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Alumni gathering @ UIC Chicago Opening Expo: Sentinels – Iron Portals of Chicagoland by Cédric Van Parys 5/04

Invitation for KU Leuven & UIC alumni, Alumni Friends and affiliates,

Iron Portals of Chicagoland

As the Garofalo Fellow for 2023-2024, Cédric Van Parys has investigated and transformed the meaning of the billboard as a representative monument of American culture by juxtaposing and reconciling word, image and object.
There are plenty of surveys of America littered with commerce and ads, but this is not a project about advertisement. Van Parys is interested in the effect of these steel monopole structures on the people and the (local) urban environments. The billboard’s monetized side faces the highway and is directed mainly to drivers and passengers. But from every other viewpoint, we see a massive structure that removes part of the sky. Documenting those hyper-functional backsides reveals a monumental sacredness that resembles ancient monuments such as Native American Totem Poles, Nigerian Shango staffs, or Inuit Inukshuk stone landmarks—all are markers of space. The billboard’s imposing scale fits the American landscape and was intended to do only one thing—sell. But the billboard is more than just an icon of American consumerism; like Sentinels, these structures guard and protect the community while at the same time welcoming you home.

The Fellowship will conclude with an exhibition at the University of Illinois School of Architecture, where Van Parys will present a series of works manifesting a spiritual fundamentalism through conceptual and material appropriation. This is followed by a lecture at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago.

Opening of the exhibition: Friday April 5, 2024, 6pm
Location: 845 W Harrison St, Chicago, IL 60607
School of Architecture at University of Illinois, Chicago.
Read more and register via our Connect page: https://connect.kuleuven.cloud/networks/events/135387

The exhibition opening & lecture will be followed by a networking reception.

The exhibition runs from Friday April 5, until Friday May 3, 2024
For more info please visit https://arch.uic.edu/events/sentinels-iron-portals-chicagoland-c%c3%a9dric-van-parys

Lecture: Thursday April 18, 2024, 6pm
Location: Graham Foundation. 4 West Burton Place, Chicago, Illinois, 60610