This talk explores the limits between inspiration and infringement in the arts. A range of professionals including designers, legal professionals, and artists discuss the boundaries of ownership and creative expression in music, fashion, and contemporary art, often referred to as homage, appropriation, and knock-offs.
Talk: Art and the Great Migration
Monday, September 9, 6 pm
In a panel conversation led by MCA Senior Curator Naomi Beck with, luminaries in Chicago’s art world discuss the past and future of black space in Chicago. Starting with the Great Migration, the panel explores the ways that black artists are finding space and community in the contemporary art world, diving into the particularities of how Chicago has been shaped by its racial history. This conversation is presented in partnership with the HistoryMakers, a non-profit research institution committed to preserving and making accessible the untold personal stories of African Americans, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
Talk: Arthur Jafa
Saturday, September 14, 1 pm
Artist Arthur Jafa, whose work Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death is on view in the exhibition Prisoner of Love, discusses his work as a cinematographer and how that work has informed his artistic explorations of iconic moments in black media today.
PROP THTR: The Storefront Project
September 14-15 and 21-22, 3 pm and 7 pm, Tickets: $15
The Storefront Project is a collaboration between the MCA and PROP THTR that celebrates Chicago’s long tradition of storefront and underground theater and its penchant for taking place in unusual and unexpected spaces all over the city. Several Chicago-based directors–Mikael Burke and April Cleveland, Sydney Chatman, Dado, Coya Paz, Denise Yvette Serna, and Lucky Stiff–create new works to perform at the PROP THTR and in utilitarian spaces at the MCA, from the wings of the stage to the museum’s loading dock. Over two weekends, the directors adapt their performances to the two different venues, highlighting the innovations that are possible when theater-makers experiment with shifting settings and circumstances. An exercise in ‘devised theater’ – in which works take a novel, plot, or a single line as a point of departure to build something new – the directors each chose a text to imaginatively reinvent for Chicago audiences. The Storefront Project is co-curated by MCA Associate Curator of Performance Tara Aisha Willis with Artistic Director of PROP THTR Olivia Lilley.
Kim Brandt: Level
October 1 at 12:30 and 6 pm, October 2-3 at 12:30 pm, Admission is free
Extending her research on large-scale sculptures and Chicago’s architecture, Kim Brandt creates four new site-specific performances for the MCA’s front steps, atrium, and public spaces. A large cast of performers loop through various pathways in the museum spaces, collapsing the distance between audience and performer. Brandt’s modular, score-based choreography is informed by the building’s planes, surfaces, and volumes, as well as the performers’ effects on their surroundings. Accompanied by composer Nate Wooley’s live sound and visual artist Strauss Bourque LaFrance’s wardrobe styling, Level is organized by Associate Curator of Performance Tara Aisha Willis and explores the relationships between bodies and their connection with architecture and shared spaces.
Between Gestures: Trajal Harrell and Ola Macijewska
Sunday, October 27, Admission is free
The MCA presents solo performances in the museum’s public spaces by global artists Trajal Harrell and Ola Macijewska as part of Between Gestures, a one-week festival of performances, workshops, conversations, and screenings that connect Chicago to the international landscape of performance and dance. Known for his juxtaposition of voguing and postmodern dance traditions, Harrell presents his latest solo work Okidoki in a series made for gallery spaces. Harrell’s performance brings together his research on the surreal and radical style of Tatsuma Hijkata, the founder of butoh, or Japanese dance theatre, with early vogue and runway forms. Macijewska’s performance, Loie Fuller: Research, uses movement and costume to examine the relationship between action and object, and the agency of each. Inspired by Dancing Dress – an iconic performance by modern dance pioneer Loie Fuller (1862-1928) – Macijewska dances with a large cloak, creating sculptural forms as she swoops, glides, and swirls the fabric around her body.
Walk and Talk: Assaf Evron
Artist Assaf Evron leads an architecture walking tour around the Streeterville neighborhood to see his recent installation on the windows of the iconic Mies van der Rohe apartment building located at 900 N Lake Shore Drive. Using commercial, large-scale window-wrap technology, Evron’s installation covers the windows of architect Mies van der Rohe’s building with landscape photographs of mountain ranges and cave dwellings, reversing the relationship between interior and exterior and collapsing the modernist architecture of Mies van der Rohe with the natural world.
Second Saturdays from 11 am – 3 pm, Admission is free
Family Day is a monthly program for kids and their grownups to learn, play, and engage in hands-on activities together in an artistic environment. Enjoy free admission while taking part in workshops, open studio sessions, performances, gallery and stroller tours that are all designed and led by Chicago artists. Families are encouraged to spend creative, quality time together in the museum’s captivating programs and exhibitions. Family Days take place the second Saturday of each month from September through May. Upcoming dates are: September 14, October 12, November 9, December 14, January 11, February 8, March 14, April 11, and May 9.
Select Fridays at 6 pm, Admission is free
The MCA invites Chicago artists to the central Commons space to activate the museum with live music and DJ sets created to accompany the exhibitions on view. Upcoming activations include September 27 and October 25.
CH/LL at MCA: Meditation for Viewing
Select Tuesdays at 12:30 pm, Admission is free
Led by guides from modern meditation studio CH/LL Chicago, visitors are invited to prepare for active art viewing with a 30-minute mindfulness practice in the Commons. Upcoming sessions include September 24, October 29, November 26, and December 17.
Select Tuesdays at 6 pm, Admission is free
In Progress is a series that gives artists, thinkers, and curators a platform for developing new works, and provides visitors a glimpse into the creative process. This fall features Derek McPhatter (October 29), Emilio Rojas (November 5), Sadie Woods (November 12), Roy Kinsey (December 1), and Darling Shear (December 17).