Roundhouse at Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History is hosting a series of French institutions in a landmark three-year partnership supporting a satellite exhibition programme. Palais de Tokyo, Institut Francais and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US kicked off the sixth edition of Expo Chicago that ran between 13 and 17 September, alongside the Chicago Architecture Biennial that opened on 16 September and goes on till 7 January next year.
Curated by the Palais de Tokyo’s Katell Jaffrès, the group exhibition of 13 emerging French and American artists presents a discourse around the relationship of architecture and artistic process. The theme builds off of the Palais de Tokyo’s own special relationship to space – the institution was renovated and is left with barebones structuring in order to focus fully on artist-driven curation and spatial takeovers. Repositioning this philosophy within the context of an architecture biennial was to allow expansion of the dialogue, with the artists encouraged to engage in a deeper, more introspective exploration of volume and space.
Being located in the historic space of the Roundhouse, built in 1881 by iconic 19th-century Chicago architectural firm Burnham and Root, facilitates the site-specific exhibition’s exploration of space and its ability to be read or repurposed as an artistic gesture. “The singularity of the Roundhouse makes it an ideal space to develop the exhibit outside of Paris,” Jaffrès had said in a statement. “The structures or ‘stations’ that the artists will create will each act as an architectural intervention within the exhibition, inducting action into the exhibition space, and creating an accommodation and correspondence between the sculptures, installations or video works by the other artists in the show.”
Artists include Wilfrid Almendra, Thomas Teurlai, The Floating Museum Collective, Florian Pugnaire, David Raffini, Raphael Zarka, Dorian Gaudin, Guillaume Leblon, Daniel G Baird, Bouchra Khalili, Cauleen Smith, Lola Gonzalez, and Andrew Schachman. They gathered last month at a residency at Mana Contemporary Chicago to collate their ideas and take part in Roundhouse’s public programming.
Hors les Murs runs until 29 October at Expo Chicago, Illinois, USA. For more information visit Expochicago.com