A Lived Practice


September 20–February 20


A Proximity of Consciousness: Art and Social Action

September 20–December 20
Reception: Friday, September 19, 6:00–9:00 p.m.
Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor

At the core of Chicago's intellectual and creative life stand these influential artists for whom this city itself was a springboard for a new way of thinking about art at the intersection of society. Their work has influenced generations, having made social practice a worldwide phenomenon. This exhibition brings their ideas alive through 10 newly commissioned projects. Exhibiting artists: Jim Duignan, Paul Durica, Pablo Helguera (BFA 1993), J. Morgan Puett (BFA 1981), Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (MFA 1985), Dan Peterman, Michael Rakowitz, Laurie Jo Reynolds (MFA 2000), Temporary Services, and Rirkrit Tiravanija (MFA 1986).

The exhibition is made possible through contributions by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, Goethe-Institut Chicago, Danish Arts Council, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, and Dick Blick Art Materials.

Joseph Beuys, Untitled (Sun State), 1974

August 8, 2014–February 20, 2015
The Art Institute of Chicago, Modern Wing, 159 E. Monroe St.

Famed founder of "Social Sculpture," artist Joseph Beuys made his first trip to the United States in 1974 to advocate his concept for a Free International University—education for all. SAIC was one of three stops—and his favorite for the energy and exchange he found there. The resulting chalkboard artwork created by Beuys during his lecture-performance in Chicago, Untitled (Sun State), returns on the 40th anniversary of Beuys's historic trip.

Presented with generous support by the Goethe-Institut Chicago and the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In Dialogue: Claire Doherty and Claire Bishop

Thursday, October 2, 6:00 p.m.
Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S. Columbus Dr.

This dialogue launches a season of critical thinking around social practice developed by SAIC to address this burgeoning and much-debated field. Claire Bishop is an art historian and critic based in the PhD program in Art History at CUNY Graduate Center, New York. Her books include Installation Art: A Critical History and Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship and Radical Museology, or, What's Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art?. Claire Doherty is founder and director of Situations, and renowned for pioneering new forms of public art in unexpected locations across the world. Presented in collaboration with SAIC's Visiting Artists Program.

A Lived Practice Symposium

November 6–8
The Art Institute of Chicago, Fullerton Hall, 111 S. Michigan Ave.

Can art practice help us to cultivate a life practice? This symposium seeks to take up this age-old question of what role art can play in making meaning in our lives, while probing more contemporary concerns about the artist as community practitioners and social change-makers. Artists, art students, and those considering the role of art in their own life practice will join international artists and thinkers to contemplate why art is a meaningful way to live. Featured participants include: Ken Dunn, philosopher, recycler, gardener, and founder of the Chicago Resource Center and City Farm; Ernesto Pujol, social choreographer, performance artist, and former monk whose embodied practice is a way of living and teaching; Crispin Sartwell, philosopher, journalist, educator, and author of The Art of Living: Aesthetics of the Ordinary in World Spiritual Traditions; and Wolfgang Zumdick, philosopher, curator, educator, and author of Death Keeps Me Awake: Joseph Beuys and Rudolf Steiner, Foundations of their Thought.

On the occasion of this symposium, SAIC will initiate a new ongoing consortium effort among seven Chicago-area academic institutions: Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, and SAIC. Stewarded by Jim Duignan (DePaul University) and Rebecca Duclos (SAIC), this diverse group of students and faculty will meet regularly during the fall and culminate their study of art in society by taking a special part in the November symposium. Coordinated in partnership with SAIC's IdeaLab.

The symposium is presented with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago, Federal Republic of Germany, Goethe-Institut Chicago, Salzburg Global Seminar, and SAIC's Visiting Artists Program.

Keynote Lecture: Lewis Hyde
Thursday, November 6, 6:00 p.m.
Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S. Columbus Dr.

Lewis Hyde is a poet, essayist, translator, and cultural critic interested in the public life of the imagination. Hyde's book, The Gift, has been embraced by artists for its illuminating defense of the noncommercial portion of artistic practice. His most recent book, Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership, is a spirited defense of our "cultural commons," that vast store of ideas, inventions, and works of art that we have inherited from the past and continue to enrich in the present. Hyde is Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College and Faculty Associate at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Presented in collaboration with SAIC's Visiting Artists Program.

Chicago Social Practice History Series

This series of four volumes on Chicago's history of social practice since the 1880s includes more than 120 scholarly essays, artists' writings, interviews, and rare archival materials. Their themes are: Art Against the Law (Rebecca Zorach, editor) on art that questions legal systems to achieve social justice; Immersive Life Practices (Daniel Tucker, editor) on the merging of art and life through social and ethical creative processes; Institutions and Imaginaries (Stephanie Smith, editor) on concepts of the city and its institutions as spurs, proponents, and contexts for socially engaged art practices; and Support Networks (Abigail Satinsky—Dual MA 2009, editor) on the artists-initiated infrastructures for art making and sustaining a community of makers and thinkers. The series is published by SAIC and distributed by the University of Chicago Press.

This publication series is made possible through grants from SAIC's Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.