Pulitzer Reopening Sneak Peek: There's Going To Be a Classy Flash Mob Tonight

By Krystin Arneson
In Culture

As part of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation’s opening reception (beginning at 5pm tonight) and its summer-long “Press Play” programming series, David Lang will debut a commissioned piece tonight that’s a bit like an elevated flash mob. Local singers stationed around the building, in plain clothes, will begin singing at different times, eventually gathering together to finish the vocal performance before dispersing once again. “It will be a beautiful arc,” says Manager of Programs Kristin Fleischmann Brewer.

David Lang, courtesy of the Pulitzer.

David Lang, courtesy of the Pulitzer.

Lang’s work looks at how sound intersects with the architecture of the renovated space, using music to explore the corners and heights of the building’s rooms. “He’s talked a lot about wanting to create a sound that makes the space glow,” says Brewer. “We’re going to be playing with the concept of line and how the singers move, so [it ties into] how the exhibitions’ artists are exploring line in some way.”

The composer was chosen in part because of the philosophy of his work: Like the Pulitzer-as-institution, Lang is classically trained but veers from tradition to explore the experimental; meanwhile, the Pulitzer uses artists from the canon (like Alexander Calder) and challenges traditional notions of experiencing them (like how audiences will have a different vantage point for viewing than is typical).

Brewer stresses that it won’t be a traditional sit-down performance: “These singers are coming out of the fabric of the audience and then returning to it in a hypnotic, very ethereal way,” she says. “It’s to be something that happens and people can flow in and out as they see fit.”

The Pulitzer reopens tonight at 5pm after months of renovation. Check out our coverage this week, including an overview of the reopening, a look at the Calder and Sandback exhibitions and an interview with the institution’s new director, Cara Starke.

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