BOURQUE PHOTO

Meronymy, is a closely related concept to that of mereology, which specifically deals with part-whole relations. For 2.5 years, I’ve worked on a portrait project routed in an exploration of the Chicago Theatre, and the study of the many working parts that makes up the community. By combining oral interviews and portraits, I’ve investigated the broad topic through the individual perspectives of the people who experienced it. Each perspective is valid, and contributes to the whole. Through my research I’ve collected a spectrum of perspectives that I hope will create a greater understanding of this dynamic community, promote conversation amongst it, and motivate growth. 

 

 My investigation has happened to take place during a time of incredible evolution in Chicago. Many artists have passed away, Theaters have closed, long time artistic directors have stepped down, and the social and political dialogues happening in our world have challenged the artists and administrators to look at how the work is being produced, through modern eyes. I believe the interest will tread beyond the immediate theater community in Chicago, because it's a book about the human experience, and living a creative life. True, it's focused on the Chicago Theater community, but it also speaks to the idea of communities as a whole, and what binds people together. This conversation is not unique to this community, but is one that is needed more than ever in the world.

Michael Shannon
Michael Shannon

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Mike Nussbaum
Mike Nussbaum

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Maryann Thebus
Maryann Thebus

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Michael Shannon
Michael Shannon

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The process:

Each session is about 2 hours long, including the interview, and photo shoot. I conduct the recorded conversation first, in a location that is unique to their lives, and after we are connected through conversation, I'm able to photograph them in a moment of retrospect. The moment shared between us is important to collecting an honest portrayal of the human being. The interview puts the subject and myself in a collaborative place that could only be achieved after sharing that time. 

Courier New is a throwback font with a vintage feel. It’s great for storytelling, narratives and news reporting.

Meronymy Gallery Opening
Meronymy Gallery Opening

Meronymy Gallery Opening at The Den Theater, Chicago. Photo by Grace Elizabeth

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Meronymy Gallery Opening
Meronymy Gallery Opening

Meronymy Gallery Opening at The Den Theater, Chicago. Photo by Grace Elizabeth

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Meronymy Gallery Opening
Meronymy Gallery Opening

Meronymy Gallery Opening at The Den Theater, Chicago. Photo by Grace Elizabeth

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Meronymy Gallery Opening
Meronymy Gallery Opening

Meronymy Gallery Opening at The Den Theater, Chicago. Photo by Grace Elizabeth

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1/15

In December of 2015, I opened a Gallery at the Den Theater exhibiting 30 of the 50 portraits I've taken for the project. The exhibit turned out over 100 guests throughout the night, featured live music by Charles Otto and Bab-alon 5, and was sponsored by Half Acre Brewery. All the prints were displayed my hand-made frames, and Steppenwolf ensemble member Fran Guinan read a passage from Sheldon Patinkin's interview about what it means to be an ensemble. It was a wonderful evening, and was my first time showing any of the work collected. The gallery also launched a fundraiser to raise money and help get this project to the next level.

The Gallery:

Photos from the gallery opening

The People Interviewed: 

Albert Williams, Behzad Dabu, Bonnie Metzgar, Brett Neveau, Caroline Neff, Chay Yew, Cheryl Lynn Bruce,Christine Pascual, Chuck Smith, David Cromer, Danny Goldring, David Pasquesi, David Woolley, Elizabeth Laidlaw, Stephen Grush, Erica Daniels, Francis Guinan, Hallie Gordon, Hans Fleischmann, Heather Gilbert, Heidi Coleman, Ike Holter, Joanie Shultz, John Judd, Jonathan Berry, Juan Villa, Kate Buddeke, Kimberly Senior, Kirsten Fitzgeral, Leah Karpel, Marti Lyons, Maryann Thebus, Michael & Mona Heath, Michael Halberstam, Michael Patrick Thornton, Mike Nussbaum, Mike Shannon, Molly Brannan,Patrick Andrews, Richard Cotovsky, Robert Riley, Sandra Marquez, Sean Fortunato, Sean GRaney, Shade Murray, Shannon Matesky, Stephanie Heller, Steve Scott, Tom Mula

By Grace Elizabeth