The Presidential Library Project: Black Presidential Imaginary

Aureola Richard Pryor   Edited For Web
Zachary Fabri, Aureola (Black Presidents), set of 9, 2012, digital C prints, 20 x 30 inches

Kanter McCormick Gallery

Presidential libraries and museums are contemporary inventions notorious for obfuscating the historical truths found in their archives and for forwarding a presidential and political agenda while diluting controversy, moments of uncertainty, failure, and criticism. The Presidential Library Project curated by Ross Jordan presents visual, performance, architecture, and discussions that proposes a participatory, decentralized, speculative, and multinarrative foundation for the future Obama Presidential Center. The exhibition will include work by James Britt, Rashayla Brown, Aisha Cousins, Zachary Fabri, Lamont Hamilton, Billy McGuinness, Shonna Pryor, Deb Sokolow and Nate Young.

By presenting this project, the Art Center continues its support of emerging curators by providing the opportunity to showcase their ideas at a critical moment in their career, gaining visibility and creating connections in the arts community in Chicago and beyond. The guest curator of the exhibition, Ross Jordan, has been generating projects focused on the confluence of American politics, visual culture, and artistic production for the past several years. He was a 2016 collaborator with Independent Curators International and a recipient of the Studio Art Fellowship at Trinity College, the Graduate Curatorial Fellowship at SAIC, the 2015 ACRE Curatorial Fellowship, the Exhibitions Internship at Hyde Park Art Center in 2011, and was a 2014/15 inaugural curator-in-residence at the Chicago Cultural Center. He holds a bachelors of arts in studio arts from Connecticut College and dual-masters degrees in art history and arts administration and policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was Assistant Director of Exhibitions in the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibitions Studies from 2013-2016. He is currently Curatorial Manager at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.

The Presidential Library Project is generously supported by the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation.