Loop Chicago

The Olympic City


29 W Randolph St

Art Galleries / Pop-Up Art Loop Galleries

Opening Reception:

Thursday, February 6, 5 - 9 pm
Free and open to the public. Complimentary beverages included.


February 6 - March 7
Monday - Friday, 12 - 7 pm

About the Exhibit:

The Olympic City is an ongoing photography project by Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit that looks at the legacy of the Olympic Games in former host cities around the world. Hosting the Olympics has become a way for a city to show itself off on an international stage and generate tourism dollars, and cities spend millions or billions for the privilege. But after the events are over, the medals have been handed out, and the torch is extinguished, what’s next? What happens to a city after the Olympics are gone?

In The Olympic City, we’re documenting the successes and failures, the forgotten remnants and ghosts of the Olympic spectacle. Some former Olympic sites are retrofitted and used in ways that belie their grand beginnings; turned into prisons, housing, malls, gyms, churches. Others sit unused for decades and become tragic time capsules, examples of misguided planning and broken promises of the benefits that the Games would bring. We’re interested in these disparate ideas — decay and rebirth — and how each site seems to have gone one way or the other, either by choice or circumstance. We’re equally interested in the lives of the people whose neighborhoods have been transformed by Olympic development.

The cities we’ve photographed for this phase of the project are Athens, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Helsinki, Mexico City, Moscow, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, Lake Placid, Rome and Sarajevo. Images from these cities appear in our first book, designed by Paul Sahre and features a foreword by New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. We intend to continue the project and photograph more Olympic cities in the future.

About the Artists:

Jon Pack is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose work has been exhibited in galleries in the US and Europe, and has appeared on book covers from publishers including Simon & Schuster and Random House. His previous projects include the limited-edition book Out There; That Thing We Call Nature.

Gary Hustwit is an independent filmmaker based in New York and London. He worked with punk label SST Records in the late 1980s, and was subsequently involved in a wide range of projects in music and book publishing before he began producing documentaries in 2001. His films include the design documentaries Helvetica, Objectified and Urbanized.

Space Provided By:

CIM Group / Block Thirty Seven

Photos: Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit


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