Open sheds used for what?: College alumna twins curate citywide art installation
August 24, 2020
Since early June, College alumna Cecília and Marina Resende Santos (both A.B. ’18) have been working on a project called Open sheds used for what?, a rotating installation aimed at activating and intervening in unoccupied open spaces in the city. Open sheds is manifest of the Resende-Santos’ shared interest in critical spatial practices as a form of art practice, which began during their undergraduate studies in Art History and Comparative Literature, respectively. The installation is accompanied by brief experimental interventions by invited artists, writers, and designers, including Hanna Gregor (A.B. '18, Sociology), Breanne Johnson (A.B. '17, Visual Arts), Elizabeth Lindberg (A.B. ’18, History), Will Cabaniss (A.B. ’18, History), Gabe Moreno (M.F.A. ’16), and Maya Nguen (A.B.’18, Comparative Literature). Their shared interests at UChicago? The growing course offerings in urban architecture and design, including design studio classes, in the Department of Art History and the Social Science Division’s Program on the Global Environment.
Described on the project’s website as “an experiment in the open construction of space,” the octagonal metal structure that frames and houses the project was installed in an empty lot in Bridgeport on June 6th, just as protests against police brutality took to the streets and as the city of Chicago began to lift restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The structure remained in place until July 4th. Through physical interaction and intervention, the open shed becomes a microsphere of—or mirror to—private and public dialogues around the conditions of building and design in the public space. Since July 4th, the open shed has been moving between open spaces in and around the El Paseo community garden in Pilsen, where it will remain until the last week of August.