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Project&/Expo Chicago Collaboration focused on social aesthetics
From a press release
2015-09-01

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This September 2015 heralds the inauguration of the annual Project&/Expo Chicago Collaboration Focused on Social Aesthetics. In honor of this dynamic partnership, Project& will present internationally-celebrated artists Hank Willis Thomas, Ryan Alexiev and Jim Ricks of the Cause Collective's In Search of the Truth ( The Truth Booth ) on Navy Pier at Expo Chicago.

Project& is an arts organization that believes art changes the world. In collaboration with established and emerging artists, Project& creates new models of cultural participation and experience with social impact.

In Search of the Truth ( The Truth Booth ) is a mobile interactive video recording booth open to the public that asks participants to look into a camera and finish the statement "The truth is..." The project debuted at Ireland's Galway Arts Festival in 2011. It has since traveled to locations including South Africa, Afghanistan, Cleveland, Miami, Brooklyn and now to Chicago with Project& and Expo Chicago.

To further animate The Truth Booth in Chicago, Project& is inviting local organizations that engage the breadth of the city's population and represent the deep civic commitment and ideals of Chicago to finish the phrase "The truth is..." From The Truth Booth recordings, Project& and the Cause Collective will create a cinematographic piece representing Chicago's diverse opinions, perspectives, confessions and passions.

Entering its fourth edition in 2015, Expo Chicago presents artwork from 140 leading galleries, representing 16 countries and 47 cities from around the world with more than 32K attendees and is one of Chicago's most-anticipated artistic and public events of the year. The rich partnership between Project& ( President and Artistic Director, Jane M. Saks ) and EXPO CHICAGO ( President and Director, Tony Karman ) developed over many years out of a shared commitment to creating unexpected artistic work that shifts the canon of social impact.

"The Truth Booth is the essence of a gift economy," says Jane M. Saks, Project& President and Artistic Director, "the only obligation participants have to each other is to give as much as they can and pass it on. It's about authenticity and generosity. What an incredible global exchange to take place at EXPO Chicago on Navy Pier."

As a special experience of the inaugural Project&/EXPO CHICAGO collaboration, VIP guests will attend an intimate Project& panel, "Project&/EXPO Series, An Open Conversation: Social Aesthetics." The panel will feature Hank Willis Thomas, Naomi Beckwith, the Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Jane M. Saks on Saturday, September 19 from 5-6p at EXPO's VIP Anchor Lounge on Navy Pier.

BIO INFORMATION:

About PROJECT& ( www.projectand.org )

Project& is an arts entity that believes art changes the world and has the unique power to address pressing issues facing local and global communities. We amplify artistic voices that risk, engage, investigate and inspire, highlighting issues at the forefront of our world today: issues of gender and race, the global culture of violence, economic and social equity and LGBTQ freedoms.

Through extraordinary collaborations with award-winning and emergent artists such as: MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario

Acclaimed visual artist Hank Willis Thomas

MacArthur Fellow and revolutionary flutist Claire Chase

MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright Lynn Nottage

Accomplished scholar and artist E. Patrick Johnson

Innovative visual and performance artist Cheryl Pope

Project& examines and influences critical policy, social and community discussions.

JANE M. SAKS is a curator, creative collaborator, producer, cultural activist, writer and educator working to challenge and champion issues of gender/sexuality, human rights, race and power within arts and culture, politics and civil rights,and academia and philan- thropy. She was the Founding Executive Director of Columbia College's Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in Arts and Media. She is the producer, co-producer, cre- ative advisor and series producer on many original creative works in various media and art forms including: "Sweet Tea: Gay Black Men of the South," "MILKWEED," "Congo: Women Portraits of War," JOMAMA JONES, and the award-winning international radio series in partnership with Chicago Public Media and National Public Radio "Gender, Human Rights, Leadership and Media." Saks collaborates with artists including Kerry James Marshall, Lynn Nottage, Lynsey Addario, Jim Hodges, Claire Chase, Hank Willis Thomas and Cheryl Pope. She serves on the Chicago Cultural Advisory Council, Nathan Cummings Foundation, South Africa Constitutional Court Architecture and Arts Committee, and Radio Diaries board. A Visiting Critic at Yale University and a White House Fellows Judge, she's received several honors including the Leadership Award from About Face Theatre, BeyondMedia Justice Award, 40 Who Have Made A Difference, Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, a Fellowship from the International Leadership National Arts Strategies, and an Inductee into the City of Chicago's LGBT Hall of Fame.

HANK WILLIS THOMAS ( www.hankwillisthomas.com )

HANK WILLIS THOMAS is a world-renown photo conceptual artist whose work is in numerous public collections including MoMA, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The High Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Recently appointed by Mayor De Blasio to the NYC Public Design Commission and regularly-profiled in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Forbes and Town and Country, his collaborative projects have been featured at the Sundance Film Festival and installed permanently at the Oakland International Airport, The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, The Oakland Museum of California, and the University of California, San Francisco. Recent notable exhibitions include Hank Willis Thomas at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Repetition and Difference at the Jewish Museum in New York.


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