Modern Living explores intimacy and domestic space within legacies of modernist architecture. Structured in chapters, each sited in a modernist home, the project is driven by the question, “what would a home have to look and feel like today to protect and produce intimacies and relations that don’t fit within dominant narratives of family, marriage, or domesticity?”
Modern Living manifests as site-specific events, videos filmed on location, drawings, and performance scores. The first two chapters of the project unfolded at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, CA, and The Glass House in New Canaan, CT, in 2016. Both homes sheltered relationships that were as radical and experimental as their designs. The Schindler House was built in 1921 by Rudolph M. Schindler to house two families who shared a kitchen, garden, and other common spaces—an early example of communal living. The Glass House protected its architect Philip Johnson and his partner, David Whitney, in a relationship that preceded the Stonewall rebellion and endured for more than 40 years.
Working with the nine dancers of L.A. Dance Project, Gerard & Kelly composed a movement score spread throughout the interior and exterior spaces of each site. Falling in and out of sync, the dancers used the choreography of a “clock”—a series of 12 movements customized for each individual dancer and corresponding to the face of a clock—to generate rhythms, spoken memories, and temporary constellations of duos, trios, and quartets. The group investigated the livability of a queer space—its pleasures, tensions, and impossibilities.
Performances at The Glass House featured a collaboration with the artist and producer SOPHIE.
Co-produced by L.A. Dance Project, Modern Living was originally presented by the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House and The Glass House, in association with Art Production Fund. The project was curated by Cole Akers at The Glass House and Kimberli Meyer at the MAK Center. Modern Living was made possible by 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, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Gerard & Kelly developed Modern Living in residencies at GuestHaus (Los Angeles) and Pocantico Arts Collaborative, supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Additional support provided by Uri Minkoff, NeueHouse, and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.