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Opening Passages: Photographers Respond to Chicago and Paris

"Opening Passages: Photographers Respond to Chicago and Paris" at Experimental Station. Photo by Julien Chatelin.

About the program

Experimental Station

6100 S. Blackstone Ave. Chicago, IL 60637

Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM-2:00 PM

Presented as part of Opening Passages: Photographers Respond to Chicago and Paris, this pop-up installation at BUILD Chicago on the city’s West Side features the work of Sasha Phyars-Burgess and Karim Kal. Both artists embrace traditional black-and-white photography to explore the urban environment and the communities that live within it. They have photographs on display that were created in Greater Paris, while Phyars-Burgess is also showing images created in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.

Karim Kal (Lyon, France and Algeria) makes black-and-white photographs that critically examine areas left behind by the great urbanist and political projects of the past. Exploring the city at night, the artist uses a short-range flash to capture deserted spaces on the margins within working-class areas of Paris.

During her 2023 residency in Clichy-sous-Bois, Sasha Phyars-Burgess (Bethlehem, PA) set up a darkroom at a local community center while also teaching residents traditional photography techniques. Many of her students also became the subjects in her work, reflecting her combined process of art-making and community-building. Phyars-Burgess adopted this same approach several years earlier for a video project in Chicago’s South Austin neighborhood..

Produced by Villa Albertine, Opening Passages is a city-wide, multi-site photographic exhibition featuring recent works by ten American and French artists who are interested in the dynamic social landscapes of Chicago and Paris. Selections from all participating artists are currently on view together downtown at the Chicago Cultural Center, while site-specific installations like this one highlight intersections between artists whose work resonates with similar themes or particular areas within each city.

The City is the Site