• Modern Living
    Gerard & Kelly
    National Trust for Historic Preservation-Farnsworth House

Gerard & Kelly, Modern Living (2016-ongoing), performance view at the Farnsworth House, Plano, IL, presented by the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, September 15-16, 2017. Pictured: Julia Eichten and Zack Winokur. Photo: Bradley Glanzrock. Courtesy of the artists.

The Farnsworth House hosts 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. This is a special project of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Gerard & Kelly (Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly) have collaborated since 2003. Working within an interdisciplinary framework to create project-based installations and performances, Gerard & Kelly use choreography, video, and sculpture to address questions of sexuality, memory, and the formation of queer consciousness. Their work has been exhibited at numerous institutions including the Guggenheim, New York; the New Museum, New York, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and The Kitchen, New York. Gerard & Kelly have received numerous recognitions for their work, including the National Dance Project grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts (2015) and the 2014 Juried Award from the New York Dance and Performance Awards, also known as the Bessies, in addition to grants from Art Matters (2014), the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts (2014), and the Van Lier Fellowship (2010). Gerard & Kelly completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 2010, and received their MFAs in 2013 from the Interdisciplinary Studio in the UCLA Department of Art.

Maurice Parrish, director of the Farnsworth House and manager for this project, has over twenty years of executive experience in major museums and cultural institutions. Previously, he was Executive VP at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where he expanded public programming to make the museum and its collections more accessible to a broader public. He has been a visiting professor of architecture at the University of Michigan and occasionally lectures on architecture, urban planning,  and urban design. Born in Chicago, he holds a BArch from the University of Pennsylvania and an MArch from Yale University.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Chartered by Congress in 1949, today the National Trust is a privately-funded nonprofit. The Farnsworth House, a site of the National Trust, was designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1945 and constructed in 1951. Located in Plano, Illinois, it is a vital part of American iconography and an exemplary representation of the International Style of architecture.