Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017 Special Projects, Architects Events, Illinois Architecture News
Chicago Architecture Biennial Special Projects 2017
CAB: Illinois Architectural Event: International Cultural Exhibition USA
Aug 23, 2017
Jul 22, 2017
Chicago Architecture Biennial Special Projects 2017 News
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
The Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces Special Projects
The Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces Special Projects: a SO – IL and Ana Prvački collaboration and a Francois Perrin installation at the Garfield Park Conservatory; Gerard & Kelly performances at the Farnsworth House; James Welling photographs and Gerard & Kelly videos at the City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower; and more.
September 16, 2017–January 7, 2018
Chicago (July 18, 2017) – The Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) announces special projects, including a SO-IL and Ana Prvački collaboration and a Francois Perrin installation at the Garfield Park Conservatory, a new performance artwork by Gerard & Kelly at the Farnsworth House, and James Welling photographs and Gerard & Kelly videos at the City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower. The hub of the Chicago Architecture Biennial will once again be the Chicago Cultural Center, and these special off-site projects will activate the entire city of Chicago and the region by bringing the curatorial vision of the 2017 artistic directors of the Biennial, Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, to these significant landmarks.
“The Biennial’s ability to engage and activate the whole city is one of its core attributes,” says Mark Lee. Sharon Johnston continues, “To be able to infuse the work of Biennial participants into these three key Chicago sites is very exciting.”
“Chicago’s rich architectural history extends to every neighborhood throughout the city,” says Mayor Emanuel. “The special projects facilitated by the Chicago Architecture Biennial provide everyone with the opportunity to access architectural gems throughout the city and engage the next generation of architects and designers.”
“The Biennial’s dual mission is to focus international attention on Chicago as a center of architectural innovation and dialogue, and to provide a wide range of programs for Chicagoans and visitors to the city,” adds Jack Guthman, Chairman of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. “These joint ventures, and others which recognize the quality and diversity of the cultural institutions in the city and its environs, enhance both of the exposition’s goals.”
The Garfield Park Conservatory will feature the work of Biennial participant Francois Perrin as well as a SO-IL and Ana Prvački collaboration. Francois Perrin’s project, titled Air Houses: Design for a New Climate, is set within the majestic Palm House, whose tropical microclimate provides an ideal setting for an architectural experiment that proposes new directions for building in relationship to landscape and climate. Perrin puts forth an alternative to a culture of mass consumerism that has produced buildings disengaged from their context (at ever greater environmental cost). Air Houses: Design for a New Climate looks back to look forward, and references the vernacular traditions that have developed in response to nature throughout most of human history. The silver fabric structure suspended above the Palm House canopy prototypes a futuristic interpretation of these first principles that have driven myriad chapters of architecture’s performative response to weather and climate.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial has invited SO-IL and artist Ana Prvački to collaborate on an exploration of the relationship between our senses and our collective experience. Raising questions about the impact of progress on the wellbeing of our cities the team is focusing on the poetics of persistent human elements within our lives. “The figure still dances and the heart still beats,” they remind us. Together, SO-IL and Prvački will use air-filtering meshes to construct an ensemble of wearable enclosures, titled L’air pour l’air.
Part mask, part shelter, the enclosures are designed to be worn by musicians playing a composition for wind instruments and voice by the composer Veronica Kraussas, which will debut during the Biennial’s opening week. Learning sessions scheduled throughout the run of the Biennial will provide further opportunities for the public to learn about the mask/shelter enclosures, which are inspired by the plants in the Conservatory’s natural mechanism for air filtration, and allow wind instrument players and singers to breathe freely. The combined performances and educational sessions will invite a diverse and intergenerational array of Chicago musicians into the complex ideas posed by the installation. Through their performance-based interactions with the wearable filtration enclosures the musicians will “clean the air that produces the music.” The public is invited to meditate upon the complex notions suggested by the collaboration, such as the relationship between purity and pollution, and the distinctions between self, objects and nature.
The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning conservatories in the nation. Considered revolutionary when it first opened in 1908, the Garfield Park Conservatory was and is a work of “landscape art under glass.” The conservatory encompasses approximately two acres, with thousands of plant species on display throughout its eight magnificent rooms. Its lush flora and tropical temperatures provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of Chicago. There are also 12 acres of stunning outdoor gardens open during the summer.
The Farnsworth House, located in Chicago’s western suburbs in Plano, Illinois, will host a new chapter of Gerard & Kelly’s ongoing project Modern Living, a series of site-specific performances and videos exploring intimacy and domestic space within legacies of modernist architecture. Structured in chapters, each one sited in a different modernist home, the project examines how the sites’ interventions into traditional codes of domestic architecture produced notions of family and ways of living radical for their times.
Gerard & Kelly’s project for the Chicago Architecture Biennial takes place during the Press and Professional Previews, with public performances on September 16 and 17 at the iconic Farnsworth House, designed in 1945 by Mies Van der Rohe as a country escape for a single woman, the successful Chicago doctor Edith Farnsworth. Initially a pioneer of modernist architecture, commissioning Mies to design a radical statement for living, Farnsworth famously found the transparency of the house unlivable.
These performances build upon the first two chapters of Modern Living at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, California, and Phillip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan Connecticut, in which Gerard & Kelly used the architecture as choreography for relationships to propose new modes of intimacy not only between the dancers but also among performers and spectators. At the Farnsworth House, Gerard & Kelly will create a choreographic score deploying three dancers in temporary constellations of solos, duos, and trios, spread throughout the interior and exterior spaces of the site, all reflecting on the condition of solitude.
The City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower, located in Downtown Chicago, will showcase the first two chapters of Gerard & Kelly’s Modern Living as an installation of two videos filmed on location at The Glass House and Schindler House.
Alongside these videos, the City Gallery will feature an exhibition of James Welling’s colorized images documenting the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive Apartments, both also by Mies van der Rohe and closely associated with the modern movement of the 1950s. Welling manipulates the imagery using a series of techniques borrowed from the experimental photography scene of the 1960s. The resulting layered, multiple-exposure images result in what Jesús Vassallo describes as a kind of “psychedelic Mies,” yielding unexpected and completely new works that defamiliarize, produce new readings and suggest future possibilities.
At the Chicago Cultural Center, James Welling’s images of Chicago will be reproduced at an environmental scale and installed on the exterior of the building. This shared project of the Chicago Architecture Biennial and the Department of Cultural Affairs will be on view through the summer of 2019. This large-scale project and the photographs at the Historic Water Tower are part of a Chicago Architectural Biennial exhibition curated by Jesús Vassallo at the invitation of Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, titled A Love of the World. On display at the Chicago Cultural Center, the exhibition will also include works by Luisa Lambri, Filip Dujardin, Alexander Apóstol, Daniel Everett, Marianne Mueller, Veronika Kellndorfer, Katharina Gaenssler, David Schalliol, Scott Fortino and Philipp Schaerer.
About the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial
The opening of the 2017 Biennial will align with the sixth annual EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, which will run September 13–17 at Navy Pier.
Previously on e-architect:
Mar 6, 2017
Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017 News
Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces Participants for the 2017 Edition
Jan 6, 2016
Inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial attracts over 1/2 million visitors in 2015
photograph courtesy of Jan Klerks
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