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Michael Schmelling: Your Blues 9 x 12 inches 32 pages Designer: James Goggin, Practise ISBN: 978-0-965887-3-8 Publisher: The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago
This catalog was published in conjunction with the MoCP exhibition Michael Schmelling: Your Blues (October 16 - December 21, 2014), organized by MoCP Curator and Associate Director Karen Irvine. It features an essay by Tim Kinsella and full color photographs by Michael Schmelling. This exhibition of work by Michael Schmelling explores the musical landscape of the Chicago region as commissioned by the MoCP. The artist has immersed himself headlong into Chicago’s music scene, focusing on the overlooked and off the beaten path, frequenting house party shows and searching out niche and local acts that are not widely known. While photographing at clubs and parties, Schmelling has taken stock of the fluid crossover between music genres in Chicago. Close attention has also been paid to the fans of these varied genres, as well as the performative roles audience members play at the city’s summer festivals and other larger venues. All the while, Schmelling has maintained a careful awareness of Chicago’s rich music history that includes the blues, psychedelic jazz, and house music as well as other major contributions to music. The project’s title, Your Blues, has multiple meanings, at once referring to Schmelling’s insertion of himself into Chicago’s most iconic musical legacy, the blues, while also calling attention to a feeling of DIY individualism that permeates Chicago’s music landscape.