Settlement is an itinerant public art project that examines displacement and migration. It focuses on mid-twentieth century highway construction, the uses of eminent domain, and histories of immigration in Chicago. The work incorporates sculpture, drawing, poetry, and public programs to consider stories that lie hidden beneath the surface of the city.
At a time of increasing polarization around migration and immigration, Settlement aims to reveal ways in which cities and their people continually move and change. By linking two disparate parts of Chicago by their material legacies, Settlement “raises the ghosts” from one razed section of the city in another to encourage conversation about our human connections to the built environment.
During the mid-20th century, Chicago was split east to west by a quarter-mile-wide trench along Congress Street to make way for the Eisenhower Expressway. Rubble from homes, businesses, and places of worship that had been seized by eminent domain and razed—as well as the soil beneath them—was trucked north to fill the gaping maw of the lake. This fill became foundation for the terminus of Lake Shore Drive and the park and beaches surrounding it.
Settlement’s installation and events ran from September 15-November 11, 2018 in Edgewater.
Here is a segment we did on Vocalo Radio’s Morning Amp about the project.
Seminal Chicago arts podcast Bad At Sports interviewed us as well.
Settlement is the culmination of a pair of commissions from the contemporary art and community organization Threewalls. .