The Chicago Architecture Biennial has invited SO-IL and artist Ana Prvački to collaborate on an exploration of the relationship between our senses and our collective experience. Raising questions about the impact of progress on the wellbeing of our cities the team is focusing on the poetics of persistent human elements of within our lives. “The figure still dances and the heart still beats,” they remind us. Together, SO-IL and Prvački will use air-filtering meshes to construct an ensemble of wearable enclosures, titled L’air pour l’air. Part mask, part shelter, the enclosures are designed to be worn by musicians playing a composition for wind instruments by the composer Veronica Kraussas, which will debut during the Biennial's opening week. Learning sessions scheduled throughout the run of the Biennial will provide further opportunities for the public to learn about the mask/shelter enclosures, which are inspired by the plants in the Conservatory's natural mechanism for air filtration, and allow wind instrument players and singers to breathe freely. The combined performances and educational sessions will invite a diverse and intergenerational array of Chicago musicians into the complex ideas posed by the installation. Through their performance-based interactions with the wearable filtration enclosures the musicians will “clean the air that produces the music.” The public is invited to meditate upon the complex notions suggested by the collaboration, such as the relationship between purity and pollution, and the distinctions between self, objects and nature.
In her videos, services, concoctions and drawings, Ana Prvački uses a gently pedagogical and comedic approach in an attempt to reconcile etiquette and erotics. She aims for a conceptual practice with a low carbon footprint. Florian Idenburg is founder of SO-IL, an architecture firm in New York.