Columbia College Chicago


Can you see it coming? Late at night when you are in a deep sleep you feel it—breathing like waves across the sea. Waves across time. We never understood what it meant. The fictional forecasting. Ice breaking. Rain falling. Floods. Human bodies. Market forces. Music. Pain. Tides shifting. Specific Gravity.







Waterworld is our present. So many futures are collapsing into now. Those things you thought were on the horizon are the environment we find ourselves in.

“Nothing is free in Waterworld!” Kevin Costner bellows at the beginning of his movie of the same name. Waterworld was the most expensive film ever made in 1995 and it suffered a disastrous fate at the box office. Yet for all its movie lore punchline-ness the film was almost in spite of itself (making it all the more prophetic) prescient in its ugly depiction of life after the death of the polar ice caps and the ways in which human vanity and hubris can sink both fictional and real worlds.


Indeed, nothing is free in our water world. 

& water is the medium of dreams.


So, what does it cost us to dream? What will slake our thirst? Who will vouchsafe our surety in our illiquid world?

Georges Bataille famously wrote that the animal moves in the world like "water in water."

We are that animal. This is Waterworld.


Participating artists include: Leslie Baum, Drexciya, Julie Marie Lemon, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Mohau Modisakeng, David Nasca, and Allan Sekula.

Curated by Holly and Zachary Cahill

Please join the curators for a special tour and catalog release party on April 12, 2018 from 5–7 p.m. (tour starts at 6 p.m.).

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and generously supported in-kind by the Smart Museum of Art.

Image: Leslie Baum, shape of the day:e.v,l.h., oil and acrylic on canvas, 20” x 16,” 2017

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 9:00am to 5:00pm

Glass Curtain Gallery
1104 S Wabash Ave, 1st Floor, Chicago, IL 60605

Event Type



Students, Department of Exhibitions, Performance and Student Spaces (DEPS)




Contact Name

Mark Porter

Contact Email

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