HumanUfactorY(ng) Workstyles: The Motion Journals of Excerpts from the User’s Guide to Mildred’s Lane. A costume drama of the everyday.

Coming to Chicago as a painter, sculptor and film student at SAIC, J. Morgan Puett made research-based installation projects with film sketches, while her research into costume thrust her into deeper curiosities around clothing and dwelling, eventually leading her to an established career as an innovator in the fashion industry. In the next chapter of an evolving and emergent story, Puett fabricated immersive installations in museums and other sites around the world that brought a reality to our sensory and imaginative connection to cloth and other material objects.

Puett returns again to her Chicago inspiration, this time to the Jane Addams Hull-House and Addams’s Labor Museum endeavor with John Dewey, who also saw growth and creativity as a dialogue between doing and reflecting. Puett’s installation engages this history to present a deep reflection on the doings of Mildred’s Lane—her art-as-life practice going on twenty years—through films, photography, costumes, and belongings, creating a period room that transgresses time and place.


At the core of Chicago’s intellectual and creative life stand these influential artists for whom this city itself was a springboard for a new way of thinking about art at the intersection of society. Their work has influenced generations, having made social practice a worldwide phenomenon. Now this exhibition brings their ideas alive through 10 newly commissioned projects. Exhibiting artists: Jim DuignanPaul Durica and Heather RadkePablo Helguera (BFA 1993), Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (MFA 1985), Dan Peterman,J. Morgan Puett (MFA 1984), Michael Rakowitz, Laurie Jo Reynolds (MFA 2000), Temporary Services, and Rirkrit Tiravanija (MFA 1986).

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The Labor Portraits of Mildred's Lane. Rebecca Purcell in collaboration with Mildred's Lane. Photography by Jeffrey Jenkins