N:NEWS :: Spatial Cities, An Architecture of Idealism

Three tours are coming up in conjunction with the show at Hyde Park Art Center. Here's the info:
Pedway Tours
Thursday, June 17, 3 pm
Tuesday, July 6, 3pm
Wednesday, July 21, 3 pm
Artist Hui Min Tsen leads a series of tours in Chicago’s underbelly - the pedway system. Traverse the 2 mile path through hotel lobbies and remote passageways guided by the stories told by Tsen. This performance is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP to exhibitions@hydeparkart.org attend.

Spatial Cities: An Architecture in Idealism:
Work by: Lida Abdul, Élisabeth Ballet, Yves Bélorgey, Berdaguer & Péjus, Katinka Bock, Monica Bonvicini, Jeff Carter, Jordi Colomer, François Dallegret, Peter Downsbrough, Philippe Durand, Jimmie Durham, Simon Faithfull, Didier Fuiza Faustino, Cao Fei, Robert Filliou, Elise Florenty, Yona Friedman, Dora Garcia, Ben Hall, Séverine Hubard, Stefan Kern, Bertrand Lamarche, Vincent Lamouroux, Didier Marcel, François Morellet, Sarah Morris, Juan Muñoz, Stéphanie Nava, Philippe Ramette, Sara Schnadt, Kristina Solomoukha, Hui-Min Tsen, Tatiana Trouvé, Marie Voignier, herman de vries, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Stephen Wetzel and Raphaël Zarka.

Spatial City brings together an international, multi-generational array of artists—with an emphasis on artists living in France—whose work contends with idealism, utopian thinking, and, in counterpoint, the cynicism that follows failed revolution and the retreat of optimism in the face of pragmatic reality. The exhibition traces the connection between the vanguard concepts of urban space dominant in the mid-twentieth century and championed by Yona Friedman to the art of the present, bringing together historical and recent examples of artists from the US and abroad. Originating curator Nicholas Frank (Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee) worked with participating curators Allison Peters Quinn (HPAC) and Luis Croquer (the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit) to develop the exhibition and tour.

The exhibition Spatial City is inspired by the theoretical architecture of the same name by Yona Friedman (b.1923). In his first manifesto Mobile Architecture (1958), Friedman defined the structures in this ideal city as being transformable, transportable and occupying as little ground area as possible, pushing the structures to hover over the earth rather than occupy the surface directly. Friedman’s ideas, disseminated in the aftermath of World War II, have influenced subsequent generations both indirectly and directly. While Friedman’s concepts informed the framework of the show, the selection of artwork reflects the cycling and recycling of optimism and cynicism in postwar and contemporary culture. Artists in the exhibition are responding to society’s complex problems: the failed utopian social experiments that resulted in the dehumanizing conditions of Brutalist architecture, the rise and fall of totalitarian states, the tensions resulting from post-colonial immigration, and the destruction of the environment in the name of progress.