We heard about this earlier this year but the cat is out of the bag. ArtNews posted a story about Chicago artist Theaster Gates, who we’d been informed discretely was working with the late Frankie Knuckles‘ vinyl record collection. Frankie’s vinyl will be housed at Theaster’s new art space, Stony Island Bank Arts Bank, opening on October 3rd and housed in a former derelict bank on the city’s South Side.
At the time, we were told (informally again) that the collection wouldn’t just be cataloged and available to whatever credentialed scholars had need of them, but this source of Frankie’s boundless art and inspiration would be accessible to visitors. It didn’t make much sense at the time but reading up on Theaster Gates’ projects like “Listening Room” makes it easy to understand how Frankie’s records would be on hand in such an environment.
(Visit our complete archive of Frankie Knuckles tracks, interviews, reviews and DJ mixes.)
The archives are far from what might expect to find at an arts center. Among them are 60,000 lantern slides from the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of the Chicago; the libraries of the Johnson Publishing Archive, featuring magazines like Jet and Ebony; the vinyl collection of Chicagoan house d.j. Frankie Knuckles; and Edward J. and Ana J. Williams’ collection of what Gates has termed “negrobilia,” or racist objects that the Williamses own because they wanted to take them off the market.
As a bit of housekeeping relating to Frankie Knuckles, we’ve been informed that Michael Tupak’s campaign to recreate the Frankie Knuckles’ mural that used to stand in Logan Square was a success and Michael & Co. are currently pursuing talks to find the ideal location.