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Mimi Zeiger, Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui named curators of US Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale

United States Architecture News - Sep 08, 2017 - 14:55   13158 views

Mimi Zeiger, Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui named curators of US Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale

Exhibition curators have been announced for the US Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, which will be on view from May 26 through November 25, 2018. The U.S. Department of State has commissioned two institutions jointly the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and the University of Chicago to select their representatives for the new exhibition of the US Pavilion under the theme "Dimensions of Citizenship".

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 will curate the US Pavilion's exhibition show, exploring multilayered dimensions of citizenship by asking "what it really means to be a citizen?".

Particularly referring to today's context, "Dimensions of Citizenship" will grapple with the meaning of citizenship as a cluster of rights and responsibilities at the intersection of legal, political, economic, and societal affiliations. 

Contemporary issues in the world today—from immigration to the impact of technology on individuals and nations—make it clear that now, and in the years to come, the stakes of citizenship are exceedingly high.

Mimi Zeiger, Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui named curators of US Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale

The U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Image by Daniele Resini © SRGF, NY

"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," said the curators in a statement.

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," they added.

The participants for the US Pavilion will be announced soon by SAIC and the University of Chicago. 

Mimi Zeiger, Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui named curators of US Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale

Poster design: Project Projects

"The arts at the University of Chicago embrace a commitment to experimental scholarship with global impact and engagement with distinctive architecture," said Robert J. Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago. 

"The Venice Biennale provides an opportunity to collaborate with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on an exhibition that presents the American architectural imagination at its best, and dramatizes how that imagination connects to the urgent global question of citizenship."

"At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, we are always engaging with how artists, designers, and scholars enact their citizenship," said 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. The Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects at SAIC has a history of embracing this challenge head-on, pursuing urgent questions across disciplines with distinguished peers like the University of Chicago and in international forums like the Venice Architecture Biennial."

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State supports and manages official U.S. participation at the Venice Architecture Biennale. The selection of the joint SAIC/University of Chicago proposal for Dimensions of Citizenship for the U.S. Pavilion in 2018 was made through an open competition and recommendations from the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions, convened by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Top image: (From left) Project curators Mimi Zeiger, Assoc. Prof. Niall Atkinson and SAIC Asst. Prof. Ann Lui at the Art Institute of Chicago North Garden. Image © Nancy Wong

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