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MCA Talk: Todd Haynes and Sandy Powell

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Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell and Oscar-nominated director Todd Haynes discuss moviemaking, glam-rock, and David Bowie in a conversation moderated by Bruce Jenkins. Haynes and Powell collaborated on the film Velvet Goldmine (1998), a tribute to the 1970s glam-rock era that drew on the histories and mythologies of David Bowie, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop, starring Christian Bale and Ewan McGregor.

MCA Talk: Curating Bowie

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David Bowie Is curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, present an overview of the exhibition and discuss Bowie’s life and work.

Elizabeth Diller, founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, discusses her work and the firm’s creative processes in architecture and art with Reed Kroloff, a nationally known commentator in the world of architecture and urban design.

Art historian Hayden Herrera, author of Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo, discusses the Mexican artist’s life and work with a focus on Kahlo’s legacy, seen in the themes presented in Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo.

In the mid 1960s, the city of Chicago was an incubator for an iconoclastic group of young artists. Collectively known as the Imagists, they showed in successive waves of exhibitions with monikers that might have been psychedelic rock bands of the era – Hairy Who, Nonplussed Some, False Image, Marriage Chicago Style. Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists is the first film to tell this wild, woolly, utterly irreverent tale. The Chicago premiere of Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists, is followed by a discussion with artists Gladys Nilsson and Art Green, director Leslie Buchbinder, writer John Corbett, and MCA curator Lynne Warren.

MCA Talk: Anne Pasternak

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Creative Time Director Anne Pasternak explains how her organization brings provocative public art to people around the world. She will be joined by Chicago-based artists Michael Rakowitz and Laurie Jo Reynolds.

This Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago symposium explores the relationships among contemporary practice, civic engagement, art, and the work of museums. This daylong discussion brings together artists, activists, curators, educators, and historians to examine contemporary issues relating to collaboration, social practice, community outreach, and civic engagement.

MCA Talk: William Pope.L (audio)

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Artist William Pope.L orchestrates an evening that is part performance and part discussion. With a panel of artists and professors, Pope.L explores the complex tradition of public debate while addressing questions about diversity, performance, and identity. The artist further complicates these issues by dressing each member of the panel in a different farm animal costume.

Guest speakers include artists Zachary Cahill and Wolfie E. Rawk; Lisa Yun Lee, director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois; and Romi Crawford, associate professor of visual and critical studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

Talk: Jaume Plensa (audio)

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Barcelona-based conceptual artist Jaume Plensa has produced a rich body of work over the past 30 years and is best known in Chicago for Crown Fountain in Millennium Park. Plensa discusses his practice and engages in a dialog with moderator Reed Kroloff, Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Museum, about art and architecture.

The Architecture Is Art talks series examines the intersections and blurred boundaries between the professional practice and creative process of architects and contemporary artists. The series explores how architects and artists identify their work, where they turn for inspiration, how their process and presentation materials are interpreted, and when it’s useful or necessary to distinguish the disciplines of art and architecture for viewers.

In anticipation of Sarah Morris’s Chicago in the exhibition CITY SELF, the MCA hosts a preview screening followed by a conversation between Morris and Manilow Senior Curator Dieter Roelstraete.

Sarah Morris is an internationally recognized painter and filmmaker, known for her complex abstractions, which play with architecture and the psychology of urban environments. Morris views her paintings as parallel to her films—both trace urban, social, and bureaucratic topologies. In both these media, she explores the psychology of the contemporary city and its architecturally encoded politics. Morris assesses what today’s urban structures, bureaucracies, cities, and nations might conceal and surveys how a particular moment can be inscribed and embedded into its visual surfaces. Often, these non-narrative fictional analyses result in studies of conspiratorial power, structures of control, and the mapping of global socio-political networks.