Clockwork by Gerard & Kelly
Pioneer Works is pleased to present CLOCKWORK, an exhibition by Gerard & Kelly on view May 31 through July 1, 2018. Extending the artists' inquiry of memory and modernist architecture in their ongoing project Modern Living, the exhibition marks the New York premiere of the film Schindler/Glass as well as a new works in performance and installation commissioned by Pioneer Works.
Gerard & Kelly's Modern Living is a series of performances and videos sited in iconic modernist homes around the world. The artists mine these "ruins" of modernism for their hidden choreographies and radical social experiments. Driven by movement that revolves around a "clock," the project poses a question at once political and personal: "What would a home have to be today to shelter intimacies that do not fit within dominant narratives of family, marriage, or domesticity?"
CLOCKWORK houses Schindler/Glass (2017), the first film in this series, presented as a two-channel projected image installation within a circular pavilion designed for Pioneer Works' main hall. Featuring performances by L.A. Dance Project and original music by SOPHIE and Lucky Dragons, Schindler/Glass captures the artists' interventions at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, California—arguably the first modern house built in the world—and The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. Both are what the artists term "auto-architectures," homes the architects built for themselves to shelter relationships as experimental as their designs. The Schindler House was built in 1921 by R.M. Schindler to house two young couples in an early example of communal living, while The Glass House famously sheltered its architect Philip Johnson and his partner David Whitney in a relationship that preceded the Stonewall rebellion and endured for more than 40 years.
The loose narrative of the 35-minute film follows a family of siblings as they fall in and out of sync, couple and split, return and regroup across the two sites. The image of two dancers in Philip Johnson's bed hovers on a plane of glass, exposing a gaze that paradoxically does not penetrate the transparent walls but gets trapped in layers of reflection. A roving camera traces arcs of choreography through Schindler's pinwheel architecture, exploring the house as a system for framing intimacies. Dancers chant axioms over rhythmic choreography: "The home is a mathematical equation/The family is a system of regeneration/Relationships like clockwork…"
Gerard & Kelly transform Pioneer Works, erected in 1866 as an iron works factory, from a space in which machines were built into a machine for keeping time. An installation of tinted vinyl spread across the windows of the exhibition hall articulates a temporality outside modern clock time. When sunlight aligns with this installation, a performance begins in which dancers enact a score for architectonic movement. The dancers struggle with a foundational problem of both architecture and sculpture: how to get off the floor. As in previous chapters of Modern Living, the choreography for Gerard & Kelly's new work revolves around a "clock"—a set of movements coordinated to the numbers on the face of an analogue clock (12 in front, 6 behind, etc.). Over time, the movement acquires a metronomic, meditative quality, connecting space and memory to the indifferent temporality of the sun.
Gerard & Kelly's CLOCKWORK is curated by David Everitt Howe.
Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly have collaborated as Gerard & Kelly since 2003. Their installations and performances use choreography, video, and sculpture to address questions of sexuality, memory, and the formation of queer consciousness. Recent exhibitions and performances of their work have been presented by the Guggenheim Museum, New Museum, and The Kitchen (New York); Festival d'Automne, Palais de Tokyo, and Centre Pompidou (Paris); Chicago Architecture Biennial; and the Made in LA Biennial at the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles). Gerard & Kelly completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 2010, and received their MFAs from the University of California, Los Angeles Department of Art in 2013.
Gerard & Kelly are the recipients of a 2014 Juried Award from the New York Dance and Performance Awards, also known as the Bessies, and grants from Art Matters, New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, and the Graham Foundation. Their projects have been supported by residencies at the CND Centre national de la danse, Paris; New Museum, New York; and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, among others. Their work is in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Guggenheim Museum, New York. Gerard & Kelly live and work in Los Angeles.
Venue: Pioneer Works, Center for Art and Innovation
159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn Map
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