Collaborative Legacy at ESA

November 8 – 24, 2012, 08:30 – 21:00 M-F

Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, 254, bd Raspail, 75014 Paris

The Collaborative Legacy of Merce Cunningham exhibition celebrates seven multi-disciplinary works from the late choreographer Merce Cunningham’s company as well as selected works resulting from collaborations between other choreographers and architects, including Frank Gehry, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Dominique Perrault, and Ai Weiwei. The exhibition features reproductions of music and dance notations, drawings, sketches, and photographs documenting the collaborative process as well as the performed works.

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC), created in 1953, was one of the most influential contemporary dance companies in the world, due to the invention Cunningham brought to the medium of dance and due to a seventy year career of cross-disciplinary collaborations with artists such as composer and poet John Cage, visual artists Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol, film makers Charles Atlas and Elliot Caplan and architect Benedetta Tagliabue. These works were informed by such diverse interests as zen philosophy, environmental aesthetics, chance and indeterminacy, and digital technology.

The exhibition was originally created to synchronize with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s last performance at the University of Arizona. This event was within the company’s final two-year “legacy” tour, at the end of which the MCDC permanently disbanded, as was Cunningham’s wish.

Since opening at the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (Feb. 14th – March 22nd, 2011), the exhibition has toured to the University of Maryland School of Architecture (Jan-May 2012) and the Technishe Universität Dresden (June-July 2012).