Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071


Lampo Performance Series
Feb 20, 2016, 8pm

Please RSVP

The Graham Foundation in partnership with Lampo is pleased to present Roc Jiménez de Cisneros, one half of the Barcelona-based sound-art duo EVOL. De Cisneros will premiere Opus17aSlimeVariation#8—an interpretation of German conceptual artist Hanne Darboven’s legendary Opus 17a, newly arranged for computer and RGB laser.

EVOL’s approach to Darboven's original score focuses mainly on time manipulation. Hanne Darboven worked with processes that manipulated numbers and patterns. She often used calendar dates organized according to new rules and visually displayed these grids on paper. Her Opus 17a is derived from one such calendar-based artwork (Wunschkonzert, 1984), in which numbers are transcribed into musical notes. In both a tribute to the original, and an experiment in temporal distortion, EVOL transforms Darboven's grid into a new sonic experience.

Opus17aSlimeVariations is part of a series that began in 2014 and has been presented live and as an installation, using different sound materials each time. The project was first developed in collaboration with programmer Guy Birkin.

Roc Jiménez de Cisneros (b.1975, Barcelona) is an artist, composer and co-founder of the computer music project EVOL, which he started with Stephen Sharp in 1996. His work is a radical and playful exploration of algorithmic composition. Heavily influenced and inspired by cosmology, noise and rave culture, he describes his recordings, installations and performances as “computer music for hooligans.” His output has been released on labels such as Entr’acte, Presto!?, Mego, and ALKU, which he runs with Anna Ramos. He has performed extensively throughout the world. He lives and works in Barcelona.

This performance is presented in partnership with Lampo. Founded in 1997, Lampo is a non-profit organization for experimental music, sound art and intermedia projects. For information and to add your name to the Lampo list, visit


PLEASE NOTE: Seating for this performance is extremely limited. RSVP is required and event entry is first-come, first-serve, so please plan to arrive early. Doors will open at 7:30pm.



Nnamdi Elleh
Mar 03, 2016, 6pm

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The five countries—Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Senegal and Zambia—whose modern architectural productions are featured in Architecture of Independence, present the opportunity to examine where the collective and the individual fit in the post colonial era. In his lecture architecture historian Nnamdi Elleh will connect the sociopolitical conditions of the newly independent countries with the modernist buildings erected post-independence. Elleh will address several key questions: Why did these countries fall into different states of violence following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War, an era that has been seen as the rise of neoliberal economy in the world and in Africa in general? This lecture will draw from the exhibition to explore the challenges facing these countries and different parts of the continent today.

Nnamdi Elleh is associate professor of architecture, history and theory at DAAP, University of Cincinnati. He was trained as an architect and received his PhD in art history from Northwestern University. He was a Fulbright Teaching-Research Scholar at the University of Cape Town, where he studied post-apartheid nationalist inspired architecture in South Africa. His research focuses on modern and contemporary architecture as diverse, multi-centered, regional and localized experiences in different parts of the world. Elleh’s selected books include African Architecture, Evolution and Transformation (McGraw Hill, 1996); Architecture and Power in Africa (Praeger, 2001); and Reading the Architecture of the Underprivileged Classes: A Perspective on the Protests and Upheavals in Our Cities (Ashgate, 2014).

For more information on the exhibition, Architecture of Independence: African Modernism, click here.



Mabel O. Wilson and Peter Tolkin
Mar 08, 2016, 6pm

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In conjunction with our exhibition, Architecture of Independence: African Modernism, please join us for a talk by Mabel O. Wilson and Peter Tolkin.

Mabel O. Wilson
is an award winning designer and scholar. She received a doctorate in American Studies from NYU (2007), and an M. Arch from Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (1991). As the Nancy and George E. Rupp Professor at GSAPP, she directs the program for Advanced Architectural Research, co directs the Global Africa Lab, and is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Research in African American Studies in GSAS. Her collaborative design practices (KW: a and Studio &) have worked on speculative and built projects. The (a)way station, in the collection of SFMoMA, received a design award from ID Magazine and has been exhibited widely. Her scholarly research investigates space and cultural memory in black America, race and visual culture, and new technologies and the social production of space. Her essays have appeared in numerous journals and books on critical geography, cultural memory, visual culture, and architecture. Her recent book Negro Building – Black Americans and the World of Fairs and Museums studies how the spaces of world’s fairs, emancipation expositions, and grassroots public museums became sites to imagine Afro-modernity.

Peter Tolkin is the founding principal of Peter Tolkin Architecture. Influenced by his formal education with renowned American artists Allan Sekula and Lewis Baltz and subsequent practice as a documentary photographer, his practice speaks to the social and cultural context of a project. With a natural curiosity in the contingencies that impact the conditions of contemporary culture, Tolkin’s seminal explorations as an artist provided the conceptual kernel for an architectural practice that interprets contextual narratives. He received a B.A. in Art and Art History from University of California, Santa Cruz, a M.F.A. in Photography from California Institute of the Arts, and a M.Arch from Columbia University. Tolkin continues to practice photography as a complement to his architectural work.

Image: Black Star Square, also know as Independence Square, was built to commemorate independence from colonial rule. Accra, Ghana, 1961.



Afronauts with Frances Bodomo and Jacqueline Stewart
Frances Bodomo and Jacqueline Stewart
Mar 17, 2016, 6pm

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In conjunction with the exhibition, Architecture of Independence: African Modernism, please join us for a screening of Afronauts (2014) followed by a conversation between director Frances Bodomo and Jacqueline Stewart.

Frances Bodomo is a Ghanaian filmmaker who grew up in Ghana, Norway, California, and Hong Kong before moving to New York City to study film at Columbia University (BA) and the Tisch School of the Arts (MFA). Her first short film, Boneshaker (starring Oscar-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis), premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and played at over 20 film festivals. Her second short, Afronauts, premiered at Sundance 2014 and went onto play at the Berlinale and New Directors/New Films. Based on a true story, Afronauts is about the short-lived Zambian space program, led by nationalist/activist Edward Makuka Nkoloso, and its attempts to join the space race in the late 1960s. Her ultimate goal is to make conceptually strong films that bring African images to the forefront.

Jacqueline Stewart is professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity (University of California Press, 2005). Her essays have appeared in Critical Inquiry, Film Quarterly, Film History, and The Moving Image. She is completing a study of African American actor, writer, and director Spencer Williams. She is co-curator of the L.A. Rebellion project at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Her film work in Chicago includes founding the South Side Home Movie Project, and serving as Curator of Black Cinema House, a neighborhood-based film exhibition venue run by Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation.

To view a trailer of the film, click here.

Image: Diandra Forrest as Matha. Afronauts. Dir Frances Bodomo, 2014.

For more information on the exhibition, Architecture of Independence: African Modernism, click here.



Tropic Antics
Lesley Lokko
Mar 23, 2016, 6pm

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In 2004, architect, academic, and novelist Lesley Lokko made the decision to build her own house in Accra, Ghana, where she grew up. In an era where middle-class Ghanaian aspirations tend firmly towards neo-Classicism, Lokko’s “Miesian mud house” provoked much criticism. ‘Is it a petrol station?’, one passer-by asked indignantly, referring to the white, square Shell petrol stations, first introduced in Accra in the early 1960s, few of which are still standing in their original state. In conjunction with the Graham Foundation’s new exhibition, Architecture of Independence: African Modernism, Lokko will explore the relationship between form, memory, identity, and independence.

Lesley Lokko is head of the Postgraduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg and the author of nine best-selling novels. She received her BSc(Arch) and MArch from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and her PhD in architecture from the University of London. She has taught at schools of architecture in the US, the UK, as well as South Africa, where she was Visiting African Scholar at the University of Cape Town. She is the editor of "White Papers, Black Marks: Race, Culture, Architecture" (University of Minnesota Press, 2000) and has been an on-going contributor to discourses around identity, ‘race’, African urbanism and the speculative nature of African architectural space for almost twenty years.

Image: House Lokko. Completed July 2005, Accra, Ghana. Photo by Lesley Lokko.

For more information on the exhibition, Architecture of Independence: African Modernism, click here.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago
The Graham Foundation galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday from 11-6PM.

Directions to Madlener House


Events are held in the ballroom on the third floor which is only accessible by stairs.
The first floor of the Madlener House is accessible via an outdoor lift. Please call 312.787.4071 to make arrangements.