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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River Charrette #4

Saturday, November 4, 2017, 4pm at Fairmont Water Works

For the fourth and final River Charrette, Philadelphia Contemporary and Headlong revisited the path of the city’s watershed, urban expansion and cultural heritage. The public was invited to join a silent Walk into the Fairmount Water Works’ hidden, underground natatorium and to witness a Performance and post performance Conversation

Inside the historic Kelly Pool, artist and choreographer David Brick and his 79-year old Deaf mother, Carolyn Brick performed Island of Signs, a sequence that informs and is informed by the weekly performance of the Island score in The Quiet Circus. This site-specific duet includes excerpts from the documentary “Beyond Silence," recorded in 1959 at Gallaudet University, that simultaneously features and silences Carolyn’s experience as a Deaf student. Island of Signs is also a meditation on issues of power and vulnerability in a family with three Deaf and two hearing members. About this work David Brick says “Since receiving a diagnosis of progressive hearing loss as an adult, I have experienced myself slowly moving towards a land I once observed from a distance — an island you might say that has always been home, though I have yet to step upon its shore”.

A post performance conversation with David Brick and special guests Deenah Loeb (Executive Director at the City Parks Association) and David Barnes (Associate Professor for History of Medicine and Public Health at University of Pennsylvania) initiated questions about human interaction, contemplation and responsibility.

After the conversation, audience members were invited to a gathering with hot drinks.

River Charrette #3

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

Interdisciplinary artist Martha McDonald collaborated with David Brick to take audiences on a journey through the grounds of Andalusia—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 addressed relationships between artistic and contemplative practices.

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.