610 S. Michigan
Chicago, IL 60605
Spertus Institute presents a new, commissioned, site-specific installation by Chicago-based artist Ellen Rothenberg. Rothenberg prompts visitors to consider connections between past and contemporary issues of migration. The project is inspired by objects and documents Rothenberg uncovered in the Spertus collection—as well as research she pursued in Berlin at Germany’s largest refugee camp, housed in the monumental Tempelhof Airport, a disused site that was designed and built by the Nazis. Tempelhof’s building is a legally protected historic monument with strict regulations that dictate the physical forms of the interior camp spaces. No alterations can be made that will permanently affect the building, leaving the entire camp to exist in a permanently ephemeral state. Rothenberg critically approaches the temporality of this site referring to global issues of migration.
Ellen Rothenberg is an award-winning artist whose work has been presented in prestigious institutions across Europe and North America. Her installations and public projects often employ the iconography of social movements, using archival documents to examine the mechanisms underlying contemporary political engagement.
Rothenberg teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was recently appointed an inaugural Faculty Research Fellow of the Institute for Curatorial Research and Practice.