Any fan of the arts can tell you that chance collaborations lead to great things — from a group of four Liverpudlians making teenage girls scream through the 60s, to a frazzle-haired director helping girls of all ages swoon through 30 years of Johnny Depp movies.
Currently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the exhibition Dancing around the Bride explores a group of artists with a chance collaboration of a different sort.
Each of these cultural icons — composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham, painter Jasper Johns and graphic artist Robert Rauschenberg — owes a debt to the influence of French Surrealist Marcel Duchamp.
At times relying on the literal casting of the dice, and at others making music from environmental noise, these innovators created works that wrenched chance into tangible reality.
Centered on Duchamp’s masterwork, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), the show and its related events celebrate the seamless integration of these fiddlers of fortune. Playing with light, time and the museum space itself, The Bride is less exhibition than experience.
In conjunction with the exhibit, the museum’s Friday Night Film Series features a little something for everyone — lectures, documentaries, dance performances and more will leave you riding the random seas as skillfully as a drunken sailor. All films take place in the Van Pelt Auditorium.
Then on January 11, a performance by music ensemble Relâche at PMA’s Art After 5 will treat you to a mashup of John Cage-inspired musical mayhem.
All exhibition related programs are free after museum admission.
Dancing around the Bride at the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Friday Night Film Series
When: Friday nights through January 21, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Adults: $20, Seniors (65 and over): $18, Students: $14, Youth (13-18): $14, Children (12 and under): Free
More info: www.philamuseum.org