The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago jointly announced today their selection by the U.S. Department of State to serve as co-commissioners of the United States Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. As co-commissioners, the two institutions will organize Dimensions of Citizenship, the exhibition they proposed as the official United States contribution to the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, on view from May 26 through Nov. 25, 2018.
The curators of the exhibition are Niall Atkinson, associate professor of architectural history at the University of Chicago; Ann Lui, assistant professor at SAIC and co-founder of the architecture office Future Firm; and Mimi Zeiger, an independent critic, editor, curator and educator based in Los Angeles.
Particularly important in today's context, Dimensions of Citizenship will grapple with the meaning of citizenship as a cluster of rights and responsibilities at the intersection of legal, political, economic and societal affiliations. Contemporary issues in the world today—from immigration to the impact of technology on individuals and nations—make it clear that now, and in the years to come, the stakes of citizenship are exceedingly high.
In a statement, the curators said, “It is urgent that architecture act as an important tool in understanding, shaping and envisioning what it means to be a citizen today. Our goal is to present the United States as a site of critical research and practice in architecture, at the intersection of old and new forms of community engagement, political action and public policy. Globalization, digital technology and geopolitical transformations are continuing to challenge conventional notions of citizenship across scales. This exhibition will present works by architects, designers, artists and thinkers who are responding to today’s shifting modes of citizenship, and putting forth visions of future ways of belonging.”