Links Hall: Hope Esser

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Of One’s Hour

Links Hall
3111 N. Western Avenue
Saturday, 2/13
4-7pm — installation open to the public
6pm — bar open
7:30pm — performance start time
$5 student/senior; $7 online; $10 door
Purchase tickets here


Hope Esser is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist whose work investigates the body via live performance, garments, installation, sculpture, and video. She earned her BA cum laude in Studio Art and Art History from Oberlin College and her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was awarded the Toby Devan Lewis and the James Nelson Raymond Fellowships. She has been an artist-in-residence at ACRE, the Watermill Center, Hatch Projects, and Ox-Bow, where she was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Scholarship. She has performed and exhibited at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indianapolis, IN), the Arts Club of Chicago (Chicago, IL), the Watermill Center (Long Island, NY), The Hills Esthetic Center (Chicago, IL), Grace Exhibition Space (Brooklyn, NY), Links Hall (Chicago, IL), NARS Foundation (Brooklyn, NY), Chicago Artists Coalition (Chicago, IL), Defibrillator (Chicago, IL), and La Esquina Gallery (Kansas City, MO), and the Fashion Studies gallery at Columbia College (Chicago, IL), among others. She is a Lecturer at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Contemporary Practices.


If I was meant for a different time, how could I have used my body as a body? Of One’s Hour examines how “brokenness” not only pertains to objects but also the physical and metaphysical limitations of the body. It invokes the tableau vivant by combining sculpture and performance with minimal movement into a live experience. The piece draws from an amalgam of research and investigations, including athletics, romance, the 18th century British protofeminist Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley, as well as “brokenness” as a means towards reinterpretation of the ideal female body and psyche.

I hear you, I hear you, I hour you

Can a person inhabit a sculpture, and a sculpture inhabit a person? Inherent in both romance and athletics are also the injuries, the fractures, and the healing. Are there objects that gain strength and beauty only after they are mended? When we see a fragmented Venus, she seems somehow “just right” when she is left broken, and baring the record of her endurance.


Teetering between the comical and the pitiful, Of One’s Hour offers the strength in admitting vulnerability through live performance with objects that have a posture, an action, or a task.

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