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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 Unsolicited Sideshow at the Chicago Architecture Biennial is curated and produced by Could Be Architecture (Joseph Altshuler & Zack Morrison), curator and critic Chelsea Ross, and designer Matthew Harlan.

2017 Events

Alongside the pop-up exhibition, the Unsolicited Sideshow will culminate in a four, monthly Friday night events, called Tank Takeovers. The events will highlight select exhibition contributors to expand the dialogue between the Sideshow, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and the Chicago community through performance, installation, and celebration. The pop-up exhibition content will also be on special display during each Tank Takeover.

Note: all events are at the Chicago Athletic Association's The Tank except the December 8 event which will be in the Chicago Athletic Association's Stagg Court.

September 22 — Opening Celebration

(Chicago Athletic Association - The Tank; exhibition hours from 6–8pm, performance and celebration from 8pm–midnight)
As an opening celebration for the pop-up exhibition, The Unsolicited Sideshow presents an evening of performances and storytelling with Chicago’s premiere underground performers and DJs. Produced in collaboration with the Duchess Darling Shear.

October 13 — A Series of Unidentified Objects

(Chicago Athletic Association - The Tank; 6pm–10pm)
office ca presents “A Series of Unidentified Objects,” an interactive installation featuring two inflatable tetrahedral chambers filled with alien architectural artifacts.

November 10 — Reverberations

(Chicago Athletic Association - The Tank; 6pm–10pm)
SUBSTUDIO presents "Reverberations," an immersive installation that explores shifting forms, ambiguous transparencies, and projection media.

December 8 — Vacilon Columnar

(Chicago Athletic Association - Stagg Court; 8pm–midnight)
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.



For more information, contact Joseph at joseph@couldbearchitecture.com

Download Press Release


The sideshow catalogue contains highlights from the sideshow, including project descriptions, contributor biographies and exhibition details.

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