”

  1. Dan Nordquist says:

    I used to live in Oak Park - near Lombard and Washington and I have some fond memories of it. i called it “Oak No Park” which indicated one aspect I was not so fond of. It would be fun / nice /interesting etc. to come by your gallery some time and get to klnow you. I stopped by the space in the Art Chicago show and got to know one of the artists - lise baggesen - and she encouraged me to stop back and meet others there, but I wasn’t able to do so. I had asked about Michelle Wasson also. I am an artist also, and a …collector, spelled with a small “c” and not a big “C”. Cheers, Dan

  2. Frank Healy says:

    As parents we are obviously proud and supporting but well done to Tom & Holly for giving this opportunity, not only to James, but all the other artists they are showcasing. Really must buy you a pint or two when next in the UK. Very best wishes to everyone. I am sure you will all make your mark.

Leave a Reply