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26 Apr 2013 to 31 May 2014
Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm.
119 North Peoria #2D
IL 60607
Chicago, IL
North America
T: +1 312.432.3972
F: +1 312.432.3972

04/26/2014 - 05/31/2014

Artists in this exhibition: Irina Botea, Rozalinda Borcilă, Brian Holmes


04/26/2014 - 05/31/2014

Irina Botea’s SOLO exhibition It is now a matter of learning hope foregrounds the ways in which hope as an emotion is connected to imagination and the possibility of social change.

Through four filmic investigations, Botea’s exhibition proposes a performative approach to learning, rehearsing, and debating. These films engage theoretical and historical models that relate to a politics of hope that potentially gives energy to a praxis of transformation.

These films investigate a diversity of avenues, including political history, enlightenment methodologies, contemporary socio-political action, and a range of theoretical utopian models.

These four works include:

Impersonation, a re-enactment of Charles A. Leale’s book Lincoln’s Last Hours, featuring Abraham Lincoln presenters. Dressed as Abraham Lincoln, they audition, negotiate, and interpret several roles: Charles A. Leale reading his manuscript, Charles A. Leale performing medical interventions to prolong Lincoln’s life, and the dying Abraham Lincoln himself.

Art historians – a conversation, an exchange between three art historians–Gabriela Zsigmond, Valentin Muresan and Sanda Marta–that reveals their sincere emotional engagement with artwork at the Bruckenthal Museum in Sibiu, Romania, a collection established prior to the Enlightenment by Baron Samuel von Brukenthal (1721- 1803) while he was governor of Transylvania, Romania (HD, 2014).

Photocopy/Fotocópia, a performance based on creating lists of words and gestures remembered from the 15th of May political movements in Spain in 2011 (with Anita Serrano and Merce Ortega).

It is now a matter of learning hope, a performance in which artist Ileana Faur learns and rehearses fragments of written utopian theories by Ernst Bloch, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Thomas More, Karl Marx, and Vilem Flusser. The film is set against the backdrop of Morii Island, one of many failed utopian architectural projects left unfinished by Nicolae Ceausescu, ex-dictator of Romania. (HD, 2013/14).

Botea’s artistic methodology combines re-enactment strategies, simulated auditions, and elements of direct cinema and cinéma vérité. She develops her works through a process of collaboration in which the performers are active participants. As a filmmaker, her role is in constant flux, shifting from an observational to a participatory, performative mode.

The exhibition takes its title from Ernst Bloch’s seminal philosophical text The Principle of Hope.


Over the past ten years Irina Botea has been engaged in an art practice that uses multiple media to inspect socio-political dynamics and the possibility of transformation. Currently, her focus is on the de-centralization of cultural discourses and the possibility of sustaining creative differentiation that arguably exists outside of a dominant hegemonic system of values and critique.


04/26/2014 - 05/31/2014

In the Project Room, Rozalinda Borcila & Brian Holmes present Foreign Trade Zone: A People’s Consultancy. The project reflects on the historical developments and present-day realities of ports, warehouse districts and transit corridors, asking why and how Chicago’s lakefront and waterways went “offshore.”

Weekly events and site visits propose a collective interrogation of Chicago’s trade landscapes and no-go zones, including so-called “foreign trade zones” (FTZs), artificial tax-shelter islands that play a central role in today’s global supply chains. The project room will also serve as a meeting point for consultation and the sharing of knowledge, for discussions and workshops. This hybrid project is organized along the corridor flow between art and research. It’s an experiment, a sounding board, a rendezvous, a way station. Follow the project here.

Calendar of Excursions and Workshops

For the month of May the Project Room at Threewalls hosts, not exactly an art exhibition, but a learning project that seeks to bring us into contact with some of the infrastructural forces driving the transformation of our society. We begin with maps, images and concepts, a set of materials to use and unmake, a set of knowledges to break apart and rebuild. Through workshops, walks and excursions we will extend the investigation into the lived space of the trade corridor heading southwest out of the city – an integrated space of highways, rails, canals and trade zones linked up to global supply chains. All events are free and public.

Events are subject to changes; check this page a few days beforehand to confirm.For more info or events or accessibility please call: 813-789-0123;

Sunday April 27, 1-5 PM: Walk of the Divides
Meet at the Canal Origins Park (Ashland South of Sanitary Canal – 2689 S Ashland Ave)
We begin at a heritage marker narrating the official history of Chicago as the transformation of marsh to canal, and land to property. Looking for other ways to tell this story, we’ll go searching for the Continental Divide, long breached by canals and buried under landfill. We will encounter other divides that form the structure of daily life (sites include Sky Factory Grain Elevator, the former Crawford Power Plant, the Cook County Jail and Corwith railyard).
lots of walking; bring a snack and water

Saturday, May 3, 1-5 PM: South Works to Port of Chicago
Meet at Three Walls in the Project Room, carpool to South Chicago.
The walk explores the massive South Works development project, on the site of the former US Steel mill, and its impact on this old Chicago neighborhood. We will end the trip at the Port of Chicago and Iroquois landing, just south of the development site.
light walking, carpools between sites; bring a snack and water

Sunday May 4, 11 AM-6 PM: Port of Chicago and Lake Calumet
Meet at Three Walls in the Project Room, carpool to the bridge at S. Harbor and Ewing Ave.
We will move by car and foot through the sprawling industrial zones and harbor areas of the Port of Chicago, approaching the Foreign Trade Zones, crisscrossing the Calumet River, hissing at the pet coke piles, crossing the many bridges and ending up at the Hegewisch Marsh Park.
light walking, carpools between sites; bring a lunch and water or grab smoked fish at Calumet Fisheries

Wednesday May 7, 5-6 PM: Stateville and the Warehouses
Discussion at Threewalls.
Sarah Ross of the Prison Neighborhood Art Project (PNAP) offers her reflections on the experience of driving through the Romeoville and Bolingbrook warehouse districts to reach Stateville Prison where she organizes an arts and education program. What does warehouse space say about the prison, and vice versa?

Wednesday, May 14, 5-7 PM: Bioregional Mapping From Below – Part 1
Workshop at Threewalls.
Sarah Lewison introduces us to the concepts and practices of bioregionalism. Participants share their knowledge visually, by adding hand-drawn layers to a prepared base map. The workshop seeks to open up new possibilities for the collective experience of natural and existential territories.

Thursday, May 15, 5-7 PM: Bioregional Mapping from Below – Part 2
Workshop at Threewalls.
A more focused exercise in developing layers of understanding and imagery.Friday, May 16, 12 PM-6 PM: Return to the Hidden Divides
Meet with the Compass group at 1849 N Sawyer Ave #1.
We will take a philosophical walk across the Continental Divide, searching for clues about our present predicament. We will walk/bus/drift toward the canal, launching extended conversations about past, present and future existence in the postcolonial bioregion known as the Midwest Radical Cultural Corridor.
lots of slow walking; bring lunch, water, and a wild imagination.

Saturday May 17, 11 AM-6 PM: Energy Walk
Meet with the Compass group at Threewalls, carpool to the outlying city of Lemont (50 min drive)
We will walk between the Citgo Refinery, the Sanitary Canal, the railroad tracks and the vestiges of the I&M Canal. The walk explores major energy installations in the area (Will Country Electric Generating Station, ExxonMobile Refinery) and attempts to locate some of the pipeline networks.
lots of walking, carpools between sites; bring a bag lunch and water.

May 25, 11 AM-6 PM: Choking points in the Supply Chain
Meet at Three Walls, carpool to the CenterPoint Intermodal Center near Joliet and Elwood (1 hour drive).
The walk and drive explores logistics operations and labor conditions in “North America’s Langest Inland Port”, home to the BNSF and Union Pacific intermodal rail yards as well as Walmart, Home Depot and many other major corporations. Guest presentation by Dresden, worker at Mobile Rail Solutions and organizer of contracted-out rail workers around racial and gender oppressions and labor conditions on the rail line.
light walking, carpools between sites; bring a bag lunch and water.

May 27: 11 AM-6 PM: Ottawa Sands
Meet with Laurie Palmer at 1849 N Sawyer Ave # 1, carpool to Ottawa (1 hour drive)
After an introductory presentation we will carpool to the city of Ottawa, at the other end of Indian Boundary Line and the old I&M Canal. Drawing on years of research into the production of industrial materials, Laurie will guide us to a factory producing ultra-fine sand for fracking operations. Let’s see this economy up close and find out what is happening.
light walking, carpools between sites; bring a bag lunch and water.

May 29: 5-7 PM: Path Dependencies and Learning Walks
Lecture and discussion at Threewalls.
Brian Holmes and Rozalinda Borcila plus special guests discuss the form of the learning walk and its relation to the historical pathways on which present-day existence depends. How to recognize the repetitive loops that shape the evolution of society? How to find other guidelines, forgotten paths, new interdependencies? This evening reflects on the month’s explorations as well as other forms of environmental learning-by-doing, in order to feel out the next steps.

May 31: Last day of Foreign Trade Zone
Rozalinda Borcilă is interested in the ways border regimes are produced, experienced and contested. She collaborates with Compass, No Name Collective and Moratorium on Deportations Campaign, and is committed to border abolition activism. She has taught walking seminars as experimental activism and artistic research in universities, social centers and refugee camps. She is Romanian, currently based in Chicago where she lives with her awesome daughter Liana.

Brian Holmes is a cultural critic and autonomous researcher. He speaks French and Spanish, travels and lectures extensively, collaborates with artists and activists, and has never gotten used to capitalism. In Chicago he works with the Compass group. His essays are archived on the blog Continental Drift.Partially supported by a grant from Art Matters Foundation.

Book release for COOKIE!
Wednesday, April 16
 7-9 PM

Join us this Wednesday for the Chicago release of COOKIE!, a new collection of writings by the Berlin-based critic Jan Verwoert.

Verwoert will speak in conversation with the artist David Giordano starting at 7:30. The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale.
From Sternberg Press:

Verwoert’s COOKIE! renders visible the endless emotional labor of setting the stage (for others), poses the thorny question of whether there could ever be a labor union for con-artists (like us), and gestures toward an ethics of disappointment to battle false expectations and as a way to come to terms with the fact that—no matter how you look at it—criticism hurts.
Threewalls is thrilled to welcome Verwoert to Chicago. His writing on art and philosophy has been published in numerous international magazines, journals, and artists’ monographs. He is a contributing editor at frieze magazine and is a faculty member at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam (Netherlands).

Three Walls

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