Reset challenged visitors to abandon their expectations and to engage the Pulitzer in entirely new ways. Taking place between exhibitions, this unconventional program opened the building for activities, performances, and encounters that would be otherwise impossible. Reset activated all of the potential and possibility of Tadao Ando’s architecture, which allowed for an unexpected array of participatory experiences with art, music, dance, film, and performance. With the installation of Candy Crush—a site-specific floor sculpture by the artist David Scanavino—the main gallery was transformed into a new kind of social space; visitors could move freely on the piece or simply take in its colorful, geometric design. It was a place to meet, to learn, to play, and to rethink the way we look at art.
Jan 25Reset:About Face Drag Show
The Pulitzer and GlitterBomb Productions served up some Reset realness for the final event of the week. Curated and emceed by Siren (Tyler Cross), the About Face Drag Show featured dynamic performances by artists from St. Louis’ vibrant drag scene: Maxi Glamour, Robyn Hearts, Rydyr, and Pinko. The show’s headlining artist Raja—third season winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race—blended the masculine and feminine into an illusion that was not only beautiful, but also thrilling, poetic, provocative, and cerebral. The audience was invited to transform themselves with help from St. Louis’ fiercest make-up artists and manicures by Vanity Projects, and the performance was followed by a dance party that seemed irresponsible to resist.
Reset:GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS
The Pulitzer invited Vanity Projects—a New York nail art atelier and video art gallery—to approximate the experience of their salon in the Pulitzer space. Founder Rita de Alencar Pinto curated and presented GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS, a dynamic program of video works by emerging and established contemporary female artists. Guests could also make appointments with leading celebrity nail artists Nail Swag and Britney Tokyo from L.A., and Spifster from Chicago, who created specialized nail designs inspired by David Scanavino’s Candy Crush.
Several hours at a time were devoted to letting guests enjoy the Pulitzer in whatever way they could imagine. Some wandered the building, lounged on Candy Crush, or simply took a break from their daily routine. Local artists installed their own impromptu exhibition in several of the open galleries, and the St. Louis Camera Club convened to photograph the interior of Ando’s architecture for the first time. Some guests performed karaoke, another had her senior class pictures taken, and one guest fulfilled his lifelong dream of throwing a frisbee in a museum.
Reset:St. Louis Symphony Concert
For Reset, the St. Louis Symphony performed the United States premiere of John Cage’s Thirty Pieces for Five Orchestras (1981). Cage’s work required five conductors and nearly ninety musicians to be staged in separate ensembles throughout the galleries. St. Louis Symphony Director David Robertson seized the opportunity to assemble musicians in almost every available public space of the building, and as guests remained stationary in their seats, unseen sounds emanated and echoed around them. The orchestras later changed their location and played again, offering guests both a repeat performance and an alternate experience at the same time. Robertson selected Brett Dean’s Sketches for Siegbert (2011) for the program as well, which juxtaposed a composition for solo viola against the massive undertaking required for Cage’s Thirty Pieces.
Lunch Beat St. Louis brought their free, monthly dance party to Reset for a pop-up event in the galleries. DJ Boogieman spun records while guests danced across the surface of David Scanavino’s Candy Crush. Visitors were invited to pack their own lunch, and the St. Louis-based craft tofu company MOFU was also on site with a specially prepared bento box.
Reset:SPACES with COCA Dance
Dancers from the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) Dance pre-professional division performed contemporary and modern dance choreographed specifically for the Pulitzer’s Tadao Ando-designed building. Directed by Christine Kardell, dancers between 15 and 18 years of age enlivened the galleries with movement and inspired guests to think differently about the architecture through their embodied interactions.