THIS PROPERTY HAS BEEN PLACED ON THE ODAWA, OJIBWE, AND POTAWATOMI HOMELANDS BY THE SETTLER COLONIALISM OF THE UNITED STATES
American Indian Center, Chicago
As part of its project for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Decolonizing the Chicago Cultural Center, the Settler Colonial City Project designed this sign for a vitrine on the Randolph Street facade of the Chicago Cultural Center. The sign utilizes the format of the brass plaques that document the placement of the Chicago Cultural Center on the National Register of Historic Places, which are located on both the Randolph Street and Washington Street facades of the building. Instead of inscribing the building into the heritage of a state that disavows its settler colonialism, as these brass plaques do, the sign designed by the Settler Colonial City project points precisely to settler colonialism as that state's heritage.
Shortly before the opening of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Settler Colonial City Project was informed that the biennial's curatorial team felt the Randolph Street façade should just include exhibition-related signage. The Settler Colonial City Project then asked for and received permission from the American Indian Center to display the sign at its building instead.
Like the Chicago Cultural Center, the American Indian Center is located on occupied Indigenous land. The American Indian Center is a place where this occupation can be pointed out, critiqued, historicized, and resisted without restriction. Once installed, members of the AIC have further elaborated on the message carried by this intervention.
Image courtesy of Heather Miller