Museum Explorer creates experiences to delight visitors. We put the visitor front and center in our museum planning, program development and exhibit design. We work hard to prepare thoughtful environments in which people enjoy learning in non-traditional ways—and find themselves motivated to learn more.
we promised posts of summer weather at museums, as an effort to keep good
spirits up given the impending end of the season. Well (as you know), not all summer weather is
sunny. The other week at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, there was bad
weather again – but our good spirits remained intact!
draw for visiting the museum that particular day (although, there are many to
choose from) was the free Manual Cinema workshop performance being given on the
MCA Stage. We’ve been following Manual
Cinema’s work for a bit now, and we were thrilled to see that they are
collaborating with the MCA on a performance!
Manual Cinema does truly unique work in puppetry and performance,
incorporating live music, editing, and even animation into their work. They combine all of these elements to
accompany their shadow puppets using overhead projectors, producing
extraordinary results. The performance
that took place that Tuesday was to a workshop for Mementos Mori, their latest feature length show.
workshop performance offered us (the lucky 300 or so visitors) a preview of Mementos Mori, with a few scenes from
the feature, as well as a discussion afterward with company members, performers
and directors. The feature focuses on how
technology in the digital age affects our concept and experiences of death… So
in the preview we were given, Mementos Mori featured instances such as texting
while bicycling, religious iconography depicting death, and even butchering. It’s a unique but totally relevant topic, and
the imagery presenting these scenarios was just incredible. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a photo during
the performance for you all to see, but you can peep a few images from Mementos Mori here: http://manualcinema.com/shows-in-rep/mementos-mori/. Stylistically, this was a performance unlike
anything else I’ve ever seen, with the live puppetry, live action, live music
and singing. During the Q&A session
held with the team after the performance (which I was able to snap a pic of
here), the audience didn’t have questions as much as they did praise for the
performers. Everyone left looking forward to the full performance in January as
part of the Chicago International Puppetry Festival.
that’s not where the fun ended! The
workshop performance let out in time to catch the last hour of Tuesdays on the
Terrace, the free weekly Jazz concert held on the terrace on Tuesdays during
the summer. As we mentioned before, the
weather was bad on this particular day – but the band played on, as they
say. The concert ended up being held
inside Puck’s café, which is just inside the terrace. Despite the rain, we went outside on the
terrace anyway (it’s one of the best backyards in Chicago), and saw that the
rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of people around the museum: there were
still people dancing outside, eating outside, even playing tennis while the
rain fell, all to the tunes of Tatsu Aoki and the Miyumi Project. People milled around the dueling didgeridoos
(see right) inside the exhibit halls, peeping the Frida Kahlo and Simon
Starling works as the music wafted through the museum. It was truly a great sensory experience for
visitors to the museum that night – and the best part that of the night was
that all of the programs were FREE! We
will be back at the MCA soon for the much-anticipated “David Bowie Is” exhibit,
along with the rest of Chicago, so stay tuned!