This September in University City, an interactive exhibit examines the impact of the 1960s Chicago black arts scene on today’s culture and an accompanying improv performance series uses music and dance for social engagement.
These two compelling shows focused on African-American culture, music and aesthetics will debut at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) starting September 14.
The Freedom Principle Overview
The sweeping exhibition, The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, was conceived in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and comes to Philadelphia after premiering at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago last year.
A multimedia experience, the exhibition features music and art from the aforementioned organization’s founder, jazz musician and painter Muhal Richard Abrams, as well as AfriCOBRA cofounder Wadsworth Jarrell, Art Ensemble of Chicago bandleader Roscoe Mitchell and many others. A listening station and online component lend The Freedom Principle a multifaceted angle that’s sure to engage art- and music-lovers alike.
Beyond the musical elements, the exhibit will also showcase vintage banners, record covers and posters alongside modern works by artists like Lili Reynaud-Dewar.
Improvisational Performance Series: Endless Shout
As if this rich, six-month-long gallery exhibit wasn’t enough of a draw to the University of Pennsylvania space, The Freedom Principle will be accompanied by a boundary-pushing interactive improvisation performance entitled Endless Shout. The multi-artist performance project seeks to employ music or dance for the purpose of civic engagement and organizing.
Six participants — Raul de Nieves, Danielle Goldman, George Lewis, Fred Moten, taisha paggett and The Otolith Group — will either organize or participate in various improvised actions with an end goal: to ask and assess how an audience engages such a performance on social, political, individual and collective levels.
Endless Shout takes its name from participant George Lewis’ 1994 musical composition, whose title references legendary jazz pianist James P. Johnson’s 1921 recording “Carolina Shout,” thought to be the first ever recorded jazz piano solo.
Endless Shout occurs via improv in tandem with The Freedom Principle, and both are on view at ICA from September 14 to March 19, 2017.
The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now and Endless Shout will occupy the entirety of Philadelphia’s ICA for one truly unique encounter.
Plus, admission to the Institute of Contemporary Art is always free!