MAS Context Spring Talks 2016
Photography and Place


Video shot and edited by Matthew Goetz of Lucid Creative Agency.


Panel discussion with Richard Cahan, Karen Irvine, and David Schalliol as part of the MAS Context 2016 Spring Talks in Chicago. The panel discussion about photography and place took place on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at Perkins+Will in their new office at The Wrigley Building.


While explored from different disciplines and points of view, photography and place are aspects closely associated with the work of all three presenters. In each case, photography is used for different goals, from preservation of the built environment to documenting a vanishing community or the relationship between architecture and symbolism.

Author Richard Cahan’s latest book, Richard Nickel Dangerous Years: What He Saw and What He Wrote shares the photographs and writings left behind by the late photographer considered the father of Chicago’s historic preservation movement.

Curator Karen Irvine’s latest exhibition Grace of Intention looks at the links between architecture and photography through the lens of the idea of the monument, and included works by international artists such as Basim Magdy, Iman Issa, and Jan Kempenaers. During the event, Karen also discusses her most recent essay for artists Joachim Brohm and Valentina Seidel on the newly-opened Saint Trinitatis Church in Leipzig designed by the architects Schulz und Schulz.

Sociologist and photographer David Schalliol’s work explores the relationship between urban communities and the built environment, especially on the South Side of Chicago and Northwest Indiana. In addition to his photographic work, David is filming The Area, a feature-length documentary about Chicago’s Englewood community being displaced by the Norfolk Southern’s 47th Street Terminal expansion.


Thanks to graphic designer Larry Mayorga for the teaser film. To see more of his work, please visit:

MAS Context is supported by a grant by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and by private donations. For information about how to support MAS Context, please visit:






Richard Cahan is an author and co-owner of the Chicago-based publishing company CityFiles Press. He has published several critically acclaimed books, including Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home, Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows, and most recently Richard Nickel Dangerous Years: What He Saw and What He Wrote. Richard was the director of CITY 2000 and worked as the picture editor at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Karen Irvine is curator and associate director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College Chicago. She has organized over forty five exhibitions of contemporary photography, at the MoCP and other venues including the Hyde Park Art Center; Rockford Art Museum; Lishui International Photography Festival, China; Daegu Photography Biennale, South Korea, and the New York Photo Festival. She has a BA in French and International Relations from Tufts University, Medford, MA, an MFA in photography from FAMU, Prague, Czech Republic, and an MA in art history from the University of Illinois at Chicago. | @MoCP_Chicago

David Schalliol is an assistant professor of sociology at St. Olaf College who explores the transformation of urban centers through hybrid ethnographic, filmic, and photographic projects. His work was recently featured in the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and in 2014 the Japanese publisher Utakatado released his first book, Isolated Building Studies. Schalliol contributed to Highrise: Out My Window, an interactive documentary that won the 2011 International Digital Emmy for Non-Fiction. His current film project, The Area, is about the displacement of more than 400 families by the expansion an intermodal freight terminal. | @metroblossom

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *