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Editions at Mana

OFFSITE EVENT: Mana Contemporary Chicago, 2233 South Throop St.


Presented by Mana Contemporary Chicago in Partnership with Editions Kavi Gupta, Aperture Foundation, Phaidon, and University of Illinois at Chicago School of Art & Art History


CHICAGO, March 6, 2015—Mana Contemporary Chicago is pleased to present Editions at Mana, a one-day event celebrating newly-published books by Chicago-based artists. Writers, curators, and creatives of all types will gather to share insight into their diverse work processes. The free event will include book signings and select books will be available for purchase by Editions Kavi Gupta, including a 15% student discount.

In addition to the program, fine art publisher Thomas Cvikota will host a curated tour of the Donald Young Artists’ Library, Erro: American Comics will be on view in Mana’s 5th floor gallery, and several artists’ studios will be open.

Light refreshments will be served throughout the day. Please register at

 12 PM–1 PM 

CONVERSATION: LaToya Ruby Frazier and Lisa Yun Lee on The Notion of Family

Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier, a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, Mana Contemporary Resident Artist, and recent recipient of ICP’s 2015 Infinity Award, has released her highly-anticipated first book, The Notion of Family (Aperture) to critical acclaim. Frazier’s photographs offer an incisive exploration of the legacy of racism and economic decline in America’s small towns, as embodied by her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. The work also considers the impact 

of that decline on the community and on her family, creating a statement both personal and truly political: an intervention in the histories and narratives of the region.

Lisa Yun Lee is the Director of the School of Art & Art History, a visiting curator at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and a member of the Art History, Museum and Exhibition Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Lee is also the co-founder of The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, an organization dedicated to creating spaces for dialogue and dissent and for reinvigorating civil society. She has published a book on Frankfurt School philosopher Theodor Adorno titled, Dialectics of the Body: Corporeality in the Philosophy of Theodor Adorno (Routledge, 2004), and researches and writes about museums and diversity, cultural and environmental sustainability, and spaces for fostering radically democratic practices.

 2 PM–3 PM

TUTORIAL: Michelle Grabner with Assaf Evron on Akademie X: Lessons in Art + Life

Michelle Grabner will discuss her contribution to Akademie X: Lessons in Art + Life (Phaidon) with Assaf Evron, a former student of hers at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who now has a studio at Mana Chicago. Assembled from the wisdom of 36 legendary art teachers—all of them artists or critics at the top of their field—Akademie X: Lessons in Art + Life offers readers a set of tools for thinking, seeing and living as an artist.

Wisconsin-born Grabner works in a variety of mediums and is widely known for her abstract metalpoint works and her paintings of textile patterns appropriated from everyday domestic fabric. She is a writer and teacher in addition to her studio practice, and was a co-curator of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Evron splits his time between Chicago and Tel Aviv, where he began his career as a photojournalist before delving into a variety of mediums, including photography and sculpture.

4 PM–5 PM

PANEL: Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann lead a discussion on the making of Volatile Smile

What made Chicago a center of speculative culture—a culture which so rapidly emerged as the “non-place” where cybernetic logic bears it strangest and perhaps most powerful fruits? Beate Geissler, Oliver Sann, art critic Brian Holmes, and curator Karen Irvine will discuss their new Graham-funded book, Volatile Smile (Moderne Kunst Nurnberg), which investigates the impact of technology on systems of global commerce. An elucidating collage of text and images, Geissler and Sann’s latest project provides fundamental and unprecedented insights into the mutual impact of real and cybernetic architecture, with Chicago as its archetype. Volatile Smile includes images, otherwise unseen, from the operating centers of Chicago’s financial industry and features essays by Holmes, sociologist Karin Knorr Cetina, and eco-sociologist Dirk Baecker.

Geissler and Sann were born in Germany and live and work in Chicago. Their work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Fotomuseum Antwerp; the NGBK (New Society for Visual Arts) in Berlin; the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; the Fotomuseum Winthertur in Switzerland; and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Currently, Geissler is associate professor of art at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Sann is assistant professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Holmes is an art critic, activist, and translator living in Chicago. He was the English editor of publications for Documenta X, Kassel, Germany since 1997, and is currently professor of philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Irvine is Curator and Associate Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago. She has organized over forty exhibitions of contemporary photography at venues such as the MoCP; the Hyde Park Art Center; Rockford Art Museum; Lishui International Photography Festival, China; Daegu Photography Biennale, South Korea; and the New York Photo Festival.


About Mana Contemporary Chicago

Established in 2013, Mana Contemporary Chicago is a 400,000-square-foot midwestern extension of Mana Contemporary’s Jersey City, NJ, flagship. The rapidly expanding art center, designed by local architect George Nimmons, is located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. It is home to fifty artist studios and an exhibition space, as well as High Concept Laboratories, Propeller Fund Studios, the Donald Young Artists’ Library, ACRE Lab, the Chicago Urban Art Society, and workshop spaces for the University of Illinois Chicago School of Art. Mana Contemporary Chicago provides a platform for a vital community of Chicago artists, and is dedicated to presenting their practices, processes, and ideas to the public.