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Mapplethorpe in Performance

Featuring Bryce Dessner and Korde Arrington Tuttle

Mapplethorpe wide
This image: Self Portrait, 1988 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Thumbnail image: Alistair Butler, 1980 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019
5:10 pm


In-person Event

Michigan Theater
603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Penny Stamps Speaker Series
Open to the public
Free of charge

This talk brings together the creative team behind Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), a University Musical Society (UMS) co-commission exploring the work of Robert Mapplethorpe. The production will enjoy its world première on Friday, March 15, and Saturday, March 16 at the Power Center. Composer Bryce Dessner and librettist Korde Arrington Tuttle will discuss the range of artistic influences that informed Mapplethorpe’s work — and how the production translates the visual medium into an interdisciplinary experience. Thirty years after the death of Mapplethorpe, we still cannot turn away from what his photos reveal. Mapplethorpe’s work both unites and divides viewers, provoking a consideration of perceived opposites: black/​white, male/​female, gay/​straight, art/​porn, classical/​contemporary. His pictures seduce, shock, offend, excite, intrigue, and scare us all at once. Triptych seeks to make theatrical the ways Mapplethorpe’s works compel an audience’s complicity and characterize them in the act of attention.

Co-presented with the University Musical Society (UMS).

Content Notice

In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.