above > skievvar, 2019 / joar nango
the artist-architect joar nango is a member of the sámi people, an indigenous group from the north of norway and sweden. he creates site-specific installations and self-made publications that explore indigenous perspectives via contemporary architecture. there’s an archival window called skievvarcoolli, designed and built by oceangoing sámi people out of dried halibut stomachs spanning wooden frames. for the biennial, nango’s creative team developed a prototype for a new kind of window screen using this old technology. skievvar is a slightly absurd anti-capitalist piece of ancient-futurist technology carrying old wisdoms through its simple material, presented in chicago, itself a cradle of modernist architecture.
[ curatorial statement ] titled …and other such stories, 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.
the third edition of the biennial will open 19 september 2019 thru 5 january 2020, and will convene the world’s leading practitioners, theorists, and commentators in the field of architecture and urbanism to further explore, debate, and demonstrate the significance of architectural concepts in contemporary society. the 2019 chicago architecture biennial is led by artistic director yesomi umolu with curators sepake angiama and paulo tavares.
[ events – weekly view ] #cab19 @chicagobiennial