DFBRL8R [also known as. Defibrillator Gallery or dfb] was formed in 2010 as a platform for Performance Art. Contextualizing performance within the realm of visual art, DFBRL8R embraces those who look to the body in concert and conversation with time, space, object, nature, architecture, or society. Bold and courageous programming aims to provoke thought and stimulate discourse surrounding underrepresented voices and time-based practices. Working with both established and emerging artists, DFBRL8R is dedicated to fostering local makers while invigorating Chicago with artists of exceptional calibre from around the world. Actively contributing to a global dialog surrounding conceptual, ephemeral, or enigmatic forms of expression, live art exhibitions aim to expand public perception regarding what art is and what art can be. Energetically building community and fostering discourse, DFBRL8R raises awareness, appreciation, and respect for the medium of Performance Art.

The first Chicago venue to amplify Performance Art since the closure of spaces like Randolph Street Gallery in the 1990’s, the name ‘Defibrillator’ references jumpstarting that Chicago Performance Art scene gone dormant. DFBRL8R has experienced three distinct stages of development, starting as a DIY artist-run space in a storefront on Milwaukee Avenue. They quickly gained an international reputation and became a destination for Performance Artists from around the world. Determined to close their doors four years later, in 2015, when the lease was abruptly terminated, global outpouring of support lent strength and determination and they were up and running a couple months later on Chicago Avenue. It turned out to be a major upgrade. Three years at this second location established DFBRL8R as a vital part of Chicago’s cultural landscape. In February of 2018 DFBRL8R closed their stand-alone gallery on Chicago Avenue to join forces with Zhou B Art Center, relocating to the Bridgeport neighborhood on the near South Side of Chicago. DFBRL8R is now at a stage of significant growth and transformation as they refine, re-structure, and acclimate. 


JOSEPH RAVENS | Founder + Director
MICHAEL LEE BRIDGES | Communications Director



DFBRL8R is a 501c3 organization.

Please note, we are not accepting unsolicited proposals at this time.