A practicing architect and associate professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Saint-Etienne, Wrona has long been interested in the connection between architecture and social justice.
In partnership with EXPO Chicago, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Institut français, and independent curator Guillame Désanges, Rebuild welcomed Xavier Wrona as curator-in-residence for a ten-week project, Georges Bataille, Architecture, and the World Over – An Attempt in General Economy.
The project, the first in the Méthode Room residency series, featured an exhibition at Rebuild’s Archive House, the launch of an architecture TV channel, and the publication of a new journal, Après la revolution. His exhibition explored French intellectual Georges Bataille’s definition of architecture as a tool through which an ideologically dominant order manifests itself in space and time.
Balancing theory with practice, Wrona’s goal was to “Move away from this theoretical edifice…to get back into a less theoretical, closer contact to reality. I wish to be able to talk with people of the South Side…to be able to engage, discuss, debate.” To that end, he and two assistants built a temporary television studio in the heart of the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. Neighbors, community leaders, local business owners, aldermen, and City officials were invited to the studio to share their definitions of the word, “architecture.”
Wrona was the first curator selected to participate in the Méthode Room residency program at the Rebuild Foundation. While in Chicago, curatorial residents will lived at the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, a 32 unit mixed-income housing complex redeveloped through a partnership between the Chicago Housing Authority, Brinshore Development and the Rebuild Foundation.