Takashi Shallow


Elastic Arts is pleased to present Gesamt, a retrospective exhibition showcasing the multi-faceted, collaborative project by Chicago-based artist Takashi Shallow, which will be on view January 10 – March 1, 2020.


Takashi Shallow identifies imagined and real hierarchies that he presents through found objects and social engagement. His practice takes shape in part as a “music-ish” label called Gesamt, a body of work that pursues collaborative, interdisciplinary art.


On view in the gallery will be a series of collaborative projects by Shallow and other practitioners that showcases Gesamt’s synergetic and transmedium processes. Self-described as “medium translations,” Gesamt is the result of a system in which ideas are transmitted through a series of exchanges (think exquisite corpse) to achieve mutual elevation. It emphasizes process and product equally, stressing that there is no hierarchy between mediums, authorship, or outcome, but rather a synthesis of ideas that create a Gesamtkunstwerk, or a total work of art.


As an artist and music producer, Shallow’s creative process functions transmedium and is steadfastly collaborative. Works on view will span the realms of 2-D, 3-D, sound, text, and installation. Shallow will also present a series of moving image works alongside a special DJ set for the opening party ST(ART UP) on January 10, 2020. Local DJ’s Hiroko Yamamura, Duane Powell and Jillian x will be on deck as well, contributing a variety of sounds from house music to techno that will further blur the relationship between producer and consumer.


Gesamt is a fascinating look at the practice of conceptual sharing, where the lines of authorship are obscured. In a similar way in which DJ’s remix music, Gesamt incites a process of call and response, in which both the makers and viewers are implicated into the work. The desire to shift ownership away from the artist allows us to rethink the separation between social roles and artistic mediums, towards a more egalitarian way of interacting with and thinking about artistic practice.


Gesamt is presented by Elastic Arts and curated by Alyssa Brubaker, Visual Arts Curatorial Resident.


About Takashi Shallow

Takashi Shallow’s work identifies imagined and real hierarchies that he presents through found objects and social engagement. Cultural signifiers with distinctly separate signifieds coexist in his installations. Professional and amateur contexts come together as the unacknowledged confronts the prestigious. Taking after artists and theorists like Tania Bruguera and Edward Said, Shallow works towards blurring polarities and creating new orientations. Shallow completed a BA in Fashion Design at Dominican University then an MFA at the University of Chicago where his experience as a teaching assistant for Theaster Gates inspired a new trajectory for his material gathering process. Shallow’s tenure working as a tailor and his experience coaching acrobatics also inform his practice. He teaches art and music at Purdue Northwest University and is a board member of the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society. Dazed Digital includes Shallow in the article “10 of the best Chicago artists right now” and The Arts Club of Chicago has named him a Visual Arts Fellow.


About Alyssa Brubaker, Elastic Arts Visual Arts Curatorial Resident

Alyssa Brubaker is an independent curator, graphic designer and DJ based out of Chicago, IL whose interests explore the intersections of art and music. She is the co-founder of the art and DJ collective Stylin’ Out Network. Recent curatorial projects include Jan Brugger: Devices to Stay Afloat at Elastic Arts, Keeping in Mind, a group show at Expo Chicago, and Design is a Verb at the Evanston Art Center. Brubaker holds a B.F.A. in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA.


Event title: Gesamt

Opening Party: Friday, January 10, 2020, 10pm-4am

Closing Reception: Sunday, March 1, 2020, 2-5pm

Elastic Arts: elasticarts.org

Elastic Arts is a 501c(3) non-profit organization fostering artistic exploration from a versatile Chicago venue by programming and presenting multifaceted performance and exhibition.