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Posted inArt

Carrying on a Political Absurdist Legacy

CHICAGO — Cartoonist Rube Goldberg (1883–1970) was best known for his depictions of “inventions” that imagined complicated contraptions with far too many moving parts built to solve the simplest of problems. These “Rube Goldberg machines” appeared in his work, and were used as devices to poke fun at the roundabout nature of American bureaucratic and political systems in the post-World War II era. Rube Goldberg’s Ghost, a large group exhibition on view at Columbia College’s small Glass Curtain Gallery (through May 4) features work by more than 20 artists who may very well be Goldberg’s companions in that they, too, enjoy laborious machinations with political undertones.

Posted inArt

Reenacting History through Artistic Performance

CHICAGO — All over the United States, groups of people (usually men) get together a few times a year or more to reenact great battles from history. The US Civil War is popular, of course, but according to Charlie Schroeder’s memoir Man of War: My Adventures in the World of Historical Re-Enactment, there is a full-scale Roman fort in Arkansas, complete with replicas of Roman catapults for launching assaults on the ramparts. And out west in Colorado, a group of men like to wear Nazi uniforms and play at being in the Battle of Stalingrad.