Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s

Feb 11–Jun 3, 2012

Lorraine O’Grady’s performances elevate everyday life to the status of art. Represented here through photographs, Art Is … took the form of a float in the African American Day Parade in Harlem, New York. Performers on the float held empty gilded frames, metaphorically capturing fleeting images of the people and places that lined the parade route. In this way, the trappings of high art were brought out of the museum and into the street, suggesting that a new art form might be found in such populist celebrations of everyday life. The ellipsis (…) in the work’s title envisions an open-ended definition of art in which an economically and racially marginalized public has a role to play in its creation and reception.