photos courtesy of Lizzy Szwaya

Red Flags is a small pub-like environment inside of SHOP, which is inside of Fenn House, a mansion in Hyde Park, owned by First Unitarian Church, who in their generosity and grace of spirit, have allowed for all manner of experimental pairings to take place under their roof.  Red Flags came into being as a response to certain zoning criteria governing that certain social and productive activities do not belong in proximity to each other.  While zoning law is a complex cocktail of politics, economics, public safety and subjective judgment, in some ways  it legislates against healthy communities by putting necessary elements far away from each other.   Red Flags is a hybrid, part pub, part chapel, part public, part private.  It serves as an intimate space for hosting conversations among small groups, and as a service area for larger events in the house.

Every week, a new set of hosts gets behind the counter, chosen for their proximity, their avuncular demeanor, advisorly stature, mentorly qualities, dashing good looks, art world muscle, and availability…

write-up in Chicago Magazine

As part of Slow Recovery, and in conversation with Laura Shaeffer, Kevin Reiswig and I built/installed Red Flags using desks and chairs from a previous exhibition, committing myself to working with a specific set of materials over a long period of time, to serve a variety of pragmatic and poetic ends.  The materials are symbolic of a more or less defunct furniture genre, the desk, owing to the proliferation of laptops and digital files. I have committed to these materials for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, ’til something do us part. Their previous incarnation in the World as Text, considered objects as “writerly”, as always in circulation in some, more or less, visible, tangible, legible, usable,  perfunctory, symbolic form.  Slow Recovery continues the investigation of the potency, politics, and wishes of objects and their social roles.  Aside from being a platform for bringing diverse ideas and energies to SHOP, Red Flags serves an essential fund-raising function.

Red Flags also has 2 video monitors with dvd players available for use.  The room itself seats around 8 people, with standing room for 4 or 5 more, but has overflow space for up to 60 in the great hall and dining room.

Visit the SHOP calendar for ongoing events at Red Flags.


Selected Past Events

March 20th, 7:00 pm
5638 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Red Flags Hosts
PECHA KUCHA with Rachel Herman and Hannah Kushnick
A program of 6-minute 40-second spoken presentations accompanied/structured by 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds. traditionally, this has been a forum for architects and designers to discuss projects and innovations. Rachel and Hannah want to tweak this somewhat.  They’ve managed to corral some of the brightest and most inquisitive minds to participate in this, our inaugural evening of pecha kucha at SHOP.
mairead case, novelist and louder than a bomb organizer/goddess
steve ruiz, stellar art critic and iconoclast
edward crouse, charming fabulist
eleanore neumann, art historian + terra foundation administrator extraordinaire
and then your steadfast and true hosts for the evening: hannah kushnick, neurotic and lovely genius, who will be investigating cabinets of curiosities. and rachel herman, who might possibly be evangelizing etymology. 

A Concert of Covers: Buildings

with David Yontz and Kevin Reiswig
Buildings:We live in them.We work in them.Sometimes, we drunkenly urinate on them, and then get scolded by men in blue and white cars who lock us inside of very uncomfortable buildings for the night.

In short, buildings shape and inform our day-to-day lives, and that’s why on Saturday, January 7th, Southside Hub of Production will be hosting A Concert of Covers, with the theme of “Buildings.” On this glorious evening of music and reverie, local musicians are invited to perform covers of their favorite songs about, inspired by, or in tribute to Buildings–either solo or with a group. YOU CAN PLAY!–for details, read on.

Performers are welcome and encouraged to get creative in their interpretation of the theme, so long as the song being performed is a cover. For example, somebody could cover a song that references a building in the title, like “Houses in Motion” by Talking Heads. Or, somebody could cover a song from an album that references buildings, like More Songs about Buildings and Food by Talking Heads. The possibilities are endless! One could even play their cover in a manner which mimics the act of building.

If you wish to participate, you must write the song you plan on performing on the wall of this event page, or send it to and we will put it on the wall for you. If you will be performing with a group, be sure to mention each person who will be a part of your collective. The idea is to get as many people up to play as possible, so please, limit yourself to one song!

Musicians of all levels of experience are encouraged to get on stage!
The event is free and there will be beer available for suggested donation.

“If you build it, they will come.”–Ghandi.

'A Concert of Covers' at SHOP, January 7th