An immersive and vastly interdisciplinary installation
Armchair ParadeDillon Gallery (555 West 25th Street, New York, NY, United States) Map it Free
In Dillon’s lower gallery, one enters a whimsical living room populated by a mix of eccentric characters. Sitting alone or in small groups, puppets created by theater and opera designer-director Julian Crouch gather around vintage television sets, isolated in their own worlds, but unified by their shared pastime. On the screens they watch films created for Armchair Parade by Ragnar Freidank, which depict the puppets’ lives. It is as if they are watching themselves on a sort of reality TV for mythical creatures.
The Big Boing—a handmade, 24-foot lamellophone created by Mark Stewart from mixed materials and objects found on the streets of New York City—creates the soundtrack to the creatures’ lives. Resembling an oversized African mbira, the instrument stretches down the center of the room and can be played be audiences.
Armchair Parade was developed, in part, in a Fireworks Residency at BRIC House, a new arts and media complex in downtown Brooklyn. A previous version of the work was shown as part of that venue’s opening programming in October 2013, and was extended due to popular demand.