above > siisis, 2016 / bricks, digital prints on mdf, photographic prints, archival documents, mirror, acrylic / photos > gloria araya
vincent meessen‘s work draws from history, assembling printed objects and architectural elements to challenge conventional narrative and stir conversation about the present. siisis responds to the work of the situationist international (1957-72), a group of artists and intellectuals who were concerned with the role of art in consumer society and the experience of the modern city. the situationist produced artworks, architectural designs, and writings that used map-making and wandering as alternative ways to experience and understand the urban environment. siisis proposes an imaginary labyrinth city based on the situationists’ plan to build an experimental city on an unpopulated island. the structure is designed for an uninhabited greek island that is actually currently for sale, proposing that the territory be used and managed by asylum seekers who would effectively become citizens of the entire african-eurasian supercontinent.
siisis addresses the pressing question of global citizenship and migration; it leverages legal and design creativity to enable the free movement of people.
[ 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