The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago revealed today that they will be co-commissioning the United States Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, which opens on May 26 and runs through November 25.
The announcement comes after months of speculation in the architecture press, which had noted that the U.S. State Department typically picks the team for the pavilion a full two years before the opening and that it seemed to be running behind this year. (The Architects Newspaper, which had been following the story, reported earlier this month that the Chicago institutions may have gotten the nod.)
The pavilion will be turned over to a show called “Dimensions of Citizenship,” which will focus on “the meaning of citizenship as a cluster of rights and responsibilities at the intersection of legal, political, economic, and societal affiliations,” according to a release. Its curators will be University of Chicago architectural history associate professor Niall Atkinson, SAIC assistant professor and Future Firm cofounder Ann Lui, and critic and educator Mimi Zeiger. Exhibitors at the pavilion have not yet been announced.
“It is urgent that architecture act as an important tool in understanding, shaping, and envisioning what it means to be a citizen today,” the curators said in a statement. “Our goal is to present the United States as a site of critical research and practice in architecture, at the intersection of old and new forms of community engagement, political action, and public policy.”