The Chicago Architecture Biennial has released its cultural agenda for this year’s edition of the international exhibition. Held in the Chicago Cultural Center and all over the city, from the 19th of September 2019 till the 5th of January 2020, this edition under the theme of: ... And Other Such Stories, is going to be curated by the artistic director Yesomi Umolu, the executive director Todd Palmer and co-curated by Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares.
With more than a 100 cultural, civic and educational event activating the American city of Chicago, the largest contemporary architecture, art, and design exhibition of the continent will put in place accessible, diverse and inclusive programs, such as curatorial talks, workshops, performances and film screenings. Throughout the course of the Biennial, sites across Chicago will be animated by events produced by and in coordination with the Biennial.
“Chicago is at its best when a diverse range of communities, organizations, and individuals come together to learn from one another, collaborate, and explore our shared histories and hopes for the future. The comprehensive range of programming taking place during the Biennial is an exciting example of the exchange that makes our city so dynamic” -- Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.
This year’s theme...And Other Such Stories revolves around the history and circumstances that have shaped the urban development in Chicago, and the conditions that continue to do so. It will actually encourage the discourse on architecture and the built environment within the community, and explore the field on a global level. Through a research-based approach, the Biennial will explore ideas about the potential of architecture, space, and the natural world, under 4 big titles: No Land Beyond, Appearances and Erasures, Rights and Reclamations and Common Ground.
“Foregrounding the idea of Common Ground, the curatorial team has devised spaces and programs that ensure that this edition of the biennial supports inclusive and diverse explorations of the built environment today […]By deeply engaging the public and various communities in our contributor projects and curatorial ideas, we are excited to extend the exchange we have fostered during our research phase into the biennial experience at the Chicago Cultural Center and at our various offsite venues” -- Yesomi Umolu, Graham Foundation Artistic Director, Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Highlights of the program include curatorial weekends, workshops and performances in the Chicago Cultural Center and the various offsite venues of the Biennial, a series of free and informal conversations, meetings, and exchanges with Biennial contributors and guests to explore the idea of Common Ground, a central focus of the curatorial program. Furthermore, The Chicago Architectural Club will present a conversation on the centenary of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot, the Art Institute of Chicago will host a lecture with esteemed Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao, in coordination with the Graham Foundation, and Court Theatre and the Chicago Humanities Festival will team up to present a conversation between Liz Ogbu and Biennial contributor Maria Gaspar on how each of their practices address systemic problems through art and design.
The opening weekend of the biennial starts on September 19-21 with performances by CAMP, Alexandra Pirici and Jimmy Robert alongside conversations on architecture and advocacy with Forensic Architecture & Invisible Institute, Maurice Cox, and Maria Gaspar, among others at the Chicago Cultural Center.
The regular programs hosted at the Chicago Cultural Center will include free and open lectures on Tuesdays in the Claudia Cassidy Theater, bringing together cultural leadership from around the world. These programs are produced in coordination with key partners and supporters of the Biennial, including the Chicago-based Terra Foundation. In addition, in the same venue, and in partnership with the Chicago International Film Festival, the Biennial will screen a series of films chosen by the curatorial team to expand on emergent issues and concerns across the field of architecture, open to the public.
A full calendar of the program will be accessible on the Biennial’s website later this month. Highlight partners include EXPO Chicago, The Night Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Center, and the Chicago Loop Alliance, who will explore the focus areas of the exhibition as they relate to different communities, disciplines, and institutions.