Spring Season of Visiting Artists Program Announced

Chicago, IL— Visiting Minds. Lasting Influence. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is pleased to announce the newest lineup of guest speakers for its Visiting Artists Program (VAP), continuing a tradition endowed 60 years ago. VAP hosts two seasons of public presentations by artists and scholars each academic year through lectures, symposia, performances, and screenings.

"This program is a cornerstone of Chicago's visual arts community, and an invaluable resource for those interested in the art of our time," notes Andrea Green, Director of the Visiting Artists Program. "The ideas of these internationally renowned artists and scholars are inspiring. VAP features some of the most compelling thinkers at work today—probing, provoking, and questioning the subjects at the core of the creative process and critical inquiry."

The Spring 2013 season opens Tuesday, February 5 with a lecture by ideas-driven landscape artist and architect Martha Schwartz. Artistic Director of Documenta (13) 2012 Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev visits February 25, followed by artist, writer, and curator Julie Ault on March 4. Jacob Hashimoto (BFA 1996)—creator of massive, intricately detailed three-dimensional sculptures and hanging installations—continues SAIC's Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series on March 19. Josiah McElheny details his sculptural glass objects and multimedia installations on March 27, followed by a visit from artist and filmmaker Rosa Barba on April 11, presented in collaboration with SAIC's Conversations at the Edge series. The series closes on April 29 with a presentation by performance artist Vaginal Davis. More information on each presenter is included below.

VAP Online
In addition to making their appearances open to the public, SAIC presents many Visiting Artists Program lectures as audio podcasts online at saic.edu/vap. Recent presenters include Catherine Opie, Andi Zeisler, Tania Bruguera, and Lari Pittman. Join the conversation by following VAP on Facebook or by signing up for its eNewsletter.

All lectures are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Reservations for groups of 10 or more must be made two weeks prior to the lecture. Otherwise, seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Martha Schwartz
Tuesday, February 5, 6:00 p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Fullerton Auditorium, 111 S. Michigan Ave.
Martha Schwartz is a landscape architect and artist with an interest in urban projects who creates public spaces that build community through ideas-based design. She explores and challenges the relationships between landscape, art, and culture. Her goals include designing landscapes that enhance the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of a place; raising them to a level of fine art; and making landscape design critical to the sustainability of our surroundings. Schwartz is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Cooper-Hewitt Museum National Design Award and several awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects. Presented in collaboration with the William H. Bronson and Grayce Slovet Mitchell Lectureship in Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
Monday, February 25, 6:00 p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S. Columbus Dr.
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is a curator, author, and researcher into artistic practices, the histories of art, and the politics of aesthetics. She was Artistic Director of Documenta (13), which took place in Kassel, Germany, from June 9–September 16, 2012. Previously, she was Artistic Director of the 16th Biennale of Sydney: Revolutions—Forms That Turn (2008), and Chief Curator at the Castello di Rivoli Museum for Contemporary Art (2002–08). She was Senior Curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center—a MoMA affiliate in New York, from 1999–2001. Her publications include William Kentridge (1998), Arte Povera (1999), and for Documenta (13) the 100 Notes—100 Thoughts series as well as The Book of Books (2011–12).

Julie Ault
Monday, March 4, 6:00 p.m.
SAIC Columbus Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr.
Julie Ault is an artist, curator, writer, editor, and exhibition designer. She often assumes curatorial and editorial roles as forms of artistic practice. Her work emphasizes interrelationships between cultural production and politics, frequently engaging historical inquiry. In 1979, Ault cofounded Group Material, whose practice explored the relationship between art, activism, and politics until disbanding in 1996. Ault's recent exhibitions include: Ever Ephemeral, Remembering and Forgetting in the Archive, Signal and Inter Arts Center, Malm ö, 2011, and No-Stop City High-Rise: a conceptual equation, with Martin Beck, for the São Paulo Biennial, 2010. Her publications include: (FC) Two Cabins by James Benning (2011); Show and Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material (2010); and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, (2006), among others.

Jacob Hashimoto: Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series
Tuesday, March 19, 6:00 p.m.
SAIC Columbus Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr.
Jacob Hashimoto's (BFA 1996) artwork embodies his longtime fascination with the intersections of painting and sculpture, abstraction and landscape. Drawing on his Japanese heritage, he creates massive yet light three-dimensional structures and space altering wall hanging installations composed of thousands of miniature "kites": bamboo-stiffened rice paper hexagons suspended with nylon fishing line. Hashimoto has shown work internationally in many exhibitions including The Nature of Objects at Studio la Citta, Verona, Italy; XIV Quadrennale di Roma at Galleria Nazionale d'Arte, Rome; Made in California NOW, Mary Boone Gallery, New York; and most recently super-elastic collisions (origins, and distant derivations), Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago. Presented in collaboration with SAIC's Office of Alumni Relations.

Josiah McElheny
Wednesday, March 27, 6:00 p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Fullerton Auditorium, 111 S. Michigan Ave.
Josiah McElheny evokes notions of memory and meaning with his sculptural glass objects and extensive installations, which also incorporate elements of text, film, photographs, and performance. His recent survey exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston embodies his passion for bridging art and science fields via assembled glass, brass, and crystal constructions. McElheny continually references art history, politics, and storytelling traditions to invoke historical fictions conveyed through his diverse array of objects within a space. McElheny has shown extensively in the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Tate Modern, London; and Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, among others.

Rosa Barba
Thursday, April 11, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.
Visit siskelfilmcenter.org for tickets
German-Italian artist Rosa Barba's work takes shape through books, sculptural film-based installations, and short films. Often set in monumental landscapes—the Red Zone around Mount Vesuvius, military test sites in the Mojave Desert, an island adrift in the Baltic Sea—her films combine documentary, performance, and science fiction to examine surreal confrontations between nature, humans, and their technologies. Barba's work has been exhibited at film competitions, art biennales, art museums and galleries worldwide. Solo exhibitions include the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2012) and Kunsthaus Zürich (2012), among others. In 2010 she curated an exhibition at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Barba has received several prizes, including the Nam June Paik Award (2010). Presented in collaboration with the Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation's Conversations at the Edge series and Video Data Bank.

Vaginal Davis
Monday, April 29, 6:00 p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S. Columbus Dr.
Since the 1970s, Vaginal Davis has stretched the boundaries of performance art, music, writing, and videography throughout her career. This gender-queer, art-music icon made her first appearances in the Los Angeles club scene. She has since traveled internationally critiquing conventional and alternative mores through various presentations and concept bands such as Cholita! The Female Menudo and the Afro Sisters. She champions terrorist drag, a performance aesthetic interrupting the cultural assimilation of commercial or mainstream drag characteristics. Davis has shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva, as well as festivals including Pacific Standard Time, Los Angeles; Berlin International Film Festival, and Antony Hegarty's Meltdown Festival, London.

About the Visiting Artist Program
The primary mission of the Visiting Artists Program is to educate and foster a greater understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through discourse. Founded in 1868 and formalized in 1951 with the establishment of an endowed fund by Flora Mayer Witkowsky, the Visiting Artists Program is one of the oldest public programs of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to public presentations by artists, designers, and scholars, VAP arranges studio critiques, round-table discussions, and workshops for SAIC students, providing them with direct access to world-renowned speakers working across disciplines.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate programs to nearly 3,200 students from around the globe. SAIC also enables adults, high school students, middle school students, and children to flourish in a variety of courses, workshops, certificate programs, and camps through its Continuing Studies program. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit saic.edu.

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Martha Schwartz, Gifu Kitagata Apartments, Kitagata, Japan. Courtesy of Martha Schwartz Partners

Press/Media contact

Bree Witt
P: 312.499.4211 (office)
E: communications@saic.edu