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


Stanley Kubrick, [Commodities traders on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade], Look, 1949

The Jungle: Bertolt Brecht’s Chicago and the Architecture of Production
Francesco Marullo
Apr 11, 2017 (6pm)

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Despite having never visited the city, Chicago was an obsession for Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956). He viewed Chicago as a metropolis built on sheer rationality and steel-frames, grain-silos and financial speculation, infrastructure and industrial monopolies, nomad workers and labor struggles—the material expression of the most advanced forces of capitalism. Brecht allegorically adopted such a jungle of asphalt, railways, skyscrapers, primitive drives, and frantic activities to stage most of his early plays. By dissecting reality “like the mechanism of a car,” Brecht’s theatre rejected any emphatic representation of the world, aiming instead to unravel the conditions which produce the world. This talk reads the architecture of production in Chicago through the eyes of Bertolt Brecht, adopting the principles of estrangement, dialectical theatre, and montage as design tools for conjecturing a series of projects for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.  

Francesco Marullo holds a MS and PhD in History and Theory of Architecture from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and The Berlage Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design in Rotterdam. He is a founding member of the research collective The City as a Project (2010), and his work focuses on the relation between architecture, logistics, and production. Marullo is the 2016–17 Douglas A. Garofalo Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor at the UIC School of Architecture. Previously, he taught at The Berlage, TU Delft, the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture, the RomaTre University, and also collaborated with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Matteo Mannini Architects, and DOGMA. In 2012 he cofounded Behemoth Press—a think-tank platform devoted to the exploration of the architectural project in the form of essays, drawings, exhibitions, symposia, and publications. 

About the Douglas A. Garofalo Fellowship
Named in honor of architect and educator Doug Garofalo (1958–2011), this nine-month teaching fellowship—supported with a grant from the Graham Foundation—provides emerging designers the opportunity to teach studio and seminar courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs and conduct independent design research. The fellowship also includes a public lecture at the Graham Foundation and an exhibition at the UIC School of Architecture. To learn more about the fellowship, click here.



Jacob Kirkegaard, “AION,” 2016.

Jacob Kirkegaard
Lampo Performance Series
Apr 08, 2017 (8pm)

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In his first Chicago performance, Jacob Kirkegaard presents AION, recorded and filmed in four abandoned spaces inside the radioactive zone around the former nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine.

AION—infinity or eternity in ancient Greek—was inspired by the groundbreaking sound work I am sitting in a room (1969), by artist Alvin Lucier, in which Lucier recorded himself saying, “I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice.” He then played these phrases back and recorded them again, until the different layers of his voice began to merge. Kirkegaard has taken Lucier’s action a step further, recording the resonance of an empty swimming pool, concert hall, gymnasium, and church, inside the Chernobyl exclusion area.

Kirkegaard put up a microphone and speaker in each space, started the recording, and left. After ten minutes, he returned, stopped the recording, played it back into the same room, and made a new recording. With each new layer, subtle sounds enlarged and deepened until they turned into one rich hum with many overtones. In effect, he has recorded the voices of rooms.

Jacob Kirkegaard (b.1975, Esbjerg, Denmark) is an artist focused on the scientific and aesthetic aspects of resonance, time, sound, and hearing. His installations, compositions, and performances deal with acoustic spaces and phenomena that usually remain imperceptible. Using unorthodox recording tools, including accelerometers, hydrophones, and home-built electromagnetic receivers, Kirkegaard captures and contextualizes previously unheard sounds from a variety of environments: a geyser, a sand dune, an empty room, a glacier, and even the human inner ear itself.

Based in Berlin, Kirkegaard is a graduate of the Academy for Media Arts in Cologne. He has presented his works at exhibitions, festivals, and conferences throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark; the Menil Collection, Houston; Rothko Chapel, Houston; Aichi Triennale, Nagoya; and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. He has released several albums on Touch, Important Records, and other labels. He is also a member of the sound art collective freq_out.

On Friday, April 7, 6 p.m, Kirkegaard will also give an artist talk in conjunction with this performance at the Lampo Annex, Monadnock Building, 53 W. Jackson Boulevard #1656, to discuss his audio-video work in Chernobyl as well as similar projects in Fukushima and other nuclear power plants.  RSVP here

Since 2010 the Graham Foundation has supported and partnered with Lampo to produce this performance series held at the Madlener House. Lampo, founded in 1997, is a non-profit organization for experimental music and intermedia projects.




Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, "The Work," 2015. Oil on canvas.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Northwestern University Dept. of Art, Theory, Practice Visiting Artist Talk
Apr 06, 2017 (7pm)

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As part of our continuing collaboration with Northwestern University's Department of Art, Theory, Practice, the Graham Foundation is pleased to host a talk by artist and writer Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is an artist and writer of Ghanaian descent based in London. She is represented by the Corvi-Mora Gallery in London and Jack Shainman Gallery in New York. Her work is included in the permanent collections of a number of institutions including the Tate Collection, London; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Miami Art Museum; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the National Museum of African Art; and the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw. Recently she has mounted solo shows at the Serpentine Gallery, London (2015); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2015); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2016–17); and the New Museum, New York  (May 2017). In 2006, Yiadom-Boakye won the Arts Foundation Fellowship for Painting. In 2012, she won the New Museum's Pinchuk Foundation Future Generation Prize, and in 2013 was shortlisted for the Turner Prize for her 2012 exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery in east London.

This lecture is part of the Department of Art, Theory, Practice at Northwestern University Visiting Artist Lecture Series, and is made possible with generous support from The Myers Foundations and the Jerrold Loebl Fund for the Arts.



Monadnock, "Marketsquare," Nieuw Bergen, 2015. Photo: Stijn Bollaert.

Make No Little Plans
Mar 30, 2017 (6pm)

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Job Floris, architect and co-founder of the Dutch architecture firm Monadnock, will present a talk about the firm's practice and their participation in Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth, on view at the Graham Foundation February 16–July 1, 2017.

Monadnock is a Rotterdam-based architecture practice led by Job Floris and Sandor Naus. Monadnock designs, researches, writes, and produces discourse in the fields of architecture, urbanism, interiors, and staging. Their work shifts between the scale of the city, the street, and the interior. Monadnock creates contemporary buildings that embed architecture in the cultural production of their generation as a whole. By examining key themes such as the contemporary and tradition, convention and banality, constructive logic, and illusionary representation, Monadnock aims for an architecture that combines beauty, efficiency, and the transfer of architectural knowledge. Landmark, Monadnock's viewing tower project developed for the municipality of Nieuw Bergen (NL), was shortlisted for the 2017 Mies van der Rohe Award.

For more information on the exhibition, Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth , click here.



Filip Dujardin, Untitled, from the Fictions Series.

Seamless: Digital Collage and Dirty Realism in Contemporary Architecture
Jesús Vassallo
Mar 23, 2017 (6pm)

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On the occasion of our current exhibition, Spaces without drama, Jesús Vassallo discusses his recent research and publication, Seamless: Digital Collage and Dirty Realism in Contemporary Architecture (Park Books, 2016), exploring the realist drive underlying contemporary collaborations between artists and architects in Central Europe.

Jesús Vassallo is a Spanish architect and writer, and currently an assistant professor at Rice University in Houston, Texas. His work interrogates the problem of realism in architecture through the production of design and scholarship. He is the author of Seamless: Digital Collage and Dirty Realism in Contemporary Architecture and is currently finishing a second manuscript titled Epics in the Everyday. His articles have been published internationally in magazines such as AA Files, 2G, Log, Harvard Design Magazine, Future Anterior, Domus, Arquitectura Viva, and Arkitektur DK; Vassallo also serves as editor for Circo magazine.

Related Graham Foundation supported projects:

2016 Individual Research Grant to Jesús Vassallo for Seamless: Digital Collage and Dirty Realism in Contemporary Architecture

For more information on the exhibition, Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth , click here.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago

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.