SAIC and the University of Chicago Chosen as Co-Commissioners of U.S. Pavilion at Venice Biennale

Felix Gonzalez-Torres represented the U.S. at the 52nd Venice Biennale with “Think with the Sense – Feel wiht the Mind. Art in the Present Tense.” Image courtesy Daniele Resini ©SRGF, NY.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and the University of Chicago have jointly announced their selection by the U.S. Department of State to serve as co-commissioners of the United States Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Entitled Dimensions of Citizenship, the exhibition will explore the meaning of citizenship as an intersection of rights and responsibilities across legal, political, economic, and societal affiliations. The pavilion will be on display from May 26–November 25, 2018.

“At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, we are always engaging with how artists, designers, and scholars enact their citizenship,” says SAIC President Elissa Tenny. “This means recognizing the responsibility artists and designers have to explore pressing issues, like the politics of belonging, and generate new ideas, which help us better share our common humanity.”

(Left to right) Curators Mimi Zeiger, Niall Atkinson, and Ann Lui. Image courtesy Nancy Wong.

The exhibition’s curators are University of Chicago Associate Professor of Architectural History Niall Atkinson; Assistant Professor at SAIC and co-founder of Future Firm Ann Lui; and independent critic, editor, curator, and teacher Mimi Zeiger.

“It is urgent that architecture act as an important tool in understanding, shaping, and envisioning what it means to be a citizen today,”a statement from the curators reads. “Our goal is to present the United States as a site of critical research and practice in architecture, at the intersection of old and new forms of community engagement, political action, and public policy. Globalization, digital technology, and geopolitical transformations are continuing to challenge conventional notions of citizenship across scales. This exhibition will present works by architects, designers, artists, and thinkers who are responding to today’s shifting modes of citizenship, and putting forth visions of future ways of belonging.”

The seven architects, artists, designers, and educators who will create the exhibition have also been revealed. The team will craft an engaging response to the theme of “Dimensions of Citizenship,” which explores “the meaning of citizenship as a cluster of rights and responsibilities at the intersection of legal, political, economic, and societal affiliations.”

The team includes:

Amanda Williams & Andres L. Hernandez
Design Earth
Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman
Keller Easterling
Studio Gang