All posts filed under: announcement

Updated project website: (Re)Housing the American Dream

(Re)Housing the American Dream is an ongoing community based, performative documentary project which started in 2015. It provides a collective forum for refugee and American born children to engage critically with their intersecting issues of immigration, segregation, housing, and happiness. It is structured as a three-week summer camp in Milwaukee’s Near West Side during which the young adults produce a collective video work that is exhibited at the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee. Lead Artist: Kirsten Leenaars. Curator: Emilia Layden Check out the updated project website with all the latest work from summer 2018!    

Exhibition York College Galleries: (Re)Housing the American Dream, September 6 – October 12, 2018, York (PA)

(Re)Housing the American Dream at York College Galleries, York (PA), September 6 –October 12, 2018. The exhibition shows the collection of drawings, video and text work that make up (Re)Housing the American Dream; a cumulative documentary project (2015-ongoing) that explores the role of film as political action. This experimental multi-year documentary project follows a group of American and refugee youths in Milwaukee, growing up in the time of Trump. Through the collective making of video and text based work the construct of the American Dream is explored. The production period is structured as an annual summer camp in which the works are developed through collaborative processes with the participants. The produced work reflects on current socio-political issues, their lived experiences, individual perspectives and their collective imagination. The annual works cumulatively inform each other and tell the story of a resilient, diverse, opinioned group of youngsters living in divisive times. Project website: Artist Lecture: Wednesday October 10, 5:30 pm Demeester Recital Hall, 441 Country Club Rd, York College York, Pennsylvania Exhibition: Kirsten Leenaars: (Re)Housing the American Dream September 6 – October 12, 2018, York College Galleries Wolf Hall, …

Opening Reception (Re)Housing the American Dream: Freedom Principles, Thursday Sept 20th, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee

Invitation opening reception (Re)Housing the American Dream: Freedom Principles at the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee. This exhibition is an overview of all the work produced during this 3-year performative documentary project, including the new 3 channel video installation, produced this summer. Opening Reception (Re)Housing the American Dream: Freedom Principles Thursday Sept 20th from 5 – 8 pm. Gallery Talk 6 pm: Artist Kirsten Leenaars in conversation with filmmaker Jesse McLean. Haggerty Museum of Art, at Marquette University 530 N 13th St, Milwaukee Exhibition Rehousing the American Dream: Freedom Principles runs: August 17, 2018 – January 17, 2019 at the Haggerty Museum of Art Link to show: Project website: (Re)Housing the American Dream is a cumulative performative documentary project (2015-ongoing) that explores the role of film as political action. This experimental multi-year documentary project follows a group of American and refugee youths, growing up in the time of Trump, through the collective making of performative video and text based work exploring the construct of the American Dream. The production period is structured as an annual summer camp in which the works are developed through collaborative processes with the …

Living Architecture: Opening Celebration, September 3, 2018, Chicago

Monday, September 3 // 3-7 PM at 6018 North Kenmore Avenue Living Architecture is a large-scale, multidisciplinary exhibition focusing on the influence and impact of immigrant artists in Chicago. The exhibition responds to the current political climate to highlight how Chicago was built with immigrant labor, particularly in the arts, and is continuously shaped today by exemplary immigrant artists. Join us on Labor Day for the opening date of the exhibition at 6018North, with works on view by Alberto Aguilar, Kioto Aoki, Amanda Assaley and Qais Assali, Axis Lab, Tizziana Baldenebro, Gregory Bae, Yesenia Bello, Irina Botea, Yvette Brackman, Tom Burtonwood and Maryam Taghavi, Verónica Casado Hernández, Derek Chan, Chapuisat Brothers, Eugenia Cheng, Julietta Cheung, Alex Chitty, William Estrada, Silvia Gonzalez with Joseph Josue Mora and Patricia Nguyen, Óscar I González Díaz, Daniel Haddad, Irena Haiduk, Lise Haller Baggesen, Aram Han Sifuentes, Soohyun Kim, Rodrigo Lara Zendejas, Benjamin Larose, Kirsten Leenaars, Frances Lightbound, Wen Liu, Ivan LOZANO, Junxi Lu, Luftwerk, Sheika Lugtu, Carlos Matallana, Esperanza Mayobre, Yvette Mayorga, Jesus Mejia + Ruth, Harold Mendez, Frédéric Moffet, Julie Oh, Claes Oldenburg, Sherwin Ovid, Roni Packer, …

Boulevard Dreamers at the Art Institute of Chicago, July 21, 2018

Boulevard Dreamers Saturday July 21, 11:00 am – 4:45 pm, Art Institute of Chicago (North Garden), 111 South Michigan Ave, Chicago The Art Institute of Chicago presents Boulevard Dreamers as part of AIC’s Block Party! Boulevard Dreamers is a traveling installation and variety show responding to the specific narratives and communities of the sites and venues it visits. This collaborative project by artists Lise Haller Baggesen and Kirsten Leenaars consists of three parts: a site-specific stage set, a series of performances, and an installation of the growing collection of portraits of the Boulevard Dreamers performers. Boulevard Dreamers questions and celebrates the production of self in a society dominated by one spectacle alone: desire. Through a little glamour, a little glitter, and with a little help from their friends, Baggesen and Leenaars explore how we are moved by the agency of desire and the magical allure of being in the spotlight. Previous iterations were held at The Franklin, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. Performers at AIC include: Green / Shriner, Emily Hooper Lansana, Rebirth, Fred and Pearl Sasaki, Henry Barrett, Toni …

Lecture: (Re)Housing the American Dream at Urban Matters: Material Engagements with Communities and Borders in Times of Movement conference at the University of Utrecht, June 21, 2018

As we are moving into an Urban Age in which the majority of the world population lives in cities, questions of co-existence increasingly have to be thought in relation to high density, proximity and heterogeneity. This urban condition brings to the forefront the question how super-diversity is maintained and reproduced in relation to the built environment and technologies of mediation. Interventions in the field of urban studies suggest to approach this question by means of an ‘infrastructural’ perspective that understands the reproduction of social life in terms of socio-material assemblages that shape the fabric of urban life. Lecture: (Re)Housing the American Dream: Community in cities, migration, and the materiality of media at 3:30 pm, Utrecht University, Drift 13, 3512 BR Utrecht, the Netherlands. More on Urban Matter Conference:  

I don’t know what you are going to say; a conversation between Erik Hagoort and Kirsten Leenaars, Sector 2337, March 15, 2018

How to be together in a non-polemical way? That question will be the start of a conversation by Amsterdam based artist Erik Hagoort and Chicago based artist Kirsten Leenaars, on the occasion of the launch of Hagoort’s book I don’t know what you are going to say. I don’t know what you are going to say (2018) provides a picture of the ‘thinking together aloud’ that went on during several conversations initiated by Hagoort in recent years. The book also contains a series of essays in which Hagoort builds on ideas on closeness that originate from philosophers Ilse Bulhof, Emmanuel Levinas, Cornelis Verhoeven and others. Erik Hagoort invites the participants of the conversations to follow conditions of speaking and thinking that might stimulate to develop together lines of thought, without taking positions. Kirsten Leenaars shows a likewise interest in developing ways to be together in a non-polemical way. In her ongoing project (Re)Housing the American Dream (since 2010) she provides a collective forum for refugee and American born children in which they approach hospitably one …

Opening: Thru the Roof, Seattle, The Alice, Seattle, March 10- April 14, 2018

This series of 12 drawings was developed for the multi-disciplinary project (Re)Housing the American Dream – an ongoing community based, performative documentary project which started in 2015. This Milwaukee based project provides a collective forum for refugee and American born children to engage critically with their intersecting issues of immigration, segregation, housing, and happiness. In the early 20th century, Milwaukee became known for its “sewer socialism”: a pragmatic approach to reform based in cleaning up neighborhoods and factories with new sanitation systems, installing municipally owned water and power systems, improving education systems, and building public housing and community parks. In 1921, Milwaukee’s ‘Garden Homes’ became the first municipally built public housing project in the United States, reflecting these ideals. Looking into this socialist history of Milwaukee, and the city’s current housing issues, I looked at the different architecture models that were developed to house the working class people in Milwaukee in the 20th century and reimagined what these architectural structures might look like. Thru the Roof is a visual meditation on exit strategies: leaving, staying, and the …

Catalog Launch and Screening (Re)Housing the American Dream: A Message from the Future, Saturday March 3, 2018

  Special screening and catalog presentation of (Re)Housing the American Dream: A Message from the Future on Saturday March 3rd. The catalog is designed by Sonia Yoon and includes an essay by Steven Bridges, assistant curator at Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University.  At 3 pm there will a Q&A with the young participants discussing the project and their experiences being part of it and developing the work together. For more on the project: Screening and catalog presentation: (Re)Housing the American Dream: A Message from the Future. Saturday, March 32 – 5 pm, 3 pm: Q&A. Mobile Design Box, 753 N. 27th Street, Milwaukee  

Screening and magazine presentation (Re)Housing the American Dream at Lit&Luz Festival, Mexico City, February 21, 2018

MAKE Literary Production’s 4th annual Lit & Luz Festival of Language, Literature, and Art, themed “Belonging,” is an ambitious exchange between poets and artists from Mexico City and Chicago. The week-long festival takes place at over a dozen arts venues and universities throughout Chicago, October 13th-20th. This February, a similar series of events are held in Mexico City. Programs include readings, conversations, and our signature event, the “Live Magazine Show” in both cities. Screening (Re)Housing the American Dream at Lit&Luz Festival MAKE Magazine presentation, 6 pm, Aeromoto, Venecia 23, Entre Liverpool y Marsella, Col. Juárez For more on the project:  

Opening: The Tip of My Tongue Jan 26 – Mar 17, 2018

  The Tip of My Tongue Jan 26 – Mar 17, 2018. Opening Reception: January 26, 5 – 8PM. Performance and panel with Kirsten Leenaars and CLA, February 7, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM Weinberg Newton Gallery. 300 West Superior, Suite 203, Chicago, Illinois 60654 Hours: Mon – Sat 10 AM – 5 PM The Tip of My Tongue is organized in partnership with the Chicago Literacy Alliance and aims to draw out the complexities of language as a tool not only for communication but also for connection, discovery, and growth. This group exhibition takes an expansive approach to the theme of literacy as it explores the many issues caught up in the web of words we each navigate, from notions of identity and belonging, to autonomy and self-expression. Through sound, color, book arts, and text, this group of works by six Chicago-based artists provides access points to a multiplicity of voices, ideas, viewpoints, and conversations. Artists: Judith Brotman, Kirsten Leenaars, Andy Moore, Huong Ngo, North Branch Projects, and Udita Upadhyaya. Curator: Kasia Houlihan For more on the show and …

Screening Homeland of Gestures: Folding Within You Without You at Grandmother Film Festival, Berlin, 15-17 December, 2017

Homeland of Gestures: Folding Within You Without You is an intimate, poetic study of the last ten years of my grandmother’s life and the changing relationship between her and my mother. Capturing gestures that sustain time, and express both knowledge and love. Included at the Grandmother Film Festival, at the Jugend Museum in Berlin this December, curated by Sophia Tabatadze. This festival screens artist films and animations about grandmothers Link to festival:

Opening: Home Front at Terrain Biennial, October 1 – December 1, 2017

Home Front is a site-specific installation I created for the Terrain Biennial, curated by Sabina Ott and generously hosted by Justin Witte and Olivia Schreiner. Home Front takes note of what it means to have a sense of place and belonging and the dream of leaving – by desire or necessity at a time in America in which this conversation is defined by walls and travel bans. Reflecting on the complex situation of the emblematic figure of the immigrant throughout time, I examine my own and the Witte-Schreiner’s Dutch roots and immigration history. Link to show: