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*between the tongue and the taste*

vol. 2

The second assembly of the art-writing critique group, *between the tongue and the taste*, is now in session. The group meets to read, discuss, and offer helpful criticism of the writing of its members for six meetings, held once a month from February through July 2019. The group interprets the idea of art-writing loosely, serving as a space for its members to receive feedback on writing that constitutes part of their artistic practice. The group encourages diverse forms, including but certainly not limited to: pieces of writing meant to be artworks in their own right, performance scripts, poetry, fictocriticism, statements, studio logs, etc. The purpose of this group is to give its participants access to an audience of critical readers—a rare resource outside academic institutions—as well as to further develop Chicago's strong community of artist writers.


Each session, three members volunteer to submit a piece for the following session. Pieces are anywhere from loose ideas to final versions, and writers include a brief statement with each piece about the type of feedback for which they’re looking. Sessions are from 6:30-9 p.m. and rotate through galleries in Rogers Park and Evanston:


February 7    Wedge Projects

March 7         6018North

April 11          Iceberg Projects

May 9            Roman Susan

June 13         Block Museum

July 11          Wedge Projects


This group is co-organized by Mel Keiser and Matthew Goulish in partnership with Wedge Projects.

about the group

*between the tongue and the taste* is a working group formed by Mel Keiser and Matthew Goulish in partnership with Wedge Projects. in 2017 to cultivate thoughtful feedback and support for Chicago artists who use writing an an integral part of their studio practice. The diverse group of emerging and established artists meet once a year for six in-person sessions to review the work of its members, work that often defines and redefines how writing can inform, enrich, and fully participate in artistic practice. The group invites at least one guest facilitator each year—an established member of the Chicago art community whose own work intersects writing and the visual arts.


Mel Keiser (b.1985, 2003, 2007, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2018) is an artist living and working in Chicago. Beginning in 2011, Keiser dedicated her studio practice to a series of projects called The Life and Deaths of The Mels. In these projects, Keiser investigates the social and psychological impact of treating herself as a stratified series of distinct selves rather than a single person in fluid development. The project is ongoing and multifaceted, including installation, object making, writing, and performance, and received grants from Northwestern University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Individual Artist Program, and the Judith Dawn Memorial Foundation. Her work has shown at Wedge Projects, Filter Space, Martha Schneider Gallery, Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University, Submissive Exhibitions at THE SUB-MISSION, Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography New Directions, and The Chicago Project with Catherine Edelman. In 2018, her piece, “Mel as Hyperobject” appeared in the peer-reviewed Performance Philosophy Journal.

Matthew Goulish co-founded Every house has a door in 2008. His books include 39 Microlecturesin proximity of performance (Routledge, 2000), and The Brightest Thing in the World3 lectures from The Institute of Failure (Green Lantern Press, 2012). He received an honorary doctorate from Dartington College of Arts in 2007 and shared a Foundation for Contemporary Art fellowship with Lin Hixson in 2014. His essays have appeared in Art Journal, The Drama Review, PAJ, and the books Support Networks, in the Chicago Social Practice History Series (School of the Art Institute of Chicago/University of Chicago Press, 2014), Performing Cities (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and Beckett and Musicality (Ashgate, 2014). He teaches at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

guest facilitator / guest member

Lane Relyea's essays and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines including Artforum, Afterall, Texte zur Kunst, Parkett, Frieze, Modern Painters, Art in America and Flash Art. He has written monographs on Polly Apfelbaum, Richard Artschwager, Jeremy Blake, Vija Celmins, Toba Khedoori, Monique Prieto and Wolfgang Tillmans among others, and contributed to such exhibition catalogs as Helter Skelter and Public Offerings (both Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1992 and 2001 respectively), and, more recently, Ordinary Pictures (Walker Art Museum, 2016). He has delivered lectures at New York's Museum of Modern Art, Harvard University, and the Art Institute of Chicago among other venues. After teaching for a decade at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, where he joined the faculty in 1991, in the summer of 2001 he was appointed director of the Core Program and Art History at the Glassell School of Art in Houston, Texas. His book Your Everyday Art World, on the effects of communication networks on artistic practice and its contexts, was published by MIT Press in 2013. Relyea is Associate Professor and Chair of the Art, Theory, Practice, Department at Northwestern University.

founding members

Kristin Abhalter Smith

Jessica Chalmers

Rachel Herman

Dao Nguyen

Steve Reinke

Corey Smith

David Sprecher

previous guest facilitators / guest members


A multidisciplinary artist, Erin Hayden's work is rich in idioms, homophones, witticisms, and looped linguistic and visual meaning. Her written work combines poetry and prose, pairing text with images created by Hayden and/or created through collaborations with other artists. She has featured her writing in forms of books, pamphlets, zines, videos, and spoken word performances. Her leporello book titled Similarly Be Said of Souls, was featured in the 2016 exhibition Intention to Know: The Thought Forms of Annie Besant, drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev at Theaster Gates’ Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago.


Elliot J. Reichert is a Chicago-based editor, critic, and curator. He is Art Editor of Newcity and formerly Assistant Curator at the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University.

"between the tongue and the taste" is gratefully borrowed from Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Toronto: Vintage Canada, 1999).

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