Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist’s Eye


The back of a trailer sinks into the ground, lifting the attached car into the air, in this outdoor installation.
Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Short Cut, 2003, Mixed-media installation, Installed: approx. 8 ¼ x 29 x 14 ½ ft. (2.5 x 8.8 x 4.4 m), Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange, 2005.6 Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago © 2003 Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset


Occupying the entire MCA building as well as its outdoor spaces, the works in the exhibition Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist’s Eye—ranging from large-scale installations and sculptures to more intimate photographs and videos—focus on the phenomenon of international visual artists whose work responds to their experience of traveling and living within various cultures. Addressing issues related to tourism that include spectacle, architecture, authenticity, history, souvenirs, and anthropology, Universal Experience features work by more than 70 artists including Vito Acconci, Doug Aitken, Darren Almond, Matthew Buckingham, Chris Burden, Maurizio Cattelan, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Katharina Fritsch, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Jeff Koons, Mathias Muller, Gabriel Orozco, Martin Parr, Andrea Robbins and Max Becher, Thomas Schutte, Simon Starling, Thomas Struth, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kyoichi Tsuzuki, Piotr Uklanski, and Andy Warhol.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue that includes an anthology of critical texts, color reproductions, and writings about the artworks. Universal Experience is curated by Manilow Senior Curator Francesco Bonami with Assistant Curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm. The catalogue is edited by Tricia Van Eck, Curatorial Coordinator and Curator of Artists’ Books.