Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Last Chance for Actions

Photo by Michelle Litvin

This Saturday, March 13th, will be your last chance to view the exhibit Actions: What you can do with the City. The exhibit has landed here at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts after its debut at Montreal's Canadian Center for Architecture. Don't worry, the documentation is in English. Actually the exhibit consists of contributions, or "Actions", by artists, architects, designers, activists and others from all over the world.

The vast majority of the Actions work to make the city more humane, sometimes using grass-roots geurrilla urbanism such as activists dressed as city workers using a home-made stencil to paint bicycle symbols on heavily trafficked streets, thereby creating a bike lane. To balance out the exhibit, some actions actually work toward the opposite effect, anti-sitting Actions for example, placed on private property to prevent people from sitting on things. The photo below is an interesting dichotomy of the exhibit.

On the one hand, the Action works to overcome an anti-lying-down-device, the handrails along the bench, while the handrails, not part of the exhibit, work to prevent people from lying down. This resourceful individual's Action is not only functional but highly fashionable.

I found the exhibit entertaining, engaging and participatory. It's definitely something that generates a good amount of conversation afterward, such as, what to do with the exposed backs of street signs?

Sticker Graffiti by MELT

You only have four days left to see it and what better excuse than before and after a related lecture being held at The Graham Wednesday night (March 10th) at 6pm by Amy Franceschini called The Revolution Will Be Cultivated. Find out what she's all about here and here. Admission to both the exhibit and the lecture are free.

Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, IL 60610
Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.
Free Admission.

More reviews:
Lauren Weinberg for Time Out Chicago
Jason Foumberg for New City
Ryan LaFollette for The Architect's Newspaper
Architect Magazine
Bert Stabler for Proximity Magazine

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