Special Projects 2023

Special Projects are presented inside Festival Hall and around Navy Pier, featuring a curated selection of projects organized by EXPO CHICAGO. The site-specific installation program highlighted large-scale and performative works by emerging and established artists, on view throughout EXPO CHICAGO April 13–16, 2023.

2023 Participating Artists

HIGHER xtn performance at EXPO CHICAGO 2023. Photo by Mario Gallucci.

EXPO VIDEO: Curated by Jeanette Bisschops
Performance | April 14, 3:00pm | West Terrace, Lower Level
Screenings | April 13-16 | EXPO CHICAGO Booth #451  

Inspired by observations of the historical connections between religious rituals and collective dance; choreographer, dancer and artist Michele Rizzo navigates the transformative power of contemporary techno music in his performance HIGHER xtn.. Initially brought to life for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 2018, the performance toured to several European art institutions. The presentation of HIGHER xtn. at EXPO CHICAGO was Rizzo’s first-ever performance in the United States.

This performance was curated by Jeanette Bisschops as a part of her EXPO VIDEO exhibition at EXPO CHICAGO 2023.

In a time when human experience is becoming increasingly controlled, structured, and algorithmic, there seems to be a growing need to reconnect to languages by means of which unexpressed and otherwise inexpressible states can be manifested, and existing patterns can be disrupted. Through a selection of videoworks presented in a dedicated screening room and a dance performance by Michele Rizzo, both taking place at Navy Pier, this special presentation of work by Netherlands-based artists suggests that sonic expressions can constitute their own architecture that carries emotion, knowledge and the ability to connect and transform. The works on view offer a journey through sonic time-based media practices, and is a celebration of the complex processes of translation between the sonic, the visual and the physical

The program is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, and is made possible with financial support from the Mondriaan Fund, the public cultural funding organization on visual arts and cultural heritage in the Netherlands.


Simnikiwe Buhlungu
The Khuaya, 2022
Digitized Super 8mm, color, sound
6 min 6 sec

Kate Cooper  
Untitled (After Somatic Aliasing), 2022
Video, color, sound

Remy Jungerman 
BROOS, 2022
Video, black and white, sound
6 min 29 sec

Rory Pilgrim 
RAFTS, 2022
Video, color, sound
66 min 54 sec

Eoghan Ryan
Doggerel, 2022
UHD Video, color, sound
13 min 57 sec

Michele Rizzo
HIGHER xtn., 2018
45 mins 

Zizipho Poswa & Shani Crowe: Live Braiding and Clay Sculpting
Saturday, April 15 | 12:00–5:00pm 
EXPO CHICAGO | West Entrance of Festival Hall

This unique cross-cultural collaboration will bring together South African ceramicist Zizipho Poswa and American interdisciplinary artist Shani Crowe for a live hair-braiding session, informal discussion and ceramic demonstration. Crowe, who is well-known for her 2016 photographic series, titled Braids, will create an iconic hairstyle for Poswa on site at EXPO CHICAGO. At the fair, the two artists will talk about their work, the creativity and heritage inherent in Black women's hairstyles, and issues pertinent to Black women on both sides of the Atlantic. Once the braiding is complete, Poswa will make a small ceramic sculpture of the hairstyle. Presented by Southern Guild in collaboration with Norman Teague Design Studio and Michael Graham/Balloon.

Aaron Curry, Phantom, 2010. Painted wood. 125 x 102 x 62 inches, 317.5 x 259 x 157.5 cm. CUR 76.

Aaron Curry 
Phantom (2010) and Phantom, 2010
On-view in Festival Hall

Courtesy of the artist and Michael Werner Gallery.

Chris Larson, Miles of Industrial Garment Thread. Industrial sewing machines, wooden crates, and industrial garment thread.

Chris Larson
Miles of Industrial Garment Thread
On-view in Festival Hall

Rooted in the relationships between individual and architecture, body and machine, Chris Larson contemplates a history of human labor that has steadily faded from many rural communities with his Factory Performance series. Suspended six feet in the air, scarlet thread from an abandoned American garment factory that used to sew for brands like Ralph Lauren fastens machine to architecture, interacting with the structural elements of Navy Pier's Festival Hall. Larson honors the factory’s forgotten past, sometimes walking 12 miles of thread to complete a single installation. The public debut of his installation will be situated over the cafe, directly in conversation with the thread paintings exhibited by ENGAGE Projects in Booth 107.

Photo by Jon Dodson, courtesy of Gary Snyder Fine Art MT.

Ben Miller 
Live Painting of Lake Michigan 
April 11–12 | Live On-Site at Navy Pier  
April 13–16 | Painting viewable at EXPO CHICAGO, Booth 418 

Ben Miller is a Montana based artist who has developed an international reputation for his unique paintings of rivers using traditional fly rods and customized “fly brushes.” Miller will once again cast his fly rod, this year to capture the rhythms and textures of Lake Michigan. Presented by Gary Snyder Fine Art MT in association with the Chicago chapter of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Proceeds from the sale of the painting will benefit NRDC.   

Ryan McGinness, Perception Management, 2020. Acrylic and metal leaf on wood panel, triptych.84 x 180 inches,13.4 x 457.2 cm. 

Ryan McGinniss 
Perception Management, 2020
On-view in Festival Hall

Courtesy of the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery. 

Jason Middlebrook, Botany in Distress, 2022.Glass tile, mortar, wood and tile board.84 1/2 x 67 1/2 inches, 214.6 x 171.5 cm. 

Jason Middlebrook
Botany in Distress, 2022
On-view in Festival Hall

Courtesy of the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery. 

Andrew Park, All Grown Up, 2023. Acrylic on canvas over panel. 30 x 40 inches, 76.2 x 101.6 cm. 

Andrew Park
All Grown Up, 2023
On-view in Festival Hall

“All Grown Up” calls for personal reflection through the exploration of recollection, nostalgia, and memory. Projecting past memories on display, these paintings are veiled or uncovered by the distortion of a VCR  – which is often created by the physical damage to a VHS tape, and in this case, the psychological  impairment of memory.

Andrew Park seeks for onlookers to consider their own memories, reflecting on the present and all they’ve endured and overcome. The artist’s work calls for a coming to terms with all that was, is, and has been – navigating these themes through advanced airbrush techniques on gessoed wood panels. 

Video games, VCR, and VHS, are merely subject matters in this collection of works. These subjects become the vehicles to unpack larger ideas about memory, and memories from the artist's adolescence. It’s in the moments of haziness, distortion, and suspension, there is a common ground experienced and shared across humanity that reveals how recollection can be underlined with erroneous assumptions. Presented by Anthony Gallery. 

Ellen Sandor, M. Sylvia Weintraub and (art)n
On-view in Festival Hall

Jean Albano Gallery Chicago presents an animation based on data collected opinions on reproductive issues, created by Ellen Sandor, M. Sylvia Weintraub, Ph.D and (art)n. This project utilized Art-Based Research (ABR) and animated data visualization to examine public knowledge about the notion of choice in relation to women’s reproductive issues. If knowledge is power, access to pertinent information about these topics and ways in which this knowledge is embodied is essential to the agency exercised by members of societies that continuously negotiate and renegotiate these issues.