press release

Home of the Free is an exhibition that critically investigates the current understanding of freedom in the United States. Home of the Free aims to explore individual notions of freedom rather than freedom understood as a collective vision. The exhibition will look at the conditions in which contemporary art is currently produced, made and exhibited asking what physical restrictions and social agendas does contemporary art follow? By asking the public to contribute every day items to the exhibition we will examine the idea of liberty through the individual’s interpretation. With this aim the exhibition is also a response to the opening of the Freedom Museum in Chicago that supports an understanding of freedom as a given, and maybe even patriotic, agenda.

Following ideas of such influential art projects and exhibitions as The Museum of Neighbourhood Phenomena by Jack Backer (Seattle, 1979) or People’s Choice by Group Material (New York, 1981) Home of the Free is making an open call to the Chicago public. We request that people bring personal objects and art works to the Art Center’s main gallery where they will be displayed. The process of the collection of objects will begin from the first day of the exhibition and continue through its entire duration. The aim is to form a collective portrait of how freedom is understood and experienced on an everyday basis in the United States today and specifically within the community of Chicago. In addition, the visitors are invited to come and tell stories that represent personal notions of freedom. The stories will be told at the Hyde Park Corner Chicago, an area inside the main gallery space which has been specifically set up for Home of the Free, bringing the idea of the Hyde Park Corner in London, where freedom of speech is guaranteed, to Hyde Park in Chicago.

A number of artists have been invited to contribute to the exhibition during its ten-week run with various interventions that take the form of lectures, performances, screenings and talks. The artists’ presentations will all take place at the Hyde Park Corner Chicago inside the main gallery space.

During the period of the exhibition Home of the Free will come to form a collection of personal items relating to the idea of freedom challenging the commonly presented understanding of what liberty might be.


Home of the Free
Kurator: Jens Hoffmann

mit Allora & Calzadilla, Mark Bradford, Carol Bove, Joseph Grigely, Wade Guyton, Laura Letinsky, Catherine Sullivan, Martha Rosler, Mario Ybarra Jr.