"Singing Stones" at the Roundhouse Credit: Deanna Isaacs

Tuesday night’s opening reception for “Singing Stones,” the Palais de Tokyo’s exhibit of “emerging” art by French and Chicago-area artists, provided a festive first look at the DuSable Museum’s Roundhouse venue and the work of 13 participating artists.

They’re both mostly raw.

The venue, designed by Burnham & Root, and built in 1881, was a stable for the Columbian Exposition (so you might say it’s seen some shit before). Mid-renovation, it’s on its way to a new life as a unique, in-the-round event venue with a stunning sunburst ceiling and very interesting, if challenging, acoustics. 

The art, curated by the French museum’s Katell Jaffrès and intended to relate to architectural use of space, includes Andrew Schachman’s Observatory—a ten-step wooden lookout that offers a panoramic view of the scene—and Thomas Teurlai’s commanding Score for Bodies and Machines, which employs photocopies to create a visual maze and amplified copier noise to fill the rotund space with sound that hums, hoots, throbs, and eventually rules.

Thomas Teurlai's <i>Score for Bodies and Machines</i>
Thomas Teurlai’s Score for Bodies and MachinesCredit: Deanna Isaacs

“Singing Stones,” Through 10/29: Tue-Sat 10 AM-5 PM, Sun noon-5 PM, The Roundhouse at DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th, 773-947-0600, dusablemuseum.org, free.