Monday, July 30, 2018

Music for Modernist Shapes: Reimagining Spectodrama

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
Asheville, NC
November 18, 2017

with original score by Laura Baird

Music for Modernist Shapes was a site-specific installation and performance that reimagined a 1936 theater piece Bauhaus alum Xanti Schawinsky made at Black Mountain College. The historic performance, Spectodrama, included folded paper costumes, light projections and live music. Composer/multi-instrumentalist Laura Baird wrote an original score drawing on archival scores from Schawinsky’s performance collaborations with Black Mountain College music teacher John Evarts, 1930s avant garde music and Appalachian folk songs from the Black Mountain region. Laura and I activated my objects and costumes, conjuring the memory of this little-known piece from the experimental college’s rich performance history.  

Commissioned by Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center as part of ACTIVE ARCHIVE: Martha McDonald, an exhibition I curated from the museum's permanent collection and an installation and performance made in response to the collection. 

Photos and video by Michael Oppenheim.