On September 29, 2018, before a live audience at Navy Pier in Chicago, international curator Hans Ulrich Obrist conducted his first US Marathon interview session as part of Art Design Chicago, a yearlong celebration of Chicago’s art and design legacy initiated by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Obrist, who has undertaken a life-long project of interviewing cultural figures, spoke with more than twenty of Chicago’s most innovative and influential artists, designers, architects, writers, and other creatives. In their interviews, this diverse group of creatives provided insights into their artistic processes, influences, and ideas about and hopes for their shared city of Chicago. Among the participants were social-practice artist/developer Theaster Gates, architect Jeanne Gang, writer Eve Ewing, Hairy Who artists Art Green and Suellen Rocca, performance/installation artist Shani Crowe, and the city’s cultural historian Tim Samuelson. Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon serves as documentation for this event, including edited transcripts of the interviews, biographies of the participants, photos of the event, and images of the artists’ work.
About the Author
Hans Ulrich Obrist is artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries, London, and has curated more than 300 exhibitions. As part of “The Interview Project,” he has been organizing interview marathons since 2005. Alison Cuddy is the Marilynn Thoma Artistic Director of the Chicago Humanities Festival.
“Obrist’s Interview Marathons allow those who converge within the multiple intersections of creativity to offer a first-person account of what motivates and inspires their work and process, demystifying an often hazy and mushy notion.” — Lee Ann Norman
"The night before the Navy Pier event — Obrist’s first marathon in the United States — he told me that he was 'curating the city.' He called it 'a way of bringing together disciplines to construct an image of a place (this is) really far too complex to construct in any synthetic way.' He said that he chose Chicago for the event because a large archive of his interviews is held at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but also because a major influence on his chat-a-thons is Studs Terkel, Chicago’s late king of conversation. Obrist wanted to pay homage."
— Christopher Borrelli
"...why run a marathon when you can read transcriptions of Hans Ulrich Obrist and Alison Cuddy’s conversations with ‘creatives’ including Dawoud Bey, Theaster Gates and architect Jeanne Gang in Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon?” — ArtReview