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The Unsolicited Sideshow: “Vacilon Columnar”

The Unsolicited Sideshow, a pop-up exhibition and event series that explores how the contemporary condition of ‘otherness’ informs architectural expression, takes center stage in the Chicago Athletic Association hotel with its final event takeover on December 8th, this time taking place in the historic Stagg Court.

Office Andorus presents “Vacilon Columnar,” an epic dance party set within an architectural fibers installation. Produced in collaboration with Chicago fibers artist Melissa Leandro and hosted by one of Chicago’s premier drag queens.


The Unsolicited Sideshow
The Unsolicited Sideshow is a pop-up exhibition and event series that explores how the contemporary condition of ‘otherness’ informs architectural expression. It opens at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel as a corollary exhibit to the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial’s main stage at the Chicago Cultural Center. Like the parallel tents of entertainment that congregate around a traveling circus, The Sideshow positions a cast of architectural oddballs to amplify the energy and visitorship of the main attraction, and give voice to a younger generation of thinkers and practitioners.

The exhibition will engage the contemporary discourse of architecture, as well as contemporary culture and politics by asking contributors to explore ideas of “otherness,” normalcy, and taboo. In the current political and cultural moment, hard lines are being drawn to define and reward ideas of normalcy by spotlighting and punishing an expanding profile of “others.” Just as the circus sideshow challenged the bounds of normalcy, The Sideshow will explore the contemporary condition of “otherness” as it informs architectural expression through form, program, material, and affect.

The Unsolicited Sideshow will activate the lobby and mezzanine of the Chicago Athletic Association hotel with pop-up exhibits that open concurrently with the Biennial, lasting from September 15-October 16. Alongside the exhibition, the Sideshow will culminate in a four, monthly Friday Tank Takeovers. The events will highlight select exhibition contributors to expand the dialogue between the Sideshow, the Biennial, and the Chicago community through performance, installation, and celebration.

Curatorial Team: Could Be Architecture (Joseph Altshuler & Zack Morrison), curator and critic Chelsea Ross, and designer Matt Heartland.

Contributors: Hailing from far and wide, with an emphasis on Chicago and Midwest. Adrianne Jørgensen (Singapore), Architecture Hero (Chicago), Chicago Underground Practice (Chicago), Cosmo Design Factory (Philmont, NY), Could Be Architecture (Chicago), Galo Cañizares Proaño / office ca / (Columbus, OH), John Clark & Taylor Holloway (Chicago), Office Andorus (Portland), Substudio (Detroit and Cincinnati), Team B Architecture & Design(Cincinnati), Susan Surface (Seattle).


December 8, 2017 8:00 pm - 11:59 pm


Stagg Court


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