Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

Making Art in 2017: Dawn Falato and Karen Getz on The Gorgeousity

Posted September 7th, 2017

(Left to right) Dawn Falato and Karen Getz

Name: Dawn Falato and Karen Getz

Company: The Gorgeousity (produced by Chalk, Chair and Broomstick)

Show in 2017 Festival: Gorgeousity – The Army of Love and Art

Karen Getz Past Festival shows: Suburban Love Songs, Disco Descending (Dawn was also in these shows); as ensemble member in Lunchlady Doris, Cecily and Gwendolyn’s Fantastical

Dawn Falato Past Festival shows: St. Anthony’s Body (a solo show); as ensemble member in It’s So Learning, The Ballad of Joe Hill.

FringeArts: Tell us about your show.

Dawn Falato and Karen Getz: Our show is a “play romp” for grown-ups—a musical wrapped inside an informal party.

We wanted to make a creative respite—a place to drop responsible, adult “skins” at the door for a couple of hours. We were interested in making a safe, inviting experience to sing, dance, play, and color for everyone who came to our event. We also wanted to make an instant community, with no “us” and “them.” It was important to us that the experience traveled easily, didn’t hold us back with production costs and could be experienced in almost any location.

Our main questions were: Could we could craft a truly immersive musical experience around our own strengths that would also naturally invite the audience in? How does the experience get crafted so that the participants’ input is genuinely significant to the outcome of the show?  Could we ask people to sing and dance and play act without any performative or creative pressure?

It took us about three years to craft both the musical that is the center of the experience and to craft the means by which audiences can step into that musical as themselves, without performative pressure or cynicism. And we added home cooked food. And crayons.

FringeArtsHow have your interests in or approach to art making changed in the last year?
Dawn Falato and Karen Getz: Our mission had long been to create a two-plus-hour, joy-filled respite from the dividing ideologies and relentless pressures of being an “adult” in our society. It now seems more important than ever to get small groups of grown ups in a room together to remember how to create and play, release the tensions of the day and see each other as fellow human beings, just like ourselves. It’s far harder to demonize people you don’t know when you are looking them in the eye and pretending to be enchanted, human-geese together.
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Cai Guo-Qiang returns to Philadelphia with “Fireflies”

Posted July 24th, 2017

Beginning September 15th and on through October 8th, Fireflies will light up the evenings on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This new outdoors, public artwork by internationally renowned artist Cai Guo-Qiang will consist of dozens of handmade lanterns adorning the sides of pedal operated carts, or “pedicabs.” The lanterns, of all shapes and sizes, will bounce and jostle with the movement of the pedicabs, flickering like fireflies, as operators drive the pedicabs up and down the parkway after dusk. Anyone can ride in one of the twenty-seven pedicabs, for free. The presentation will coincide with Philadelphia’s Parkway 100 Celebration, the 100th anniversary of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. “As art and spectacle,” the artist explains, “the work will be at once grounded, aesthetic, and transcendental. The number 27—as a multiple of nine—recalls the Chinese homophone for eternity and celebrates the longevity of the scenic Parkway.”

"Fallen Blossoms" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2009

“Fallen Blossoms” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2009

Cai Guo-Qiang is well known for his many highly renowned projects around the world, such as designing the fireworks for the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He often works with explosive materials and is an expert in using fireworks to create his art. He previously collaborated with the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2009, with an explosion that became a floating flower blossom made from fire and smoke, part of his “Fallen Blossoms” project (a series of exploding works of art also held at the Fabric Workshop and Museum). He was born in Quanzhou City, in the Fujian Province in China. The lanterns hark back in part to his childhood memories of traditional lantern festivals in his hometown. Cai brings together installation art, drawing, video, and performance art in his work. His work draws upon Eastern philosophy as well as contemporary culture. He wants viewers to engage with the culture and history of location, while contemplating the larger universe, through the site-specific spectacles that he creates.

Dream at Villa Manin Centre for Contemporary Art, Udine, 2008.

This time, Cai is bringing his work to Philadelphia by working with the Association for Public Art, or aPA, which has been active in the city since 1872. Cai is also working with Fung Collaboratives, a group that brings forth both emerging and established artists in intimate and ambitious projects with domestic and international settings. Both organizations work with innovative artists to create public art that is interactive, beautiful, and imbued with the culture and history of its location.

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Gourmet Ice Cream, Dark Skies, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmerʼs 24 Bat-Signals: Opening Night for “Open Air”

Posted September 28th, 2012

Julius Ferraro is a freelance writer in Philadelphia, a former Festival Guide intern, and regular blog contributor. We sent him to cover the opening night of Open Air. This is his story.

Rahzel performs with Mayor Nutter (left) watching the lights at the opening of Open Air. Photo by James Ewing.

My Thursday night started with a closeup view of the moon—craggy, cratered, with the arc of the earthʼs shadow slicing it out of the sky—from the lawn outside the Franklin Institute.

I was in the wrong place.

After the jump: a blacked-out parkway, love for computer glitches, and Rahzel jams.

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