A dancer is inverted, standing upon their shoulders, their legs up in the air, with red, extremely high heels tied to their feet.

Iterations

Exhibition

Share

Admission actions

The Art Institute of Chicago proudly presents Iterations, a series of new performance commissions that underline the wide range of artistic practices and attitudes in performance today.

New works by Alexandra Bachzetsis, Math Bass, Cevdet Erek, Ralph Lemon, Paulina Olowska, Cally Spooner, and Evelyn T. Wang—anchored in choreography, sound art, spoken word performance, installation, music, and gesture and movement research—explore how performance practice is situated in the context of the Art Institute of Chicago, in our distinct spaces and amid our wide-ranging collection. Unfolding as an iterative exhibition over the course of three years, Iterations takes place in different durations and in various spaces across the museum, including exhibition and collection galleries, interstitial spaces, and theaters.  

While performance has often been understood as a singular event in time, dependent on the physical presence of an artist, contemporary approaches have produced a shift in thinking. Moving between genres, spaces, and durations, the artists in Iterations propose performance as a set of artistic strategies that encompass various media as well as multiple and shifting temporalities. The series as a whole follows this rhythm and exists as a hybrid between exhibition and event, suggesting how the museum can be a host to artworks that emerge and disappear, re-emerge and persist in time. As the artists move through and produce new works in a variety of spaces across the Art Institute, each installment of the series proposes different spatial conditions as well. For instance, the museum’s theater spaces provide radically different meaning and context than the exhibition and collection galleries or one the many interstitial and transitional spaces in the Art Institute’s building. As such, Iterations does not only pose the question of when and how, but also where performance can take place. 

Furthermore, Iterations states questions that have to do with a politics of care. The Art Institute of Chicago is a caretaker of art through presentation and conservation. Increasingly, as performance has become a widespread phenomenon in museum programming and exhibitions—and moving-image works and sound installations similarly challenge prevalent definitions of objects and object production—museums are shifting their understanding of what caretaking means in a collection context. How can museums take care of moving bodies or ephemeral gestures, of words being uttered and installations that change over time? What does the museum have to do, what does it need, in order to take care of performance—both in terms of presentation and embedding it in the collection? Iterations seeks to explore these questions through the practice of commissioning; engaging in a long-term dialogue with artists about the conception and production of, and care for a new performance work at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

The following commissions will be presented in 2019:

Cevdet Erek (b. 1974, Istanbul, Turkey)
chiçiçiçichiciçi

February 28–April 28, 2019
Opening performance on February 28, 2019, 6:00 pm
Kenneth and Anne Griffin Court

Cally Spooner (b. 1983, Ascot, United Kingdom)
DEAD TIME (a crime novel)

April 22–28, 2019
Installation with continuous live performance during museum opening hours
Bucksbaum Gallery 188

Alexandra Bachzetsis (b. 1974, Zurich, Switzerland)
Chasing a Ghost

October 31, 2019, at 6:00
November 1, 2019, at 8:00
November 2, 2019, at 8:00
Registration for performances opens in fall 2019
Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room 

The exhibition will continue in 2020 and 2021 with new works by Math Bass (b. 1981, New York, USA), Ralph Lemon (b. 1952, Cincinnati, USA), Paulina Olowska (b. 1976, Gdańsk, Poland) and Evelyn T. Wang (b. 1981, Chengdu, China).

Sponsors

Iterations is made possible through the generous support of the Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share