IN/SITU Outside 2023

REACH, Hank Willis Thomas and Coby Kennedy, Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Photo by Nicole Harrison.

Engaging the city’s long legacy of pioneering public art, EXPO CHICAGO presents major initiatives presented in collaboration with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Chicago Park District, and Navy Pier to highlight work by internationally recognized artists. IN/SITU Outside provides the opportunity to present temporary public art installations situated along the lakefront and throughout Chicago neighborhoods.

2023 Installations

Derrick Adams, Funtime Unicorns, Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier. Photo by Mario Gallucci.

Derrick Adams | Funtime Unicorn, 2022
On-view April 13–June 25 | Located at Polk Bros Park at the base of Navy Pier  

Funtime Unicorn is a continuation of Derrick Adams’ focus on play and leisure in the Black community. Each sculpture in the edition is a manifestation of Adams’ signature iconography – a visual vocabulary of recognizable objects, symbols, bold colors and shapes, recontextualized to depict leisure in an unprecedented way.  Seated atop colorful unicorns, the figures represent an expanded cultural imaginary of a Black lived experience. In partnership with Navy Pier, Rhona Hoffman Gallery and ART on THE MART.

The Wekaness of Power, Aïda Muluneh, 2022

Aïda Muluneh This is where I am 
On-view March 1–May 21 | JCDecaux bus shelters 

Public Art Fund debuts This is where I am, an exhibition of twelve new photographs by Aïda Muluneh on over 330 JCDecaux bus shelters across New York, Boston, and Chicago in the United States, and Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire. The exhibition will mark the first time that Public Art Fund presents artwork on the African continent, simultaneously expanding the organization’s partnership with JCDecaux beyond the United States. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Muluneh’s practice focuses on her cultural heritage as a way to explore themes of history, politics, sense of place, and other pressing issues such as the climate crisis. For this new series, Muluneh drew inspiration from Ethiopian poet Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin’s “This is where I am”. Written in 1974–the year that marked both Muluneh’s birth and the start of the Ethiopian Revolution–the poem and the resulting body of photographs are markedly personal. The series bridges past and present, as Muluneh examines her experiences as an immigrant and Ethiopian woman, reflects upon the various political regimes she has lived through, and borrows visual language from religious iconography. Aïda Muluneh: This is where I am broadens Public Art Fund and JCDecaux’s partnership, and is the artist’s first public art exhibition in Côte d’Ivoire. 

Floating Museum, The Garden, installed during EXPO CHICAGO 2023 at Navy Pier. Photo by Faith Decker.

The Floating Musuem The Garden
On-view April 13–16 | Located at the Compass Rose at Navy Pier

The Garden is a monumental remembering of specific plant histories and the ways they continually shape the world. Profoundly linked to the empire, cultivation and trade, this work uses the metaphor of the garden to have conversations associated with movement, belonging, food, colonialism, capitalism, growth and violence. The word, diaspora — ‘dia’ meaning across and ‘spora’ meaning scatter - itself has botanical roots. With an evident disruption of our global supply chains resulting from the pandemic, wars and climate change, how might we make different choices which would diminish neo-colonial tendencies for our future? The Floating Museum places the monument — an already complex, hybrid, and enigmatic object at the center as a catalyst for conversation and a scenographic intervention. This work is a collaboration with Kushala Vora and is made possible with the generous support of Joyce Foundation and Illinois Art Council.

STONE SPEAKS, Nancy Baker Cahill and Sophia the Robot, 2022

Nancy Baker Cahill and Sophia the Robot | STONE SPEAKS
On-view at Chicago Horizons

STONE SPEAKS is a monumental, narrative augmented reality artwork inspired by conversations between artist Nancy Baker Cahill and Sophia the Robot. Commissioned by Borderless Capital to reimagine climate crisis solutions, the artists exchanged thoughts about the accelerating climate crisis on our imperiled planet, and the adaptive potential of human-machine collaboration. 

The work first appears as a massive particle field comprised of silicon and carbon elements. In a reverse Big Bang, the particle field contracts into a molten core, and then swells into a vibrant planet, textured with digital paintings created by Sophia as an extension of her conversation with Baker Cahill. The final resulting work speaks to the poetics of human-machine collaboration—what might be possible if they worked interdependently toward mutual survival and a robust restoration of the world’s natural ecosystems? 

For more information on viewing STONE SPEAKS, follow the directions on the signage at Chicago Horizons, Lakefront Trl, Chicago, IL 60605 to download the 4th Wall App for Apple and Google.

Production by: Shaking Earth Digital  / Soundscape by: Caleb Craig 

REACH, Hank Willis Thomas and Coby Kennedy, Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Photo by Nicole Harrison.

Hank Willis Thomas and Coby Kennedy REACH 
On view now | Located at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

REACH is a new public work by Hank Willis Thomas and Coby Kennedy installed at Chicago O'Hare's Multi-Modal Facility. The work depicts two arms measuring at 27 feet and 31 feet in length, suspended above viewers between 9 and 34 feet off the ground. "As longtime collaborators we have had an incredible opportunity to create an artwork together and reframe a piece of public space, where most are in transit and passing through, for interconnectivity and togetherness," said the artists. "REACH is a connection point and large-scale gesture that inspires us to come together." 

© Oscar Tuazon; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. Photo: Farzad Owrang.

Oscar TuazonNatural Man (2015/2021)

Bronze, fiberglass concrete, electric water pump

Located at Jane Addams Park at 550 E. Grand Ave

Continuing Installations

Nancy Rubins, Desne Bud, 2017.

Nancy Rubins | Dense Bud (2016)

Courtesy of the Artist

Located at 5300 N DuSable Lake Shore Dr, near W Bryn Mawr Ave

Nancy Rubins, Agrifolia Majoris, 2017.

Nancy Rubins | Agrifolia Majoris (2017)

Courtesy of the Artist

Located at 5400 S DuSable Lake Shore Dr, North of Promontory Point

Mark di Suvero | Magma, 2008-2011, Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery

Located at Queen's Landing and East of DuSable Lake Shore Dr / 53rd Street

Bernar Venet | Disorder: 9 Uneven Angles, 2015, Paul Kasmin Gallery

Located at Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive

Chicago Park District Public Art Installations 

Herbert Alpert |  Spirit Totems, 2010–2012, Courtesy of the Artist 
Located at the Field Museum South Steps Plaza

John Henry | Chevron, 2007, Novak Construction
Located at Diversey Harbor Inlet

Indira Johnson  | 10,000 Ripples, 2016, Courtesy of  the Artist and Changing Worlds
Located just East of Iowa Building, North of Museum of Science and Industry

Claes Oldenburg & Coosie Van Bruggen | Architect's Handkerchief, 1999, Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery
Located at 860-880 Lake Shore Drive

Yoko Ono | Sky Landing, 2016, Courtesy of the Artist
Located in Jackson Park