Love it or hate it, disco was a pleasure-seeking global music phenomenon to be reckoned with. And was it ever hated, especially locally, where on July 2, 1979, the White Sox baseball team managed to fill (and nearly ruin) their stadium by offering cheap tickets to anyone who brought with them a disco LP to blow up. New Zealand artist Li-Ming Hu fills the windows of the Co-Prosperity Sphere—debuting a promising exhibition program that more galleries with big storefront windows ought to copy—with a fabulous array of documentary images, glittery props and a six-minute video exploring the origins of “The Day Disco Died”—or didn’t. What better way to prove the significance of a form than to try to destroy it? Hu, who stars in the video, has fun swinging on mirrored balls of all sizes, pumping a limp purple plush bat, and, in her trademark gesture, wearing a simple paper mask of the people she’s investigating. Here, it’s DJ Steve Dahl, the frustrated rock radio host who came up with the Comiskey Park gimmick, and there’s nothing lo-fi about seeing his schlubby head atop Hu’s cool, petite body. It’s as uncanny as Freud on the dancefloor. Shake that.
—Lori Waxman 2020-02-01 5:34 PM