Apr 14th 2023

EXPO CHICAGO 2023: Dialogues April 14

@ Navy Pier

600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL, 60611

Opening Friday, April 14th, from 12PM - 6PM

On view through Sunday, April 16th

Presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), /Dialogues brings together leading curators, artists, designers, and arts professionals for a series of panel discussions, forums, and artistic discourse on topics of the moment, including institution building and public art.

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Panelists | Debra Yepa-Pappan (Center for Native Futures), Heather Igloliorte (Initiative for Indigenous Futures), Anya Montiel (National Museum of the American Indian), and Julia Lafreniere (Head of Indigenous Ways & Equity, Winnipeg Art Gallery– Qaumajuq). Moderated by Kate Beane (Minnesota Museum of American Art).

Center for Native Futures (CfNF), an arts nonprofit, invites displaced Indigenous peoples to reclaim their niche in Zhegagoynak (Chicago) and the Great Lakes region. Focusing on redefining Indigenous Futurism, CfNF will open an art center for Native artists and writers to develop their artistic practices with a location in downtown Chicago this fall. CfNF co-founder and artist Debra Yepa-Pappan (Center for Native Futures) will be joined by Heather Igloliorte (Co-Director, Initiative for Indigenous Futures), Anya Montiel (Curator of American and Native American Women’s Art and Craft, National Museum of the American Indian), and Julia Lafreniere (Head of Indigenous Ways & Equity, Winnipeg Art Gallery) for an in-depth discussion that follows the cross-cultural perspectives of these four Indigenous women artists and curators from the US and Canada. Their deconstruction and decolonization practices within Eurocentric institutions have led to reframing the Indigenous experience and furthering the agency of creative voices by building organizations for their respective Native communities. This panel is presented in partnership with Center for Native Futures, the Terra Foundation for American Art as part of Art Design Chicago Now, the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago, and Esse. 



For Freedoms News (FFN) is an artist-led reimagining of television news. Created by the artist collective For Freedoms, which centers art and creativity as a catalyst for transformative connection and collective liberation, this project began with a residency at the Brooklyn Museum concurrent with early voting in the 2022 midterm elections, continued at Untitled Art Miami Beach, as well as the unveiling of The Embrace, Boston. This video presentation documents some of the creative experimentation from the first phase of FFN as a news program, live art installation, performance, conversation, and rallying cry from the For Freedoms ecosystem for creative civic participation. This work is being presented as a collaboration between EXPO CHICAGO and 21c Museum Hotel Chicago and is on-view at both venues. 


Panelists | Daisy Desrosiers (Gund Gallery, Kenyon College), Courtney J. Martin (Yale Center for British Art), Veronica Roberts (Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University), and Klaudio Rodriguez (Bronx Museum). Moderated by Jill Snyder (Museum Consultant).

The second annual Directors Summit, organized by EXPO CHICAGO alongside experienced museum leader Jill Snyder, brings together a diverse group of emerging art museum leaders from across the United States for a three-day program addressing the shifting dynamics of museum leadership today.

Responding to lessons from the pandemic, reverberations from social uprisings, and the shifts in values and ideals of a younger generation, museum leaders are deeply invested in a more inclusive museum, how it behaves, and how that inclusivity is reflected in the work culture. Part one of two roundtable discussions will explore how new institutional systems lead to enduring structural change. In lively conversation, this cohort of leaders will share lived experiences, experiments, and new pathways forward. This panel is presented in partnership with Sotheby’s and Risk Strategies.  


Leading international collector/philanthropists continue to significantly impact the future of museums through substantial donations and catalyzing art commissions, reflecting a commitment to the values of public institutions, civic engagement, and global collaboration. Join Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), alongside Dimitris Daskalopoulos, NEON founder and collector, and Brendan Fernandes, artist, Joffrey Executive Board Member and Chair of the Joffrey Academy for a discussion on creating greater access to contemporary art, how collections can impact contemporary institutions, and the role collector/philanthropists can play in advancing artistic practices. In 2022 Daskalopoulos donated 100 contemporary works to be jointly held between the MCA and the Guggenheim. The grouping includes major highlights by Robert Gober, David Hammons and Kiki Smith, and works by artists entering the MCA collection for the first time including Ghada Amer, Paul Chan, and Sarah Lucas. In 2021 Fernandes – whose work is in the MCA Collection – participated in the NEON sponsored exhibition, Portals, which inaugurated a new art space in Athens. This panel is presented in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and ARTNews. 


Free Fall, for Camera by Brendan Fernandes is a large-scale, multimedia dance and video installation exploring the falling body as a metaphor for queer politics. Choreographed in collaboration with Hit & Run Dance Productions Inc., Free Fall, for Camera involves 16 dancers methodically navigating a stark studio setting, accompanied by a seemingly haunting musical score from Alex Inglizian. Over the course of the film, the mournful sighs of the music abruptly pulse, prompting a single dancer to fall to the floor, while the others momentarily pause to bear witness. These moments of stillness serve to honor the victims of the devastating 2016 attack on PULSE in Orlando, Florida. Fernandes considers the role of dance as a means for protest, reclaiming agency and freedom within all spaces, notably ones like a queer nightclub that previously provided a space of sanctuary and support for the LGBTQ+ community.

View of Frederick Wellington Ruckstull’s Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Baltimore covered in red paint, August 14, 2017. Photo: Jerry Jackson/Getty.


This discussion will feature Lisa Corrin (Block Museum of Art) in conversation with Hamza Walker who will discuss his upcoming project MONUMENTS, a forthcoming exhibition organized by LAXART and the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA) that confronts the ongoing ramifications of white supremacy as symbolized by Confederate monuments and their embedded narratives. The ensuing debates following white supremacist actions and the removal of monuments across the South between 2015-2018 set the foundation for this exhibition, co-curated by LAXART Director Hamza Walker, artist Kara Walker, and MOCA Senior Curator Bennet Simpson.

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