THE SUB-MISSION is pleased to present the means by which we make an opening, a site-specific installation by Alejandro Acierto. An opening reception will be held on Friday, January 13 from 6pm to 8pm. The exhibition will continue through Saturday, February 25, 2017.

The means by which we make an opening re-contextualizes the history of the Philippines during the era of US colonization at the turn of the 20th century. After the US overtook the Philippines as a result of the Spanish-American War, Americans inhabited the flourishing tobacco industry, a former Spanish monopoly that became as much a part of the fabric of colonial life as was Catholicism. With the tobacco industry filling the airways of Filipinos and Spaniards alike, cigars became a primary technology through which Spanish (and later American) colonialism could be embodied. Within this context, this exhibition features a series of objects, ephemera, images, and gestures that offer alternative, speculative histories that undermine the success of the tobacco industry.

In the exhibition, Acierto points to various ways that would have ruptured and potentially collapsed the industry had the Filipinos engaged in the widespread use of tobacco: destroying the plant through the introduction of invasive insects and operating on Filipinos through a surge of tracheotomies, a surgical strategy to open the airways. The installation situates objects within the framework of a museum to question the ways in which the historical narrative is constructed. The museological approach of the installation thus offers a series of material investigations that assert themselves as part of the archives, whether or not they have been part of the historical collections or not.

ALEJANDRO ACIERTO received a Master of Fine Arts in New Media Arts from University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Music in Contemporary Performance from Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Clarinet Studies from DePaul University. Acierto’s work has been included in solo exhibitions at Corner (Chicago, IL), Insititut für Alles Mögliche (Berlin, Germany), United Gallery@Marwen (Chicago, IL); and featured in numerous group shows including Woman Made Gallery (Chicago, IL), Filter Space (Chicago, IL), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, IL), Chicago Artists Coalition (Chicago, IL), SOMArts Cultural Center (San Francisco, CA. Acierto has performed at Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago, IL), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL), Links Hall (Chicago, IL), Omaha Under the Radar (Omaha, NE), 6018North (Chicago, IL and Counterpath (Denver, CO). Acierto lives and works in Chicago, IL.

Alejandro Acierto in Conversation with Anthony StepterӬ
Thursday, February 9, 6pmӬ

Alejandro Acierto