Public Program

  • Available Light
    The Drexel University Armory
    Sep 10, 2015 to Sep 12, 2015

Frank Gehry, Lucinda Childs, and John Adams, Available Light, 1983, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Performers: Lucinda Childs, Nan Friedman, Meg Harper, Janet Kaufman, Priscilla Newell, Steve Bromer, Michael Ing, Erin Matthiessen, Daniel McCusker, Ande Peck, and Garry Reigenborn. Photo: Tom Vinetz.

FringeArts, in collaboration with Pomegranate Arts, presents a reincarnation of the seminal collaboration between Frank Gehry, Lucinda Childs, and John Adams—Available Light. Presented only once as a site-specific work in 1983 at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, this is the first time these three artists have come together since. They will breathe new life into this legendary performance and create a unique iteration inside Philadelphia's 33rd Street Armory, located on the campus of Drexel University. Available Light is an extraordinary opportunity for audiences to experience this rare and innovative collaboration that continues to heavily influence the trajectory of contemporary art and design and contribute to the further development of interdisciplinary artistic collaboration.

Frank Gehry took his first architecture course on a hunch and became enthralled with the possibilities of the art. In 1962, he moved to Los Angeles and established his own architectural firm, Gehry Associates, now known as Gehry Partners, LLP. Gehry is widely known for his designs for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. He is internationally renowned, having been commissioned to build the Vitra Furniture Factory in Basel, Switzerland, as well as the Vitra Design Museum in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany. In 1989, he received the Pritzker Prize, the world's most prestigious architecture award. Over the years, Gehry lent his imaginative designs to a number of products outside the field of architecture, including the Wyborovka Vodka bottle, a wristwatch for Fossil, jewelry for Tiffany & Co. and the World Cup of Hockey trophy.

Lucinda Childs began her career as a choreographer and performer in 1963. She was an original member of the Judson Dance Theater in New York. After forming her own dance company in 1973, Childs collaborated with Robert Wilson and Philip Glass on the opera Einstein on the Beach, participating as leading performer and choreographer, for which she was awarded a Village Voice Obie. She also participated in the revivals of the opera in 1984 and 1992. Childs’s choreography for the opera was reconstructed for the 2012 revival of Einstein on the Beach, which opened the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival. In 2001, Childs received a Lifetime Achievement Bessie Award. In 2004, she was appointed by the French Government to the rank of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

John Adams's works, both operatic and symphonic, stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. Over the past twenty-five years, Adams' music has played a decisive role in turning the tide of contemporary musical aesthetics away from academic modernism and toward a more expansive, expressive language, entirely characteristic of his New World surroundings. Adams received honorary doctorates from Harvard University, Cambridge University, Northwestern University, and the Juilliard School, as well as the Harvard Arts Medal and the Centennial Medal for "contributions to society." His Violin Concerto won the 1993 Grawemeyer Award. On the Transmigration of Souls, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic to commemorate the first anniversary of 9/11, received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Music as well as three Grammy awards, including "Best Classical Album."

Founded in 1997, FringeArts commissions, develops, and presents a range of high-quality contemporary arts to: support the artists (local, national, and international) who create this work; challenge, stimulate, entertain, and educate the diverse audiences who see that work; provide opportunities for and investment in Philadelphia–based artists in such a way as to lead to the continued growth and health of the local and regional performing arts community; and engage fully in the global dialogue and global community surrounding this kind of work.

Founded in 1998 by Linda Brumbach, Pomegranate Arts is an independent production company dedicated to the development of international contemporary performing arts projects. Since its inception, Pomegranate Arts has conceived, produced, or represented projects by Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, London's Improbable, Sankai Juku, Dan Zanes, and Goran Bregovic. Recent projects include the first North American tour of Goran Bregovic and the remounting of Lucinda Childs's 1979 classic Dance. Pomegranate Arts was the exclusive producer and management for the 2012–13 revival of Robert Wilson, Philip Glass, and Lucinda Childs' masterpiece Einstein on the Beach.