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EXPO CHGO ONLINE also includes a talk by Theaster Gates and live performances by members of indie rock band Wilco.

Exhibition view: Chicago Works: Omar Velázquez, MCA Chicago, Chicago (22 December 2020–25 July 2021). Courtesy © MCA Chicago. Photo: Nathan Keay.

Expo Chicago will provide a mechanism for galleries to refer visitors to other galleries' works when its event EXPO CHGO ONLINE goes live from 8 to 12 April. The unusual feature is being called 'Dealer's Choice', a pun on art dealers and card games in which the dealer sets the rules.

'This idea actually came from one of our Selection Committee meetings a few months ago as we all were thinking of interesting new ways for collectors and curators to further explore an online platform,' said Tony Karman, President and Director of Expo Chicago. 'The dealers reminded us that they too love to collect and that they often make time at fairs to look for new work and explore.'

Eighty-one galleries are taking part in the event, which also includes five days of online programming featuring artist talks, musical performances, and films curated by Daata.

'One program is quite unique as it features live musical solo sets with noted musicians that form a quintessential Chicago band called Wilco,' Karman said. 'We are proud to be working with Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche and Nels Cline to give a little "Chicago" sound to the week's activities.'

Other performances include collaborations between singer Angel Bat Dawid abd multi-instrumentalist Isaiah Collier as well as dancer Jasmine Mendoza with filmmaker Keaton Fox.

Jill Magid, Tender (detail), 2020. Courtesy the artist and LABOR, Mexico City.

Artists speaking during the event include Theaster Gates, Rosa Barba, and Jill Magid, who created the conceptual, highly dispersed work Tender (2020). To produce the work, Magid inscribed the words 'the body was already so fragile' around the edges of 120,000 US pennies—equivalent to a single Covid-19 stimulus cheque—that she returned to ciruclation. The title is a double entendre on legal tender, drawing attention to both the vulnerability of human bodies and the economic vulnerability of the body politic since the outbreak of Covid-19.

With regard to the pandemic, Karman said Chicago was resilient, and there were signs things were beginning to improve.

'Our museums recently reopened and our galleries seem to be doing well and remain hopeful,' he said. 'Everyone is anxious to welcome the world back to Chicago and also to resume travel.'

In January, Expo Chicago announced a series of possible dates from July until September for the return of the physical fair.

Now, Karman said, 'things are getting clearer but I am not ready to make a firm announcement. I say that not to be deflective, but we are still assessing and do hope to make a statement soon.' —[O]

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