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Talk | Barak adé Soleil with “Promenade” Performers

May 02, 20236:00 pm - 7:30 pm

This talk has been rescheduled for June 15.

On the landing of a staircase, a brown-skinned large-bodied black person lies on a marble floor next to a manual wheelchair that is turned on its side. In the background is a automated bank machine and a diverse group of people in various positions. Some are looking intently at the person, others are talking with each other.

Performance view, Barak adé Soleil, #IamChair (public intervention), Lasala Rossa, Montreal, Canada. Photo: Laura Bluer.

About the Event

Please join us for a communal dialog with award-winning artist Barak adé Soleil and members of the local Black and Brown neurodiverse and disabled community who are part of adé Soleil’s newly commissioned work SHIFT.

SHIFT, a multidisciplinary project for the MCA’s Frictions series, has two components:

  1. An installation located on the first floor of the MCA during the performance’s run, intentionally next to a spiraling staircase that goes up to the museum’s fourth floor. Barak is creating a film that will be installed and projected onto a diamond-like platform. In this dreamlike video installation, bodies both at rest and as they shift are visible onscreen at life-size and larger-than-life scale. The presence of Black neurodiverse and disabled bodies is amplified from many angles, infiltrating the architecture of the museum’s iconic public stairwell. Whereas these bodies might otherwise be violently misinterpreted as either lazy or near death, adé Soleil offers rest—and the intimacy of everyday gestures—as forms of political resistance for Black people.
  2. A gathering on Saturday, May 6, where members of the Disability community will join adé Soleil in a “promenade” throughout the museum’s public areas; at times they will ascend the staircases and take up space to make visible and apparent the power of community presence. The use of the word promenade is intentional, drawing from its definition: “to take a leisurely public walk, ride, [wheel] or drive so as to meet or be seen by others.”

SHIFT is curated by Tara Aisha Willis, Curator of Performance & Public Practice at the MCA.

Access Information

ASL interpretation and live audio description will be provided. AD devices will be available at the museum, and audience members may also use their personal devices to access the audio description through a URL provided on-site.


Lead support for the 2022–23 season of MCA Performance and Public Programs is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.

Major support is provided by the Alphawood Foundation and by Julie and Larry Bernstein.

Generous support is provided by Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation; Ginger Farley and Bob Shapiro, Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation; N.A., Trustee; Susan Manning and Doug Doetsch; and Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund.

The MCA is a proud member of the Museums in the Park and receives major support from the Chicago Park District.

This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest GIG Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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