MAS Context Spring Talks 2023


March 23-June 3, 2023

Exhibition by New Orleans-based photographer Virginia Hanusik at the MAS Context Reading Room (1564 North Damen Avenue, Suite 204, Chicago, IL 60622).


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Route 1 over Leeville, 2021. © Virginia Hanusik.

The coast of the United States is undergoing a transformation due to sea level rise and erosion that challenges the patterns of development from the past century.

Nowhere is this change as rapidly apparent as the Gulf Coast, particularly Louisiana where decades of manipulating the Mississippi River, the expansion of the oil and gas industries, and invisible policies such as flood insurance have exacerbated the impacts of climate change. As more land becomes open water, the maps and borders created to designate ownership and identity become blurred.

The exhibition Periphery by photographer Virginia Hanusik explores ways of building in this liminal space of the coastal zone as boundaries are in flux and the limits of infrastructure are challenged. The exhibition is an effort to encourage thinking of South Louisiana—and coastal communities around the country—as an interconnected system rather than as separate and expendable landscapes.

Visits between March 23 and June 3 by appointment. To book a visit, please send an email to with your preferred date and time.

A selection of prints from the exhibition will be available for sale. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to Louisiana Just Recovery Fund. You can find more information about their work on their website


Thursday, March 23, 2023, 6–8PM
Opening reception with Virginia Hanusik

Monday, April 10, 2023, 6PM
Engineering Ecosystems: The Mississippi River Watershed and its Infrastructure

Lecture by Virginia Hanusik and Derek Hoeferlin

Thursday, May 11, 2023, 12PM
Floodplain Futures: Flood Insurance and the Economy of Climate Change

Lecture by Rebecca Elliot, Virginia Hanusik, and Alice Liu


Exhibition organized by MAS Context.
Printing by James Florio Photography.


Thanks to Ken Byron, Brad Bloecher, and Julie Michiels for the assistance during the installation of the exhibition.

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Houseboat on Lake Maurepas, 2021. © Virginia Hanusik.

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Houseboat near Route 55, 2021. © Virginia Hanusik.

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Flood Protection Authority Sign, London Avenue Canal, New Orleans, 2022. © Virginia Hanusik.

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The Great Wall of Louisiana #2, 2022. © Virginia Hanusik.


Virginia Hanusik, “A Receding Coast,” MAS Context, 2019

Virginia Hanusik, “Liminal Frontier: Climate Adaptation and the American Coast,” MAS Context, 2019

Virginia Hanusik, “Visualizing Disasters and an Ongoing Crisis,” MAS Context, 2020

Iker Gil, Virginia Hanusik, and Mimi Zeiger, “On the Origins of High Water,” MAS Context, 2022

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Where the Mississippi River Meets the Gulf of Mexico, Port Eads, 2020. © Virginia Hanusik.