The Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces Special Projects

Gerard & Kelly performances at the Farnsworth House


The Farnsworth House will host a new chapter of Gerard & Kelly’s ongoing project Modern Living, a series of site-specific performances and videos exploring intimacy and domestic space within legacies of modernist architecture. Structured in chapters, each one sited in a different modernist home, the project examines how the sites’ interventions into traditional codes of domestic architecture produced notions of family and ways of living radical for their times.

Gerard & Kelly, Modern Living (2016). Performance view: MAK Center for Art & Architecture at the Schindler House, West Hollywood, CA, January 2016. Pictured: Julia Eichten and Rachelle Rafailedes of L.A. Dance Project. Courtesy of the artist

Gerard & Kelly’s project for the Chicago Architecture Biennial takes place at the iconic Farnsworth House, designed in 1945 by Mies van der Rohe as a country escape for a single woman, the successful Chicago doctor Edith Farnsworth. Initially a pioneer of modernist architecture, commissioning Mies to design a radical statement for living, Farnsworth famously found the transparency of the house unlivable. These performances build upon the first two chapters of Modern Living at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, California, and Phillip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan Connecticut, in which Gerard & Kelly used the architecture as choreography for relationships to propose new modes of intimacy not only between the dancers but also among performers and spectators.

At the Farnsworth House, Gerard & Kelly will create a choreographic score deploying three dancers in temporary constellations of solos, duos, and trios, spread throughout the interior and exterior spaces of the site, all reflecting on the condition of solitude.

Public Performance: September 16, 2017