River Charrettes

Curated by Headlong & Philadelphia Contemporary

The Quiet Circus: River Charrettes is a collaborative project by Headlong and Philadelphia Contemporary to engage and explore the city’s maritime, industrial, and creative heritage with internationally renowned thinkers and performers.

The Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers have shaped the natural and social environment of the city of Philadelphia, both as metaphors and as sources of power, industry, and beauty. But how do people interact within their built environment? What impact do natural forces have on our infrastructure and vice versa? Engaging with these questions, Headlong and Philadelphia Contemporary present a series of River Charrettes—performances and participatory dialogues—reflecting upon topics raised at four different sites along Philadelphia’s waterfronts, and in the ongoing participatory practice of The Quiet Circus.

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Upcoming: River Charrette #3

Sunday, June 11, 2017, 4:00pm at The Andalusia Foundation

Andalusia, the ancestral mansion and estate of Nicholas Biddle, was built in response to the 1793 Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia, in which 10% of the city’s 50,000 inhabitants died and another 20,000 fled within a two-month period. 

Overlooking the Delaware River, the estate's peaceful gardens and graceful architecture embody the paradox of leaders and elites in our liberal democracy: a simultaneous devotion and unease toward the masses that are the lifeblood of the country’s wealth. As a place of manicured beauty, inviting contemplation, Andalusia makes us consider to what degree refuge is related to internal and external geographies.

Interdisciplinary artist Martha McDonald collaborates with David Brick to take audiences on a journey through the grounds of this historic estate—conjuring the memory of those who sought refuge there and marking the loss of those who could not.

A post performance conversation with Lisa Kraus and Jude Robison will address relationships between artistic and contemplative practices.

River Charrette #4

November 2017 at Fairmont Water Works

Guest Artists TBA

Past: River Charrette #2

Saturday, April 8, 2017, 4:00pm at RAIR (Recycled Artist In Residency)

After a silent walking tour through the grounds of a construction waste recycling facility on the Delaware River, The Quiet Circus designer Maiko Matsushima played the Landscape Game with a 5-ton waste excavator operated by RAIR co-founder Billy Dufala, each taking turns arranging materials curated from the waste stream, and their bodies, in relation to this unique landscape.

River Charrette #1

Saturday, September 24, 2016 at Bartrams’s Garden

With internationally celebrated dancer Eiko Otake (Eiko & Koma), former Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Alan GreenbergerPhiladelphia Contemporary board member Harry Philbrick, and Headlong co-founder David Brick.