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Méthode Room Residency in Chicago’s South Side

MÉTHODE ROOM is a residency program curated by Guillaume Désanges .
Located in South Side Chicago, it is hosted by the Archive House, and is conceived within the frame of Theaster Gates’s Dorchester Projects. It is produced with the support of the French Embassy and Rebuild Foundation.

Archive House, Chicago’s South Side © Theaster Gates

In 1937, Marcel Duchamp did the first solo show of his career on the invitation of the Arts Club of Chicago. Although it was a modest and small scale project organized by a group of private donators, we can now measure the tremendous stake of this initiative within the perspective of art history. It is in the same spirit of preciseness, speculation and visionary voluntarism that the project of Méthode Room could take place in today’s Chicago.

Aiming to go beyond the international standards of contemporary art, the Méthode Room takes advantage of the inspiring context of contemporary Chicago, that is to say : a renowned University, Art Institute and SAIC, Museum of Contemporary Art, the growing Art Fair and especially the pioneering Dorchester project by Theaster Gates in South Side of Chicago. The aim is to create an innovative and incentive device for residency and production program made for measure. The Méthode Room is dedicated to emerging, challenging and speculative programming which benefit as much to the people invited than to the context of Chicago itself. It is in this perspective of double bind benefit and a real involvement in the potential growing of Chicago as an art scene that the project will develop.


Two residents per year will work at the Méthode Room. Each residency will open on the production of an exhibition. In order to do so, the exhibition will have been prepared before the resident’s arrival. This reversed process aims at reinforcing the interaction of the residents with the local population during their stay. The projects will have to be originally thought for Chicago as a specific historical and cultural context. During their remaining time they will devote themselves to the production of a project that will have been also thought through and partly prepared before their arrival.

The Méthode Room ground floor plans, © Est-ce ainsi

The Méthode Room first floor plans, © Est-ce ainsi

The Méthode Room is a place to live. There is a comfortable apartment with all equipment for one person and eventually for a family + 2 guest rooms. It is a place with a strong architectural and design identity which inspires artists and writers.

On another floor or adjacent is a separate room that can be used for private or public practise, including : studio work, office work, meetings, lectures, performance, small shows, on an intimate basis. This room should be at the same time cosy and flexible, in the spirit of the design of Dorchester project.

The program will invite 2 residents per year, carefully chosen according to two criteria : 1- What can the context of Chicago could bring to the resident : may it be historical, political, economical, artistic, intellectual, etc.
2-What this resident can bring to the context of Chicago ?

The residents can be from visual arts, human sciences, literature, but also publishing, art history or curating. The residents might have a relation between them, although they are not in Chicago at the same time, in order thaht the program along the years is coherent, really « curated » and understood as such for the Chicago art scene.

The residency is set carefully in advance for each participant and organized in close relation with local institution and partners. It is really « à la carte », and can include lectures, fellowship, teaching program, lectures, exhibitions, or simply research and personal meetings. The result can possibly lead to a public project out of the Méthode Room, but not necessarily.

A thorough program, with a daily planning of people to meet will be handed to the resident upon their arrival. Each week the resident will meet with local people that could help them construct or broadcast their project. This way the resident will expand their projects outside of the residency by contributing to the city’s cultural activities (workshops, lectures, interviews, exhibitions in art centers or museums,…) thus becoming for a short time, cultural actors of the city.

The time of the residency can vary from 1 week to 6 months, according to the project.

The time of the residency can be sometimes a commission for a specific project linked to the history or context of Chicago.

The Méthode Room may include foreign residents if their project is relevant

The residency will be freely accessible and open to the public when the residents are available.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THE MÉTHODE ROOM, please read the following article :