Zephyr Dance artistic director Michelle Kranicke and architect David Sundry are exploring the intersection of architecture and choreography with the creation of SITE/less, an experimental gallery/ performance/workplace and community gathering space located at 1250 W. Augusta Blvd., Chicago. SITE/less will officially open in late April 2018 with performances by Zephyr Dance.
SITE/less will exist within a storefront that has ancillary relationships to a variety of urban crossroads and infrastructures, anchoring the edge of a small triangular residential community between Chicago’s West Town and Noble Square neighborhoods. As an experimental architecture, dance, and research center SITE/less will itself be performative and use an architectural approach that serves to stage a program of intended activities while, at the same time, employing a structure that is open to unplanned social interactions and chance events.
Said Kranicke, “As artists involved with the critical debates and ongoing negotiation concerning the state of contemporary artistic practices, we aim for the site and the center itself to pose such questions as: When and how does an institution both define and restrict the local community? How does SITE/less shift fixed ideas of dance in a gallery space? What is the interaction between dance and architecture? Is there a way to facilitate expanded ideas within both dance and architecture through a persistent interface? Even though architecture and dance are embodied forms, they have many independent attributes. The idea behind SITE/less is to force dance and architecture to continually consider each other as disciplines.”
Along with the development of movement-based work, Kranicke will work with Sundry, her husband, to create an environment that brings viewers back into dialog with their surroundings, opening opportunities for various viewpoints to emerge in an unconstrained and unencumbered way through interaction and engagement. “SITE/less is not striving for the overthrow of existing cultural frameworks and disciplines. The goal is debate, which serves to highlight the micro-histories of these artistic disciplines and therefore possibly re-establish them in a new way,” Sundry explained.
SITE/less will be an incubator, a laboratory, a physical structure, a dance and a place where distinct art forms can speak directly to each other. In addition, SITE/less aims to facilitate connection with the public and promote social interaction by creating a non-typical arena to host non-art events such as community meetings and pop-up dinners. The center will work to establish an open gathering zone not unlike a reading room, Internet hotspot location, long-term art installation or other types of public spaces located within a private building.
“Architecture and choreography share two structures: linear time and the organization of the movement of bodies in space,” noted Sundry. “Positioned as an experimental architecture, movement, and research center, SITE/less seeks to rethink the relationship between the typical model of most performance venues and how the organization of those venues inevitably limits and conditions the curatorial practice.”
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
SITE/less, a new, experimental venue for Zephyr Dance Chicago.