In late 2012, Theaster Gates began the process of transforming a near-derelict 1920s bank on the South Side of Chicago into a thriving, cultural hub. The building will become a destination providing a restaurant, culinary school, library, artist studios, and office spaces for local organizations and will expand on Gates’s existing renovation of buildings on South Dorchester Avenue, a few blocks away.
BNKUDRWTR amplifies this visionary project and explores the consequences of failed institutions that haunt economically challenged communities. The installation includes the bank's sign and teller window obtained during the gutting process, and a recording that considers the formations and failures of banks along with a vast tarred platform. This platform references the damaged roof of the building that caused extensive flooding and gave opportunists access to its single remaining commodity: the copper plumbing within the walls. Viewed from above, the roof construction is repositioned as a hand-crafted object that, together with the items salvaged from the building's interior, serve to promote the sustainable future and renewed purpose of this once forlorn structure.
Unlimited is Art Basel's pioneering exhibition platform for projects that transcend the limitations of a classical art-show stand. The innovative work includes out-sized sculpture and paintings, video projections, large-scale installations, and live performances. Unlimited is curated by New York-based curator Gianni Jetzer.
Theaster Gates at Unlimited, Art Basel
Thursday 13 June: 11am - 7pm
Friday 14 June: 11am - 7pm
Saturday 15 June: 11am - 7pm
Sunday 16 June: 11am - 7pm
13-16 June 2013
Theaster Gates 'BNKUDRWTR' 2013 Mixed media installation
© Theaster Gates Photo: Dawn Blackman Courtesy White Cube