Project

Just Another Day at Mount Lebanon

Just Another Day at Mount Lebanon at Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw

Curated by Joanna Zielińska

Exhibition and performance
by Christopher Kline

Shaker Woman Puppeteer –
Kasia Stefanowicz

Dancing Brethren’s Workshop –
Kasia Sztarbała, Sol Calero

Dancing Shaker Meeting House –
Ethan Hayes-Chute

Cinematography –
Derek Howard

Photographs by Jan Smaga and FilmLOVE
courtesy of CCA Ujazdowski Castle

Set construction help and further photographs by Ethan Hayes-Chute

Centre for Contemporary Art
Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
26 February – 31 July 2016

Performances in February and April

Curated by Joanna Zielińska
within Group Exhibition “Objects Do Things”

View all Collaborators

Download full exhibition text

Exhibition Performance

The Shakers are a religious sect which had their central ministry at Mount Lebanon, New York during their height in the mid-late 1800s.  Formally known as The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, they were founded in 18th century England as an offshoot of the Quakers and moved to America following a vision from their leader Mother Ann Lee.  Originally known for their transcendent and wild worship services which featured energetic convulsing, the Shakers later toned down their meetings after much public scrutiny and curiosity.  

Widely regarded for their careful craftsmanship and practical furniture and architectural design, they were also resolutely celibate and though they regarded each other as equals, men and women were strictly separated even to the point of constructing two doorways and two staircases in any shared buildings so as not to promote any titillation which may arise from passing one-another too closely.

The centerpiece of this iteration of O.K. – The Musical is two sets of life-sized puppets which can be worn by performers to control the movements of a row of three Shaker worshipers.  Mimicking the Shaker meetings, the performers repeat a traditional hymn “Come Life, Shaker Life”, building up from measured song and dance to climactic, ecstatic trances.

This project features a theatrical cardboard recreation of a Shaker Meeting House interior replete with the iconic Shaker pegs for hanging jackets, hats, and chairs.  In addition to handmade papier-mâché chairs, the installation also features building costumes modeled on the Shaker Meeting House and Brethren Workshop at Mount Lebanon which come to life as the energy of the ritual increases.

A video based on the performances was created and, with special effects to allow the puppets to sing like humans, will be released in 2018.  

For more detailed information, please read the exhibition text.

 

Just Another Day at Mount Lebanon at Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw

Curated by Joanna Zielińska

Exhibition and performance
by Christopher Kline

Shaker Woman Puppeteer –
Kasia Stefanowicz

Dancing Brethren’s Workshop –
Kasia Sztarbała, Sol Calero

Dancing Shaker Meeting House –
Ethan Hayes-Chute

Cinematography –
Derek Howard

Photographs by Jan Smaga and FilmLOVE
courtesy of CCA Ujazdowski Castle

Set construction help and further photographs by Ethan Hayes-Chute

Centre for Contemporary Art
Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
26 February – 31 July 2016

Performances in February and April

Curated by Joanna Zielińska
within Group Exhibition “Objects Do Things”

View all Collaborators

Download full exhibition text

Exhibition Performance

Documentation

Performance

Installation Views