Dimensions
of Citizenship

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Wrightwood 659
Chicago, Illinois
February 15–April 27, 2019
Past Exhibitions
US Pavilion
Biennale Architettura 2018
May 26–November 25, 2018

In a time when the expansion of the United States–Mexico border wall looms over more nuanced discourses on national citizenship, it is urgent for architects and designers to envision what it means to be a citizen today.

Questions of belonging, of who should be included and how, are posed with every athlete taking a knee, every #metoo, every presidential tweet, and every protest sign or fist raised. Yet as transnational flows of capital, digital technologies, and geopolitical transformations expand, conventional notions of citizenship are undermined. We define the term as a tangle of rights, responsibilities, and attachments linked to the built environment. And so we ask: How might architecture respond to, shape, and express rhizomatic and paradoxical conditions of citizenship?

The US Pavilion explores seven spatial scales: Citizen, Civitas, Region, Nation, Globe, Network, and Cosmos. These scales, telescoping from body to city to heavens, broadly position citizenship as a critical global topic. Commissioned installations by architects, landscape architects, artists, and theorists investigate spaces of citizenship marked by histories of inequality and the violence imposed on people, non-human actors, and ecologies. These works aim to manifest the democratic ideals of inclusion against the grain of broader systems: new forms of sharing economy platforms, the legacies of the Underground Railroad, tenuous cross-national alliances at the border region, or the seemingly Sisyphean task of buttressing coastline topologies against rising tides.

The installations and the film and video works on view do not solve the complex relationships of governance, affinity, and circumstance that bind us, citizen to stranger, self to other. Instead, they use architecture’s disciplinary agency to render visible paradoxes and formulations of belonging. Only when spatial understandings of citizenship—legal, cultural, and ecological—are in sight might we struggle free from antiquated definitions, forms, or bureaucracies and activate potent spaces for design.

Participants

Essays

Events

Form N-X00

About Kristine Samson and Aysha Amin dpr-barcelona Zahra Jewanjee Brinda Somaya Giuditta Vendrame Lateral Office Verity-Jane Keefe Maria Gaspar Elise Misao Hunchuck Whitney Moon Aneesha Dharwadker Conor O’Shea AREA Dragonas Christopoulou Architects Sergio Lopez-Pineiro Malkit Shoshan Jenna Sutela Troy Conrad Therrien Chris Cornelius Zannah Mae Matson Other Architects and Izabela Pluta Sumayya Vally Jesse Vogler Antonio Petrov and Vincent Valdez Marina Otero Verzier Léopold Lambert Alexander Eisenschmidt Monica Chadha and Nelly Agassi Stephen Fan Wendy Gilmartin Sean Lally and Brett Balogh Laura Janka Paola Aguirre Harriet Harriss Marisa Morán Jahn ariztiaLAB Carol Zou in collaboration with Afrah Alakhali Sara Zewde Studiohuerta David Schalliol Joyce Hwang Mario Gooden Tim Durfee Killian Doherty Danika Cooper Friend&Colleague Giovanna Borasi Hadeel Assali Regina Agu AGENCY

Team

Commissioners

Curators

  • Niall Atkinson
    Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and the College, The University of Chicago
  • Ann Lui
    Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and co-founder of Future Firm
  • Mimi Zeiger
    Los Angeles-based critic, editor, and curator; faculty member in the Media Design Practices MFA program at ArtCenter College of Design

Associate Curator

  • Iker Gil
    Lecturer in the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, director of MAS Studio, and founder of MAS Context

Representative Commissioners

  • Bill Brown
    Senior Advisor to the Provost for Arts and Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture in the Departments of English, Visual Arts, and the College, The University of Chicago
  • Bill Michel
    Executive Director UChicago Arts and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Office of the Provost, The University of Chicago
  • Jonathan Solomon
    Associate Professor and Director of the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Paul Coffey
    Vice Provost & Dean of Community Engagement, Office of the Provost, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Exhibition & Graphic Design

Editorial Partner

  • e-flux Architecture

Wrightwood 659

  • Fred Eychaner and Dan Whittaker
    Founders
  • Lisa Cavanaugh
    Director
  • Rick Nelson
    Director of Operations
  • Lauren Leving
    Exhibitions Manager

Assistant Director of Exhibition and Programs

  • Fabiola Tosi

Chicago Programming Coordinator

  • Taykhoom Biviji

Research Associate

  • Kekeli Sumah

Structural Consulting

  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Lighting and AV Advisor

  • Arup

Venice Project Manager

  • Samantha Topol

Venice Programming Director, CitizenSHIP

  • Jerome Chou

Venice Project Coordinator, CitizenSHIP

  • Natasa Radovic

Curatorial Advisory Board

  • Bill Brown
    Senior Advisor to the Provost for Arts and Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture in the Departments of English, Visual Arts, and the College, The University of Chicago
  • Theaster Gates
    Professor in the Department of Visual Arts and the College, and Director of Arts + Public Life, The University of Chicago
  • Sarah Herda
    Director, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
  • Mary Jane Jacob
    Professor, Executive Director of Exhibitions and Exhibitions Studies, and Director of the Institute for Curatorial Research and Practice, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Ollie Palmer
    Artist, designer, and filmmaker
  • Zoë Ryan
    John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design, Art Institute of Chicago
  • Jonathan Solomon
    Associate Professor and Director of the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Jessica Stockholder
    Chair of the Department of Visual Arts and Raymond W. & Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Visual Arts and the College, The University of Chicago
  • Amy Thomas
    Assistant Professor of Architectural History and Urban Planning, Delft University of Technology
  • Yesomi Umolu
    Exhibitions Curator at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and Lecturer in the Humanities Division, The University of Chicago

Acknowledgments

  • The Dimensions of Citizenship Commissioners and Curators would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their support and guidance: Elissa Tenny; Robert Zimmer, Daniel Diermeier; and Jim McDonough. This project would not be possible without the help of Sarah H. Gardner, Scott J. Hendrickson, Ronia Holmes, Troy B. Klyber, Robert Rush, and Bree Witt.

Sponsors

Dimensions of Citizenship is presented in Chicago at Wrightwood 659 by the Alphawood Foundation in collaboration with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The University of Chicago

Editorial Partner

Funding provided by the United States Government

Thank you to the following organizations for making Dimensions of Citizenship possible at the Biennale Architettura 2018 in Venice, Italy

Book

Dimensions of Citizenship book.
Dimensions of Citizenship
Edited by Nick Axel, Nikolaus Hirsch, Ann Lui, and Mimi Zeiger
Published by Inventory Press
Design by IN-FO.CO
4 1/4 × 7 inches, 256 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-1-941753-19-4

Globalization, technology, and politics have altered the definition and expectations of citizenship and the right to place. Dimensions of Citizenship documents contributions from the seven firms selected to represent the United States in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. This paperback volume profiles and illustrates each of the US Pavilion contributions and contextualizes them in terms of scale.

Drawing inspiration from the Eames’ Power of Ten, Dimensions of Citizenship will provide a view of belonging across seven stages starting with the individual (Citizen), then the collective (Civic, Region, Nation), and expanding to include all phases of contemporary society, real and projected (Globe, Network, Cosmos). Additional essays—by Ingrid Burrington, Ana María León, and Nicholas de Monchaux, among others—will offer essential and enquiring responses to these themes.

From “social to speculative; technical to theoretical,” the participating teams lead intellectual and architectural practices that not only situate the US as a leading center of critical research at the heart of the debate on citizenship, social conscience, and a just society, but also as a place at the intersection of political action, public policy, and changing notions of nationality.

Participants in the US Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale are: Amanda Williams & Andres L. Hernandez with Shani Crowe (Chicago, IL); Design Earth (Cambridge, MA); Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Laura Kurgan, Robert Gerard Pietrusko with Columbia Center for Spatial Research (New York, NY); Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman (San Diego, CA); Keller Easterling (New Haven, CT); SCAPE (New York, NY); and Studio Gang (Chicago, IL). The exhibition is curated by Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui, and Mimi Zeiger; and commissioned by the School of the Art Institute Chicago and University of Chicago.

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