Roland Knowlden

September 11, 2020 — 7:30 p.m.
Location: The Silver Room (Hyde Park) - 1506 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615


On Exhibit: September 12-October 9
Location: The Night Gallery

The opening event will feature a sidewalk exhibition of "4TH WORLD," a work by artist and architectural designer Roland Knowlden at The Silver Room. Live DJ + shop the store. In consideration of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, this event will take place outdoors with 6-foot social distancing; masks will be required at all events. Please RSVP so we can manage crowd sizes in public space.

Historically, skin color has been used as a tool of abstraction/extraction against people of color. Their complexity, experience, and humanity has been reduced down to generalizations that pertain to the color of their skin. Today, African Americans experience the American geography through negotiating these abstractions of skin color; simplifications to Black and White.

4TH WORLD is an exploration of color, experience and geography. The film questions the relationship between African, American, and African American through the lens of color. Experience as it relates to skin color (Black, White). Nationality represented through the colors of the flag (Red, White, Blue). Melanin represented through geography's relationship to the sun (Thermal Hues, UV Index).

The geography of our ancestors and the thermal properties of those regions, shaped the melanin content of our skin. Thus,the thermal relationship to skin color is one that can link African American people to their geographical origins of Africa. Color here is used not as reduction, but as a means to highlight the tension and complexity of our African and American geographical origins. The operative mapping of these thermal geographies aim to render the implications of color visible. While skin color, experience, and geography are linked visibly through their thermal hues, 4TH WORLD manipulates the color and implications of these images. The viewer is invited to interpret new relationships between skin color, experience, and the geographies of Africa and America. 

About Roland Knowlden
Roland Knowlden is an Artist and Architectural Designer. His work manifests spatial ideas through various media, and questions the built environment across art, film, and architecture. A recent graduate from IIT, Roland is currently practicing with Krueck+Sexton Architects in Chicago, IL.

For Roland, the means through which we understand the built environment are not limited to its physical infrastructure. The “concrete” carries with it cultural, sociological, and physical implications. Roland’s interdisciplinary work aims to render those forces visible, in order to better represent, understand, and reenvision the world we live in.


Event Photos