One of Philly’s hidden gems, the Wagner Free Institute of Science is a place out of time. Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the opening of its building and museum, the Institute has remained essentially unchanged since the late 19th century, offering visitors a glimpse of the Victorian era approach to the study of the natural sciences.
The feeling of the past coexisting with the present appealed to Brooklyn-based artists Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere. The pair were fascinated by Chris Marker’s influential 1962 film La Jetée, with its storyline about time travel and fate (which also inspired Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys) unfolding in a series of (mostly) still black and white images. At one point during his travels, the protagonist finds himself in a “museum filled with ageless animals” much like the Wagner.
That’s only one of myriad echoes that Nevarez and Tevere have in mind for Memory of a Time Twice Lived, the film that will eventually result from several years of visiting and shooting in Philadelphia. One component of that film will take place on Wednesday night at the Wagner as Prelude to a Memory, a live performance by the Mexican-American band Jarana Beat, which fuses folkloric Mexican music with more modern influences. The footage that the artists film on Wednesday will be incorporated into the film, which will then be premiered at the Wagner and become part of an exhibition of the duo’s work at the ICA next year. Continue reading →