April 13 and May 25

For the 2023 guest sessions organized by Andrea Bagnato within the Critical Strategies course, Danny Giles (course director Master Fine Arts) and Sharmyn Cruz Rivera (coordinator of theory at the Willem de Kooning Academy) will present their joint artistic research project on Josephine Baker and Adolf Loos, which is supported by the Graham Foundation. Ala Tannir (Carnegie Museum of Art) will talk about her experience as a co-curator of the 22nd Milan Triennale.

Sharmyn Cruz Rivera is a Puerto Rican curator and writer based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Her research departs from meditations on human geography, radical manifestations of identity, and methodologies of collaboration. Most recently, Cruz Rivera served as project manager at Volume Gallery and as associate curator at The Green Lantern Press based at Sector 2337 in Chicago. She is currently the coordinator of the theory programs at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Cruz Rivera holds a master’s in arts administration and policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s in art history from the University of Puerto Rico. Recent projects include the group exhibition, Corrosive Like Salt Water, at the Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College Chicago and the publication, This may or may not be a true story or a lesson in resistance (de Appel, 2021).

Danny Giles is an artist and educator based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. His work uses varied material and performative approaches to address the possibilities and dilemmas of representing and performing identity to reveal hidden languages of power within mundane objects and spaces. Giles received his master of fine arts from Northwestern University in 2013 and a bachelor’s from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. Giles’s work has been exhibited, performed, and screened at venues including the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum, El Museo Tamayo, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Giles serves as course director of the Master Fine Art at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam.

Ala Tannir
 is an independent architect and curator from Beirut, and is currently the inaugural Curatorial Fellow at the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Heinz Architectural Center. She was part of the curatorial team and managing editor of publications for the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale (2021), How will we live together? where she coedited two publications titled Expansions and Co-Habitats (La Biennale di Venezia, 2021). In 2019, she coorganized the XXII Triennale di Milano, Broken Nature and coauthored its accompanying catalogue. She was previously involved in the organizing of several exhibitions, installations, and publications including Design and Violence and This is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her research and writings have been published in English, Arabic, Italian, and French, and have been featured in Migrant Journal and Bidayat Magazine, among others. She holds a bachelor’s of architecture from the American University of Beirut, and a master’s in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design.