I've grown used to reactionary magazines looking out into the world and drawing from what's on view — nothing wrong with this time-honored act normally called “journalism.” But I've a penchant for publications that push as much as they pull. The Museum of Public Fiction, a brick-and-mortar building, is also a publication, a project of proprietress Lauren Mackler, who wanted to take her graphic design training and push into something much more expansive: editorial, curatorial, musical and gustatorial. Public Fiction expands the idea of a gallery beyond things hanging on walls and buckets of iced beer during openings, though it has those, too. Mackler's Highland Park space has hosted secret restaurants, occult rituals, lectures, astral projections and experimental music alongside contemporary art exhibitions in a way that feels like all of the connected pieces of a thesis being written by one person, which in some ways it is: All of the projects in the gallery serve as inspiration for the publication, one that is entirely more satisfying than your average art opening. 749 Ave. 50, Highland Park; publicfiction.org.

—Andrew Berardini

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