Gerard & Kelly: CLOCKWORK extends the artists’ inquiry of memory and modernist architecture in their ongoing project Modern Living, and marks the New York premiere of the film Schindler/Glass as well as new work commissioned by Pioneer Works.
Modern Living is a series of performances and videos sited in iconic modernist homes around the world. Gerard & Kelly mine these ruins of modernism for their hidden choreographies and radical social experiments. 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, 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 ever built—and Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. Both are homes the architects built for themselves to shelter relationships as experimental as their designs.
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. Two dancers in Philip Johnson’s bed hover spectrally in the field beyond the house, reflected on a pane of glass. A roving camera traces arcs of choreography through R.M. 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…”
In a series of new installations and a performance created for the exhibition, 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. Corresponding to the movement of light across the floor at sunset, the choreography revolves around a “clock”—a set of gestures synced to the numbers on the face of an analogue clock (12 in front, 6 behind, etc.). Over time, the performance embodies a metronomic, meditative quality, connecting space and memory to temporalities outside of modern clock time.
Performances will take place during the last hour on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the exhibition.
Gerard & Kelly: CLOCKWORK is made possible with support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.