Last week, I drove down to the Hyde Park Art Center to see the Tom Torluemke installation titled "Fearsome Fable - Tolerable Truth". I've worked with Torluemke in the past and when I saw his imagery on the Art Center's web site, I was intrigued. The installation—located in Gallery 4—consists of 40 cardboard reversible wall panels spanning 170 feet. The reversible panels present two views of the world... One side apocalyptic and the other side approaching utopia.
While I was there, the Utopia side of the panels were being presented. I found myself exploring the environment along with six other people... all but one was in their late teens or early twenties. The younger crowd seemed disrespectful of the work... one boy leaning against a panel as he sat on the floor... another picking up a floor piece and tossing it with disregard. They were strangely mocking the imagery. One even pointed out an instance of domestic violence... making light of the daily horror some people experience even in a perceived perfect world. The work is amazingly thought-provoking yet my experience left me disillusioned. I wondered if this generation of self-entitled, disrespectful, unthinking children will grow up in time to save the world. But then, the generation before me probably had the same thoughts.
The Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 South Cornell Avenue in Chicago. The center is just a few minutes south of downtown and easy to get to from the major Chicago expressways. The exhibition continues through April 28th and there is a "Second Sunday / Turn It Around Event" scheduled for Sunday March 10 from 1-4 pm. The exhibition shouldn't be missed.