Oct 12th 2022

Tanda: Urban Palimpsest, Collaged Spatiality: Mapping the Mecca

@ Chuquimarca


Opening Wednesday, October 12th, from 6:30PM - 8:30PM

Tanda: Urban Palimpsest, Collaged Spatiality: Mapping the Mecca

Date: Wednesday, 10/12/2022
Time: 6:30-8:30pm ct / 7:30-9:30 et / 4:30-6:30pm pt
Zoom Registration Link: bit.ly/3S5iKwQ

Urban Palimpsest, Collaged Spatiality: Mapping the Mecca | Roland Knowlden

The day the foundations of the Mecca were unearthed, I was there with the archeology team in the ground pulling out artifacts from the building. It was also my first time hearing that underneath my architecture school building, S.R. Crown Hall by famous architect Mies Van Der Rohe, was a building that held so much of Bronzeville’s vibrant 20th century culture. Underneath the IIT Campus is a black Bronzeville that gave life to jazz and writing like Gwendolyn Brooks’ “In the Mecca.” How do we summon the spirit of erased, displaced, buried and forgotten spaces like the Mecca now?

I am interested in evoking spaces that are unseen, no longer present. How can abstraction begin to capture notions of the past within the palimpsest of this particular site and its future? I am interested in the use of collage in both art and architectural histories as a tool to render the urban environment. What formal language can be deployed to articulate the overlapping layers of time, material, and spirit?

Roland Knowlden is a Liberian American interdisciplinary artist and architectural designer from New Jersey, currently based in Chicago, IL. Knowlden’s architectural background has cultivated his ongoing interest in constructed landscapes, city planning, and the cultural and social implications of racialized spatial mapping. Working across painting and drawing, Knowlden’s approach to abstract and experimental mapping articulates a visual language which makes visible the tensions wrought by erasure, displacement, and palimpsest.


Join us in any of these Tanda sessions to share conversations, resources, and knowledge.

09/28 : Labor, Care, Rest and the Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy | Jessica Caldas
10/05 : Ecologies of Impairment: Farm labor and Disability | Cielo Saucedo
10/12 : Urban Palimpsest, Collaged Spatiality: Mapping the Mecca | Roland Knowlden
10/19 : Monastic Making: Public Grieving and Vernacular Art Environments | Gabriel Chalfin-Piney
10/26 : Cumbia/Truth Teller and Backbone | Esperanza Cortés
11/09 : Video Game Non-Architecture: Digital Spaces and Their Impact | Jalyn Haynes

No session on 11/02. Sessions are virtual, free and open to the public. Closed captioning available. Recordings of Tandas are not posted online.


Tanda is a cohort program that aids individuals with their research and practice through self-directed and collective learning. It is a program providing time and space to gather, share, think and exchange conversations, resources, and knowledge on participants’ chosen topics and practices.

Chuquimarca is an art library project tasked to gather and share resources related to contemporary art and art histories. They offer a seasonal research group program known as Tanda and a summer art writing program known as Muña. Chuquimarca is based in Chicago, IL.

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