Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

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Watch Now! Chicago...and other such stories

In September 2019, the third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial opened with projects by over 80 architects, designers, and artists. Titled …and other such stories, the Biennial was curated by Yesomi Umolu, Sepake Angiama, and Paulo Tavares.

Taking an approach that has since only increased in relevance, the curators looked beyond Chicago's place in the canon of modern architecture and proposed a reading of the city and its built environment that drew from a history of colonial expansion, extraction economies, migration, and ecological concerns.

A year later, we revisited the exhibition with its curatorial team, based in Chicago, London, and Brasilia. The discussion focused on their take on the Biennial, their research-driven methodology, and how their interest in pedagogy manifested throughout the exhibition.

"The 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial is rooted in close readings of the spatial realities of its host city. Sitting at the crossroads of the Great Plains and the Great Lakes, Chicago has been shaped by planetary forces: colonial expansion, mass migration, extraction economies, and rapid industrialization. Thus, Chicago’s urbanism is inextricable from the flows of people, goods, and capital—and the concurrent exploitation of bodies, labor, and nature—that have contributed to its making. Today, despite the promise of economic development, Chicago, like many other established and emergent global metropolises, faces challenging urban conditions that require the reimagining of forms of exchange between human activity, technology, and the natural world. By extension, owing to its physical geography, Chicago is a singular context in which to address climate and ecological concerns shared by many postindustrial societies."

More info on the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial here.

Yesomi Umolu

Yesomi Umolu is Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice for the Serpentine Galleries.

Sepake Angiama

Sepake Angiama is the artistic director of the Institute for International Visual Art in London and a curator and educator whose praxis lies in the discursive and social framework, in order to collectively rewrite our understanding of the world.

Paulo Tavares

Paulo Tavares is an architect and writer based in South America.

This program is a part of our ICI's Curator's Perspective series. The Curator’s Perspective is a free, itinerant public talk series featuring established U.S. and international curators, who present on their work and research. It was developed to offer audiences ways to connect with timely information and a wide variety of international perspectives on contemporary art and curating today. The series sheds light on movements and models that are shaping the curatorial field today, addressing questions about art, culture, and the artists and exhibitions that curators look to.

The Curator’s Perspective series has been made possible, in part, by a grant from the James Howell Foundation and by generous contributions from the ICI Board of Trustees and ICI Access Fund. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council.