Biennial Participants Revealed

John Hill
18. March 2019
2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial theme/logo (Image: Chicago Architecture Biennial)

The Chicago Architecture Biennial has released the initial list of more than 50 contributors from nearly 20 countries for the exhibition's third iteration, taking place from September 19, 2019, to January 5, 2020. 

A statement from the Chicago Architecture Biennial explains how the "first 51 contributors ... form an initial, representative group, and include an early selection of ambitious commissioned projects." These projects "will address key questions about the implications of architecture as it relates to land, memory, rights, and civic participation, and are particularly inspired by the history and conditions of the City of Chicago."

The list (below in full) departs from the first two iterations of the Biennial, which consisted of an even balance of well-known and lesser-known names, most in the realm of architecture. The list coming from artistic director Yesomi Umolu and her co-curators, Paulo Tavares and Sepake Angiama, has many obscure names, at least to this architectural writer. Umolu, a curator of contemporary art at the University of Chicago, appears to be drawing a number of artists into the fold, inadvertently indicating that artists more than architects fit the ...and other such stories theme.

This theme, and its "four areas of inquiry" (No Land Beyond, Appearances and Erasures, Rights and Reclamations, Common Ground) is a timely one, focusing on the the social and environmental circumstances of the second decade of the 21st century. Partitioning of each of the contributors' commissions into one of the four areas of inquiry should aid visitors in understanding the complex theme. So MASS Design Group, architects of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice,will explore sites of memory (Appearances and Erasures), for instance, while Forensic Architecture and Invisible Institute will interpret space "as a site of advocacy and civic participation" (Rights and Reclamations).

Beyond this initial list, over the coming months the Biennial will announce the full list of contributors and key programming for the third iteration of the Biennial.

The initial list of participants:

  • Adrian Blackwell, Canada
  • Akinbode Akinbiyi, Germany
  • Alejandra Celedon & Nicolas Stutzin Celedon, Chile
  • Architects for Social Housing, UK
  • Avijit Mukul Kishore & Rohan Shivkumar, India
  • Black Quantum Futurism, USA
  • Borderless Studio, USA
  • CAMP, India
  • Carolina Caycedo, USA 
  • Center for Spatial Research Founded, USA
  • Clemens von Wedemeyer, Germany
  • Cohabitation Strategies & Urban Front, USA
  • ConstructLab, Germany
  • DAAR (Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti), Palestine 
  • Detroit Planning Department, USA 
  • Do Ho Suh, UK
  • FICA–Fundo Imobiliário Comunitário para Aluguel, Brazil
  • Forensic Architecture & Invisible Institute, UK & USA
  • Jimmy Robert, Germany
  • Joar Nango, Norway
  • Keleketla! Library, South Africa
  • Maria Gaspar, USA
  • MASS Design Group, USA & Rwanda
  • Ola Hassanain, Sudan & Netherlands
  • RMA Architects, USA 
  • Sammy Baloji & Filip de Boeck, Belgium & Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Settler Colonial City Project, USA
  • Somatic Collaborative (Felipe Correa & Devin Dobrowolski), USA 
  • studioBASAR, Romania
  • Sweet Water Foundation, USA
  • Tania Bruguera & Arte Útil, USA & Cuba
  • Tanya Lukin Linklater & Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, Canada
  • Territorial Agency—John Palmesino & Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, UK
  • The Funambulist, France 
  • Theaster Gates, USA 
  • Usina - CTAH, Brazil 
  • Vincent Meessen, Belgium
  • Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Germany
  • Wolff Architects, South Africa

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