Random International presents the Debut of "BODY / LIGHT I", performances by New York Theatre Ballet
Random International is set to illuminate Brookfield Properties' Manhattan West, an emerging NYC destination that will transform the new west side this year, with the debut of Body / Light I on May 6. The immersive art installation will take hold of Manhattan West's two-acre public plaza, across the street from the host location of Frieze New York 2021. Playing off ephemeral moments of light and raw movement, the immersive outdoor art installation will be the premier exhibit to take hold of Manhattan West, dazzling New Yorkers and Frieze attendees. This interactive installation will feature live music performances from Brooklyn-based musician Lester St Louis and intimate, improvisational dance from New York Theatre Ballet.
Presented by Arts Brookfield, Superblue and BMW, Body / Light I will bring the open-air plaza to life this May amidst Frieze New York's return to the city. Manhattan West's inaugural public art experience, the exhibition is part of Random International's Body / Light series, which draws inspiration from Pablo Picasso's famed 'light drawings' for LIFE magazine in 1949. Captured by Gjon Mili, the ephemeral experiments in self-creation explored the long exposure technique, allowing Picasso's sketches in light to hang suspended in air on still film. Seeking to reflect a shift in authorship from a single creator to collective and multi-disciplinary creation processes, Random International took inspiration from a year-long collaboration with BMW i and the precise, minimalist culture of their design group as well as the technologies enabling the electrification of mobility in order to develop this new body of work.
Random International's artists introduce the series through interactive outdoor installations, providing a platform and creation process that is instinctively and widely accessible to the public. Beginning May 6, Body / Light I viewers are invited to take part in the experiential exhibition by drawing with their bodies as their movements are temporarily traced in light. The emphasis is on the physicality of the shared experience of creation and the documentation of this process in all its rawness, imperfection, and beauty.
To echo and foster the improvisational spirit of the work, Body / Light I will be presented with a score performed live by composer and multi-instrumental musician Lester St. Louis, along with scheduled choreographic responses to the sculpture by three dancers from New York Theatre Ballet. These elements will enthrall passersby and visitors with alluring, powerful moments of light and music, dancing throughout the exhibition.
Body / Light I is on display in Manhattan West's public plaza for a limited engagement from 4:00pm – 9:00pm on Thursday, May 6 and Friday, May 7. On Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9, interventions will take place from 1:00 to 9:00pm. Each day, three performances by New York Theatre Ballet dancers and musician Lester St. Louis will occur between 6:30 and 8:30pm. At all other times, there will be pre-recorded compositions by Lester St. Louis. Installation and performances are free to the public. For additional information, visit www.ManhattanWestNYC.com/events/random-international-body-light.
"The integration of immersive artworks and stellar curatorial experiences into our destinations is a key pillar for our development projects in New York and beyond," said Elysa Marden, Senior Vice President, Arts Brookfield for Brookfield Properties. "We are honored to partner with renowned artists on Body / Light I, Manhattan West's first foray into public contemporary art experiences. As the neighborhood comes to life, we look forward to establishing Manhattan West as a pivotal creative hub for neighbors, art enthusiasts and visitors. Manhattan West will be the canvas for New York's leading public works of art, cultural moments and theatrical presentations, such as Theatre for One in August, and much more in the seasons to come."
"We're thrilled to be partnering with Arts Brookfield and BMW to present Random International's new work Body/Light I at Manhattan West, with exceptional dance and music performances by local talents," said Kathleen Forde, Senior Curator, Superblue. "This collaboration encapsulates one of Superblue's core activities of bringing interactive, time-based and multidisciplinary artworks into the public space, and we're excited to pursue this partnership with more artist projects to come later this year."
Random International has incorporated dance and music into the presentation to create moments of exploration and introduce elements of humanness in order to inspire spontaneous, authentic participation from viewers. Brooklyn-based cellist and multi-instrumental musician, Lester St Louis's live performances will accompany the improvisational movement of three New York Theatre Ballet dancers each day. New York's most dynamic multifaceted neighborhood with over two acres of public greenspace, Manhattan West will emerge as one of the city's preeminent public platforms for theatrical entertainment and the arts. The anticipated opening of Body / Light I kicks off a series of programming by Arts Brookfield for the Manhattan West neighborhood.
ABOUT RANDOM INTERNATIONAL Art Group
RANDOM INTERNATIONAL run a collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art. Founded in 2005 by Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass, today they work with larger teams of diverse and complementary talent out of studios in London and Berlin. Questioning aspects of identity and autonomy in the post-digital age, the group's work invites active participation. RANDOM INTERNATIONAL explores the human condition in an increasingly mechanized world through emotional yet physically intense experiences. The artists aim to prototype possible behavioral environments by experimenting with different notions of consciousness, perception, and instinct. For further information, visit www.Random-International.com.
ABOUT MANHATTAN WEST
Opening September 2021, Manhattan West is New York City's newest dynamic destination for food, culture, retail, hospitality and the modern workplace by Brookfield Properties. Spanning eight acres, Manhattan West is located in the center of Manhattan's new west side, steps away from Moynihan Hall, Madison Square Garden and The High Line, with seamless access to the theater district, entertainment district, Chelsea art galleries, Meatpacking District and more. Home to diverse world-class office space, Pendry Manhattan West Hotel, luxury residences at The Eugene, experiential retail amenities, and unparalleled culinary concepts surrounding a landscaped, two-acre public plaza enlivened with immersive art and entertainment programming by Arts Brookfield, Manhattan West incorporates the best of Brookfield's global placemaking portfolio to create a new district that has something for everyone. Visit www.ManhattanWestNYC.com for further information.
ABOUT ARTS BROOKFIELD
Arts Brookfield supports innovation in music, dance, theater, film, and visual art by pushing boundaries to create unique works of art and cultural experiences presented for free. Thriving for over three decades, the program gathers communities around creativity by animating Brookfield Properties' public spaces. Visit www.BrookfieldProperties.com/arts for further information.
Superblue is a groundbreaking new enterprise dedicated to supporting artists in realizing their most ambitious visions and engaging audiences with experiential art. Its network of artists encompasses the leading practitioners of experiential art, whose practices catalyze engagement with the most pressing issues of our time and generate new perspectives on our world. Through its experiential art centers, which are specifically designed for presenting large-scale, immersive art installations, Superblue provides artists with expanded opportunities to transport audiences to the new worlds they create. Superblue additionally acts as an advocate and agent for experiential artists by fostering opportunities for them to expand the reach of their work through collaborations with museums, collectors, visual and performing arts festivals, architects, municipalities, and place-makers. Superblue provides these partners with unparalleled expertise and support for the production, installation, and presentation of large-scale experiential works, through collaborative presentations, public and private commissions, and acquisitions. In the coming years, Superblue will open new experiential centers across the US and internationally and is developing augmented and virtual reality platforms for artists who are exploring our rapidly evolving relationship with the digital realm. Visit www.superblue.com for further information.
ABOUT BMW GROUP CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
Why Culture? Why not! Culture is knowledge, a sanctuary of beauty and depth, of meaning and peace. An inspiring escape. Tranquil at best, even unsettling sometimes. As corporate citizen, the BMW Group takes social responsibility seriously, as part of which it has been involved in hundreds of cultural initiatives worldwide for half a century, both in the arts, music & sound, architecture as well as in design. As a long-term partner, creative freedom is key – and as essential for groundbreaking works as it is for major innovations within a business enterprise like ours. For further information, visit www.bmwgroup.com/culture and www.bmwgroup.com/overview.
ABOUT NEW YORK THEATRE BALLET
With its ever-expanding repertory, NYTB's cutting-edge programming brings fresh insight to classic revivals paired with the modern sensibilities of both established and up-and-coming choreographers. For over 40 years NYTB's diversity in repertory explores the past while boldly taking risks on the future.
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