The Farnsworth House, located in Chicago’s western suburbs in Plano, Illinois, 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’s project for the Chicago Architecture Biennial takes place during the Press and Professional Previews, with public performances on September 16 and 17 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. The City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower, located in Downtown Chicago, will showcase the first two chapters of Gerard & Kelly’s Modern Living as an installation of two videos filmed on location at The Glass House and Schindler House.
Brennan Gerard & Ryan Kelly have collaborated since 2003. Their installations and performances use choreography, writing, video, and sculpture to address questions of sexuality, memory and the formation of queer consciousness. Their work has been been exhibited internationally at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Guggenheim Museum, New York; New Museum, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and The Kitchen, New York; among other institutions.
Modern Living, an ongoing project exploring queer space, was recently presented by The Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut, and the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, Los Angeles, in association with Art Production Fund.
Gerard & Kelly completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 2010, and received their MFAs in 2013 from the UCLA Department of Art. They have received numerous recognitions for their work, including the 2014 Juried Award from The Bessies as well as grants from the National Dance Project (2015), Art Matters (2014), and the Graham Foundation (2014).