August 31, 2017

SAIC and the University of Chicago Selected as Co-Commissioners of the US Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago have been selected as co-commissioners of the United States Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. The two institutions will collaboratively produce the exhibition Dimensions of Citizenship, which “will grapple with the meaning of citizenship as a cluster of rights and responsibilities at the intersection of legal, political, economic, and societal affiliations.” A list of participants in the exhibition is forthcoming. The 16th Venice Architecture Biennale will be open May 26 to November 25, 2018.

Dimensions of Citizenship will be curated by Niall Atkinson, associate professor of Architectural History at the University of Chicago; Ann Lui, assistant professor at SAIC and co-founder of the architecture office Future Firm; and Mimi Zeiger, an independent critic, editor, curator, and educator based in Los Angeles.

Of the exhibition, the curators said, “It is urgent that architecture act as an important tool in understanding, shaping, and envisioning what it means to be a citizen today. 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.”

In June, William Menking of the The Architect’s Newspaper reported that the selection process for the 2018 biennale had lagged behind that of earlier iterations after a record number of proposals were submitted. SAIC and the University of Chicago were selected as co-commissioners by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State; their proposal was made possible by the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions at the National Endowment for the Arts.

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