This weekend, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago officially launches MADE YOU LOOK, the first major advertising campaign for the museum in 20 years. The launch is in conjunction with the MCA's first-ever pop-up experience dedicated to the work of groundbreaking artist Howardena Pindell, whose retrospective is currently on view at the museum. This free, two-day pop-up experience takes as its theme the year 1979, which was a pivotal time in Pindell's life and work. Attendees can interact with and experience the music, art and pop culture of 1979, created by advertising agency FCB Chicago. The pop-up event takes place on Saturday, April 7 (10 am to 5 pm), and Sunday, April 8 (noon to 5 pm), at 1330 N Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.
The Made You Look campaign was created to re-introduce the museum after a highly regarded major redesign of the building by architects Johnston Marklee that blurs the boundaries between art, food, design, and learning. The redesign includes a new, world-class restaurant, Marisol, with an immersive art environment by Chris Ofili; and a new social engagement space, the Commons, with a design by Mexican design duo Pedro y Juana. The museum also added two enormous new "MCA" signs in soft yellow lights on the front of the building, signaling a renewed welcome to the city.
Made You Look is a fully integrated campaign that leverages immersive storytelling across digital, social, and print to re-introduce the MCA to new and returning visitors. One of the highlights of this campaign is a series of six-second, high-energy, high-impact videos that make people stop and think about what they are seeing. These lively and engaging videos present a selection of powerful images and text with a playful spirit that reflect the creative and stimulating experience offered at the MCA. The museum partnered with the Chicago office of FCB, an Interpublic Group global creative ad agency, to help translate the museum's vision into this exciting new campaign and bring to life one of its current exhibitions with the 1979 pop-up.
The experiential nature of the Made You Look campaign kicks off with the Pindell Pop-Up Experience, located in a storefront at 1330 N Milwaukee which is open this weekend ONLY (Saturday, 10 am-5 pm and Sunday, noon-5 pm) and is free to all visitors. Based on the work and inspiration from the Howardena Pindell exhibition, this pop-up experience offers a blend of art, music, fashion and fun centered around the pivotal year 1979. Visitors can discover augmented reality viewfinders, throwback video games such as Space Invaders, a record vinyl wall, a Walkman listening station and a Pindell-inspired wall mural made for selfies. Visitors can also read through comics and magazines from the 1970s, and get a complimentary screen-printed T-shirt with legendary quotes from Howardena Pindell that are still relevant today.
The Howardena Pindell exhibition at the MCA runs until May 20, and spans the artist's acclaimed, five-decades-long career. Tracing the themes and visual experiments that run throughout Pindell's work, the exhibition shows how she challenged the traditional art world and asserted her place in its history as an African-American woman artist. Pindell revolutionized painting from her early, radical explorations of color and shape to her later work that expanded to address human rights injustices such as war, famine, homelessness, racism, and the AIDs crisis. Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen is co-curated by MCA Curator Naomi Beckwith and Valerie Cassel Oliver, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.