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


Architectural Narratives / Building Stories
Koldo Lus Arana
Jun 07, 2016, 6pm

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Koldo Lus Arana will discuss his recent research on the interactions between comics and architecture—both from a historical perspective and exploring current overlaps. Arana will explore the work of contemporary architects such as Jimenez Lai, Willem Jan Neutelings and many others who use comics and cartoons within their work, to the presence of architecture in comics such as those created by Chris Ware or François Schuiten. 

Koldo Lus Arana is an architect, illustrator and architecture scholar. He earned a Master in Design Studies from Harvard GSD in 2008, and a PhD from the University of Navarra in 2013 with the dissertation Futuropolis: Comics and the Transmediatic Construction of the City of the Future. His main lines of research deal with the interactions between architecture and media, and with architectural prospective. He currently teaches Theory and History of Architecture in the University of Zaragoza (Spain).

This lecture is presented in partnership with MAS Context. MAS Context is a quarterly journal that addresses issues that affect the urban context.



Ben Vida
Jun 11, 2016, 4pm

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Reducing the Tempo to Zero is Ben Vida’s new, six-hour composition for four vocalists and electronics. Taking its cues from works like Stockhausen’s Sternklang, Morton Feldman’s String Quartet No. 2, and La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Dream House, RtTtZ directly intervenes within the space of the gallery to oscillate between installation and performance. By employing long-form elements, Vida manipulates the listener’s experience of temporality, stripping the work of basic structural signifiers (such as a strict beginning, middle, and end), which results in an arrangement that reconsiders how the developmental arc of a musical composition might function. Prompting its audience to reinterpret their own agency (both by encouraging them to experience the piece from a number of different locations and allowing them to determine their own length of engagement with the work), RtTtZ summons multiple tempos, melodies, textures, and rhythms into a string of spatial moments, challenging a listener’s expectation, context, and perspective, while actively setting up a different kind of experiential proposal.

Given the length of this performance, audience members are invited to come and go throughout the duration of the event.

Ben Vida is an artist and composer living in New York. He has been an active member of the international experimental music community for two decades, with a long list of collaborators, projects and releases to his credit. In the mid-1990s, he cofounded the group Town and Country, and has since worked as a solo artist with labels such as PAN, Alku, Shelter Press, Future Audio Graphics, and Kranky. Vida has been the recipient of several awards, including an ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residency Commission; a Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Composing with Process Exclusive Works Commission; the Unsound Festival’s New Works Commission; and a Swedish Arts Committee travel grant. His recent residencies include EMS Studios, Stockholm; EMPAC, Troy, NY; and the Clocktower, NYC. His work has been performed and presented at the Guggenheim, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; the Kitchen, New York; Leap Gallery, Berlin; 356 Mission Road, Los Angeles; the Artist’s Institute, New York; the Sydney Opera House; Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna; the Borderline Festival, Athens, Greece; and the Royal Festival Hall, as part of the Meltdown Festival, in London. Vida will have his first solo exhibition at Lisa Cooley Gallery, NYC, in Spring 2016.

This performance is presented in partnership with Lampo. Founded in 1997, Lampo is a non-profit organization for experimental music and intermedia projects.

Image courtesy of Massimiliano Donati



Absence and Transverse: Translations across Time, Space, and Medium in Istanbul
Esra Akcan
Jun 30, 2016, 6pm

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Taking its inspiration from Michael Rakowitz’s engagement with the work of an Armenian artisan and his Turkish pupil in the exhibition The Flesh Is Yours, The Bones Are Ours, this talk traces the intertwined stories of similar translations across time, space, and medium that end in Istanbul: the work of Armenian photographer Abdullah Frères during the Ottoman Period; the built environs of Turkish and German architects Sedad Eldem and Bruno Taut during the Early Republic; and the output of British and Japanese contemporary artists Victor Burgin and Aki Nagasaka. All the exhibitions, including the one on view at the Graham Foundation and the others that materialize in the lecture, perform unordinary acts of architectural history and preservation, bearing witness to the power of transversal dialogues against the absences created by historical violence.

Esra Akcan is associate professor in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University. She completed her architecture degree at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, and her PhD and postdoctoral degrees at Columbia University. She has taught history-theory classes and architectural design studios at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Humboldt University (Berlin), Columbia University, the New School, Pratt Institute, and METU (Ankara, Turkey). Her  awards and fellowships include those from the American Academy in Berlin, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin, the Graham Foundation, the Clark Institute, the Getty Research Institute, the Canadian Center for Architecture, the College Art Association, the Mellon Foundation, DAAD and KRESS/ARIT.  Akcan is the author of the Architecture in Translation (Duke University Press, 2012), Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (Reaktion, 2012, with Sibel Bozdoğan), Çeviride Modern Olan (YKY, 2009), and (Land)Fill Istanbul: Twelve Scenarios for a Global City (124/3, 2004). She has guest-edited issues for Domus m (on globalization) and Centropa (on German-Turkish history), and coedited an issue for Nakhara (on writing Asian modernity). Her more than one-hundred published articles include writings on contemporary theory (critical and postcolonial theory, globalization); modern and contemporary architecture in West Asia; Ottoman architectural photography; established Euro-American architects’ engagement with the Gulf States; and the Middle Eastern diaspora in Europe.

Akcan’s scholarly work engages a geopolitically conscious global history of architecture, where her research on modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism foregrounds the intertwined histories of Europe and West Asia. Her book Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House offers a new way to understand the global movement of architecture that extends translation beyond language to visual fields. Advocating a commitment to a new culture of translatability from below and in multiple directions, it aspires toward cosmopolitan ethics and global justice. Her coauthored book Turkey: Modern Architectures in History contributes to a series that aims to produce an inclusive survey of modern world architecture, and is the first volume in any language to cover the entire twentieth century in Turkey. She is currently working on her next book on the urban renewal of Berlin's immigrant neighborhood, through which she explores a theory of open architecture.


Image: Aki Nagasaka, Project T, T for Taut, 2010.

For more information on the exhibition, The Flesh Is Yours, The Bones Are Ours, click here.




Opening Reception: The Flesh Is Yours, The Bones Are Ours
Michael Rakowitz
May 18, 2016, 6pm
Opening Reception

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Please join us for a reception and artist talk by Michael Rakowitz to celebrate the opening of our new exhibition, The Flesh Is Yours, The Bones Are Ours.

Wednesday, May 18
6-7pm: Talk by Michael Rakowitz
7-8:30pm: Opening Reception

Michael Rakowitz is an artist living and working in Chicago. He received his BFA in sculpture from Purchase College, SUNY, and his MS in visual studies from MIT. His work has appeared in venues worldwide, including dOCUMENTA 13, PS1, MoMA, MassMOCA, Castello di Rivoli, the 16th Sydney Biennale, the 10th Istanbul Biennial, Sharjah Biennial 8, the Tirana Biennale, the National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt, and Transmediale 05. Solo exhibitions include the Tate Modern in London, Lombard Freid Gallery in New York, Trafo Gallery in Budapest, and Kunstraum Innsbruck. Rakowitz is the recipient of a 2012 Tiffany Foundation Award; a 2008 Creative Capital Grant; a Sharjah Biennial Jury Award; a 2006 NYFA Fellowship Grant in Architecture and Environmental Structures; the 2003 Dena Foundation Award; and the 2002 Design 21 Grand Prix from UNESCO. His work features in major private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Neue Galerie, Kassel, Germany; the Smart Museum of Art, Chicago; the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands; the British Museum; the Kabul National Museum, Afghanistan; and UNESCO, Paris. Rakowitz is professor of art theory and practice at Northwestern University.

Image: Michael Rakowitz, "The Flesh Is Yours, The Bones Are Ours," 2015. Installation view, Galata Greek Primary School, 14th Istanbul Biennial. Photo by Sahir Ugur Eren.

For more information on the exhibition, The Flesh Is Yours, The Bones Are Ours, click here.



Candice Hopkins: Sounding the Margins
May 07, 2016, 3pm

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Please join us for a talk by curator and writer Candice Hopkins on Saturday, May 7.

Candice Hopkins
is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has held curatorial positions at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, National Gallery of Canada, the Western Front and the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre. Her writings on history, art, and vernacular architecture have been published by MIT Press, BlackDog Publishing, Revolver Press, New York University, the Fillip Review and the National Museum of the American Indian, among others. Hopkins has lectured widely including at the Witte de With, Tate Modern, Dakar Biennale, Tate Britain and the University of British Columbia. Hopkins was co-curator of the 2014 SITE Santa Fe biennial exhibition, "Unsettled Landscapes." In 2014 she received the Joan Lowndes award from the Canada Council for the Arts for excellence in critical and curatorial writing. She currently is a curatorial advisor for Documenta 14, opening in 2017.

The Graham Foundation is pleased to present this talk in partnership with the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University.

This lecture is made possible by support from the Myers Foundations and the Jerrold Loebl Fund for the arts.

Image: Beau Dick, Tsonokwa Mask, 2007 Red cedar, horse hair and acrylic, 78.8 × 66.1 × 35.6 cm.Photo: National Gallery of Canada.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago
Please note that the galleries are closed for installation. Normal gallery hours will resume after May 18.

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.