EXPO CHICAGO: 2015 French-American Curatorial Exchange Programming Announced

April 14, 2015 | By Laurence Geannopulos

Curator Guillaume Désanges Collaborates with Rebuild Foundation, a Nonprofit Organization founded by Theaster Gates, on the French Pavilion, An Innovative Residency Program in Conjunction with EXPO CHICAGO

Curator Matthieu Poirier leads /Dialogues Panel at EXPO CHICAGO Featuring Daniel Buren, Felice Varini and Nicolas Cattelain

CHICAGO— EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, is pleased to announce programming that has developed from a yearlong curatorial exchange between France and the United States in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the Institut français. In 2014, Chicago-based curators Naomi Beckwith (Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago) and Megha Ralapati (Hyde Park Art Center) traveled to France, and French curators Guillaume Désanges (independent curator and art critic) and Matthieu Poirier (independent art historian, critic and curator) traveled to Chicago for initial exploratory research trips organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy with the Institut français and EXPO CHICAGO. These cultural exchanges led to the formation of special projects including a residency embedded in Chicago’s South Side and a focused panel discussion on the architectural extension of abstract art since the1960s, coinciding with EXPO CHICAGO, September 17–20, 2015.


Rebuild Foundation: French Pavilion


Working with Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by artist Theaster Gates in 2010, Guillaume Désanges conceived the idea of the French Pavilion, a collaborative project supported by Rebuild and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the Institut français, in the vibrant context of Chicago’s South Side. The aim of the Pavilion is to create an innovative platform based at Rebuild for shortterm residencies of artists, curators, historians, cultural planners, critics, architects and others. The Pavilion will be dedicated to emerging, challenging and speculative programming that benefits those invited to participate in the residency program, and is intended to inspire, support and integrate the communities in which it is located. Aiming to go beyond the international standards of contemporary art, the Pavilion seeks to participate in a growing movement among contemporary artists living across Chicago’s South Side, who themselves are supported by a rich and dynamic network of institutions. Désanges was in residence at Rebuild April 1–20.


/Dialogues Panel: Leaving the Canvas: Abstract Art and Architecture


Returning as a core program of EXPO CHICAGO, /Dialogues—panel discussions presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago—will feature a keynote panel on the state of abstract art conceived and moderated by curator Matthieu Poirier as part of the French-American Curatorial Exchange. In anticipation of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial, this conversation will feature Daniel Buren and Felice Varini, whose works both straddle boundaries of radical abstraction by spreading the latter into the real time and space experience of architectural sites. They will be joined by Nicolas Cattelain, whose personal collection focuses on art since the 1960s, and includes works that initiated this "environmental" logic by expanding abstract art to the architectural dimension, by artists of the seminal Perceptual, Kinetic and Optical art trends: ZERO, GRAV or Light & Space.


Hyde Park Art Center


Representing Chicago in Paris, Hyde Park Art Center Residency and Special Projects Manager Megha Ralapati has selected Paris-based curator Muriel Enjalran to participate as part of the Jackman Goldwasser Residency, a platform for five artists and curators each year to take creative risks within their practice and expand their professional networks while living and working in Chicago. Enjalran's curatorial residency will consist of two research visits, one April 21–29 and a second during EXPO CHICAGO, and will continue the mission of the curatorial exchange. During these visits, Enjalran will expand her current work on artists’ changing relationship to public space as well as participate in a series of studio visits with Chicago artists, supported by the Institut français. Since 2006, Enjalran has worked as Project Manager at the d.c.a, the French association for the development of centres d’art, where she has helped to coordinate a structure of 50 art spaces across France, and enable connections between them and other European institutions. She was an Associate Curator for the first edition of the Biennale de Belleville, Paris, in 2011 and for the 3rd Arts in Marrakech International Biennale in 2009.


Related EXPO Related EXPO ART WEEK Programming


The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago (MoCP) will present an exhibition by French artist Philippe Chancel, organized by Europebased independent curator Marc Prüst in collaboration with MoCP’s Executive Director Natasha Egan. The exhibition, “North Korean Perspectives,” on view July 23–October 4, explores perceptions of North Korea through photographic practice. As part of EXPO ART WEEK, the MoCP will host a panel discussion featuring Chancel in conversation with Prüst on Tuesday, September 15. The panel will consider contemporary visual representations of North Korea by focusing on Chancel’s work—one of few artists allowed access to photograph this isolated nation—and Prüst’s impetus behind the MoCP’s exhibition. This program is presented in partnership with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Consulate General of France in Chicago and EXPO CHICAGO.

The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago will present “Agnès Varda: Photographs Get Moving (potatoes and shells, too),” September 11–November 8. Curated by Lecturer and Director of M.A. Studies in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies Dominique Bluher, the exhibition will showcase the films and photographic installations of French feminist and avant-garde filmmaker Agnès Varda. This exhibition is produced in partnership with UniFrance and France Chicago Center. More details will be announced at a later date.

For more information

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