Joan Giroux

Compassionate Action Enterprises

In 2000, artists Joan Giroux and Lisa Kaftori co-founded Compassionate Action Enterprises (CAE), an artist collaborative, to promote art and interaction geared toward ecofeminism, social, political and cultural activism-interdisciplinary activity that acts as a catalyst for positive change. CAE uses art strategies to raise awareness, cultivate connections, encourage understanding and advocate respect for the uniqueness of individuals and the strength of collective cooperation. Compassionate Action Enterprises has performed actions in the United States, Europe, Israel and Asia.

The sense of something gone missing-lost, absent or misplaced-is a recurring theme in Joan Giroux's work. The void may be a physical void, indicated by a visual absence or hole, or it may be implied by a tenuous connection. Giroux is interested in the idea that our perceptions and experiences of the world are piecemeal-like a puzzle, that parts are incomplete, fractured, or missing. She investigates these losses in visual form. Compelled to visually "name" quantities in her work, Giroux allows herself the momentary illusion that our world is made up of phenomena that can be quantified and known. Giroux studied fine arts in New York and Berlin. She holds an MFA from Bard College. She is the recipient of a Pollack-Krasner Grant, she has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow and has received other grants, awards and residencies. Giroux is a professor in the Art and Design Department of Columbia College Chicago, where she teaches courses in art, design, and New Millennium Studies.

Lisa Kaftori is an installation and performance artist, social sculptor, interested in the contexts in which aesthetic experience is created and framed. Her work often explores the relationship of history, memory and place to identity and contemporary culture. Kaftori is concerned with creating artwork that emphasizes a sense of understanding and connectedness between human beings and a respectful, symbiotic relationship with the natural world. Kaftori holds an MFA in Sculpture and Critical Theory, from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kaftori is the recipient of the Abrams Prize, The William Dole Memorial Fellowship and other grants and awards. Kaftori currently lives and works in Israel.

For Chicago Calling 2007, Compassionate Action Enterprises is creating "a winter night's dream," a collaborative interaction with New Millennium Studies students at Columbia College Chicago. The project is an extension of "jasmine in winter," commissioned by Vogelfrei 7, Darmstadt, Germany.