The Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry is a forum at the University of Chicago for experimental collaborations between artists and scholars.
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If the musical is “a play or movie in which singing and dancing play an essential part,” then writer/theater-maker Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, University of Chicago scholar David Levin, and musician/writer/producer Erin McKeown are making an ‘undo-sical,’ where song and dance don't play a conventional role. Through a series of workshops with Chicago-based musicians, sound-makers, and actors starting in Fall 2022, complemented by a student seminar, The Undo-sical Project unsettles, recomposes and experiments with a musical experience of/with/against a script written by one of the collaborators.
The Useless Tool
There are two questions at the center of this collaborative fellowship between Kyle Beachy, Tina Post, and Alexis Sablone: What might skateboarding offer to the pursuit of the humanities? What might the humanities offer skateboarding? Building off of each collaborator's respective expertise in movement, performance, narrative, and architecture, The Useless Tool will function as a platform to focus on and experiment with such core components of skateboarding as ethics, style, failure, destruction, and repurposing.
Dance as History
Tara Zahra, Homer J. Livingston Professor of History, and professional dancer and dance educator Meredith Dincolo develop new forms of embodied historical and artistic practice, including new methods for historical research and for representing and transmitting history, as well as new choreographic vocabularies for conveying narrative and storytelling.
Radical Therapies is a research and experimental film project, bringing together an anthropologist (William Mazzarella), philosopher (Aaron Schuster) and artist (Imogen Stidworthy) to investigate questions of therapy today. In a context of global crises on many fronts—covid, climate, racism, energy, economy, Ukraine—this collaborative team sees a widespread preoccupation with trauma and healing.
Experimental Cinema and Speculative Approaches to the Archive and Media Histories
In Fall 2022, filmmaker Christopher Harris and University of Chicago scholar Allyson Nadia Field begin a collaborative and creative engagement with issues of film materiality, loss, fragmentation, opacity, erasure, silencing, and survival within African American film and media history.