¡Vacilón Columnar! or A Party & Panel for Queer Columns

To close the four-month run of The Unsolicited Sideshow, Andrew Santa Lucia of Office Andorus brings Miami heat to Chicago's cool with a coming out party for Queer Columns, opened by a panel discussion. This free cultural event will take place in the Stagg Court, on the 4th floor of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.

Vacilón Columnar brings to life Portland architect Andrew Santa Lucia's project "Outram meets Mamani in Miami" with an architectural fibers installation created in collaboration with artist Melissa Leandro, setting the scene for a proper Miami-style Vacilón dance party.

The installation includes bas-relief-esque full-scale prints attached to large frames, a digitally-knit quilt column hung from a basketball hoop, and music from Chicago DJ Madeline. Vacilón Columnar will shake off the classical column's deterministic posture and push it to its hedonistic ends, once and for all.

6pm-7:30pm: Panel Discussion
8pm-midnight VaCiLóN! with DJ Maddie Higgins

Andrew Santa Lucia (Office Andorus, Portland State University)
Joseph Altshuler (Could Be Architecture, SAIC AIADO, The Unsolicited Sideshow)
Melissa Leandro (SAIC)
Nikole Bouchard (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Antonio Torres (Bittertang Farm, UIC)
Anna Kerr (Team B Architecture & Design)
MODERATED BY: Chelsea Ross (curator & critic, The Unsolicited Sideshow)

"Outram meets Mamani in Miami" is architectural fan fiction about love and columns during fascism. Famed postmodern British architect John Outram loved Bolivia’s indigenous citizen-architect Freddy Mamani’s columns so much, that they moved to Miami to make columns together, the only place their partnership makes any sense. Miami is the perfect setting as it has effectively queered white-status quo American identity by its simple existence—majority Latinx, primarily Spanish-speaking, fundamentally heterotopian, and blown out of proportion.

The columns are queered by pushing their identities beyond their typical associations of structure, strength, vitality, straightness, and masculinity—from determinism to hedonism.

The mini symposium will begin with short presentations by each participant, followed by a lively discussion exploring the (mis)use of architectural elements to critique, project, or reframe disciplinary instruments as cultural objects. Come for the panel, stay for the party!

The Unsolicited Sideshow is a pop-up exhibition and event series that explores how the contemporary condition of ‘otherness’ informs architectural expression. Like the parallel tents of entertainment that congregate around a traveling circus, The Sideshow positions a cast of architectural ‘freaks’ and ‘weirdos’ to amplify the energy and visitorship of the main attraction, and give voice to a younger generation of thinkers and practitioners.
The exhibition will engage the contemporary discourse of architecture, as well as contemporary culture and politics by asking contributors to explore ideas of “otherness,” normalcy, and taboo. In the current political and cultural moment, hard lines are being drawn to define and reward ideas of normalcy by spotlighting and punishing an expanding profile of “others.” Just as the circus sideshow challenged the bounds of normalcy, The Sideshow will explore the contemporary condition of “otherness” as it informs architectural expression through form, program, material, and affect.