Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Anne d’Harnoncourt Symposium, “Museum as Score”

11 Jul 2017

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Community workshop with Boris Charmatz at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by JJ Tiziou.

In September 2016, with Center support, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presented the eighth annual Anne d’Harnoncourt Symposium, “Museum as Score”—described by the Museum as a “thought experiment” investigating how the “perception of the museum as a static archive is upended in today’s cultural context in which durational, event-based, and experimental artworks, exhibitions, and projects are on the rise.”

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Rehearsal photograph of DUO by William Forsythe at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on September 12, 2016. Performance by Brigel Gjoka and Riley Watts.

The two-day symposium included presentations, roundtable discussions, and case studies presented by artists and practitioners from various disciplines, with a particular focus on recent exhibitions and works by contemporary artists that have a durational or ephemeral nature. Collaboratively, participants considered the points of convergence between museums and contemporary performance, in search of answers to the question, “What if an art collection were treated like a musical or choreographic score—existing both as a historical document and as the material for an interpretive performance that could be played at any moment?”

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Community workshop with Boris Charmatz at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by JJ Tiziou.

Symposium highlights included a workshop performance of Boris Charmatz’s Levée des conflits (Suspension of conflicts) on the Museum’s east terrace and performances of William Forsythe’s DUO inside the galleries. Following the performances, Charmatz and Forsythe participated in a keynote conversation moderated by Carlos Basualdo, the Museum’s Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. Basualdo’s symposium co-organizers were Christine Poggi (Professor, History of Art, University of Pennsylvania), Miriam Giguere (Department Head, Performing Arts, Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design), and Charlotte Lowrey (Project Assistant for the Contemporary Caucus, Philadelphia Museum of Art).

View the full symposium program and speakers here.>

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Rehearsal photo of DUO by William Forsythe at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on September 12, 2016. Performance by Brigel Gjoka and Riley Watts.

The Center is pleased to present key material from “Museum as Score,” symposium essays by Basualdo and Marie Bardet, philosopher and symposium collaborator (forthcoming). View Basualdo’s essay at the link below, and visit our Questions of Practice page to explore further content related to performance in museums.

Read Carlos Basualdo’s essay.>>