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Hi.

My name is Gary Zidek. Welcome to The Arts Section. Tune into the radio program every Sunday morning on WDCB 90.9 & 90.7 FM or listen to it online here. I'll be showcasing a variety of arts & entertainment, as well as.highlighting some creative ideas.

What Does It Mean To Be a Citizen?

What Does It Mean To Be a Citizen?

WDCB’s Gary Zidek talks with some of the curators and artists involved with DIMENSIONS OF CITIZENSHIP: ARCHITECTURE AND BELONGING FROM THE BODY TO THE COSMOS. The U.S. entry at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale is now on display in Chicago at Wrightwood 659.

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“I think the origin of the idea is both responding to the contemporary circumstances of the United States. But, also this is an ancient topic, how we belong through architecture is something that we can trace back to the Greeks and to the Venetians. So, we  wanted to come to a topic that was both old and current.” - Dimensions of Citizenship co-curator Mimi Zeiger talking about the early ideas & questions that helped form the exhibition.

DIMENSIONS OF CITIZENSHIP co-curators (left to right) Ann Lui and Mimi Zeiger

DIMENSIONS OF CITIZENSHIP co-curators (left to right) Ann Lui and Mimi Zeiger

Questions about what citizenship means and the role architecture plays in creating space for it were at the heart of the U.S. entry at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale.

Hundreds of thousands of people visit the international celebration every two years.  The 2018 Biennale, titled FREESPACE, featured over 60 national pavilions on-display.

The United States pavilion had a very strong Chicago presence, it was commissioned by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The outside of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

The outside of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

The 16th Venice Architecture Biennale concluded this past November, but Americans now have a rare second opportunity to see the U.S. entry. DIMENSIONS OF CITIZENSHIP was brought to Chicago for a second presentation at Wrightwood 659.

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The exhibit examines citizenship on seven scales ranging from body to the cosmos (individual, civitas, region, nation, globe, network and space).

WDCB’s Gary Zidek talking with Chicago artists Amanda Williams and Shani Crowe in front of THRIVAL GEOGRAPHIES (In My Mind I See a Line)

WDCB’s Gary Zidek talking with Chicago artists Amanda Williams and Shani Crowe in front of THRIVAL GEOGRAPHIES (In My Mind I See a Line)

Chicago based artist & architect Amanda Williams was part of the team (which also included Andres L. Hernandez and Shani Crowe) that created the citizen-themed installation, THRIVAL GEOGRAPHIES (In My Mind I see a Line) in DIMENSIONS OF CITIZENSHIP .

A view of THRIVAL GEOGRAPHIES from above at Wrightwood 659

A view of THRIVAL GEOGRAPHIES from above at Wrightwood 659

“Obviously the conversation of immigration is huge right now. But there are people that are born here that never enjoy their rights, whether that’s African-Americans, transgender, immigrants, disabled persons, there’s a wide-range of people who are presumed to be tolerated as citizens. I think for us, that was the starting point to actually challenge the premise that we were given, that somehow we were representing what citizenship looks like for African-Americans” - Amanda Williams talking about the false idea that all citizens are treated equally.

Chicago artists Amanda Williams and Shani Crowe in front of THRIVAL GEOGRAPHIES (In My Mind I See a Line) at Wrightwood 659.

Chicago artists Amanda Williams and Shani Crowe in front of THRIVAL GEOGRAPHIES (In My Mind I See a Line) at Wrightwood 659.

Visitors at the Venice Architectural Biennale encountered THRIVAL GEOGRAPHIES outside of the U.S. Pavilion. Those who come to see DIMENSIONS OF CITIZENSHIP at Wrighwood 659 will find the installation on the first floor of the gallery right when they walk in.  The other 6 installations reside on the second floor.

STONE STORIES by Studio Gang. Photo credit: Gary Zidek

STONE STORIES by Studio Gang. Photo credit: Gary Zidek

ECOLOGICAL CITIZENS by SCAPE. Photo credit Tom Harris

ECOLOGICAL CITIZENS by SCAPE. Photo credit Tom Harris

IN PLAIN SIGHT by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Laura Kurgan, Robert Gerald Pietrusko with Columbia Center for Spatial Research. Photo credit Tom Harris

IN PLAIN SIGHT by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Laura Kurgan, Robert Gerald Pietrusko with Columbia Center for Spatial Research. Photo credit Tom Harris

COSMORAMA by Design Earth. Photo credit Tom Harris

COSMORAMA by Design Earth. Photo credit Tom Harris

A series of public programs have been created and will be presented to compliment the exhibit & create more awareness.

Click here for a full schedule of what’s to come.

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DIMENSIONS OF CITIZENSHIP: ARCHITECTURE AND BELONGING FROM THE BODY TO THE COSMOS is on display at Wrightwood 659 through April 27.

This is a ticketed exhibit, visitors need to purchase tickets ahead of time. There are a limited number of free tickets made available on Mondays every week. Go to wrightwood659.org for more information about the exhibit and accompanying public programs.

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