This Week on DnA: The Art of Ritual: Coachella, Passover, a Schindler Church

Written by

The worship of higher beings has traditionally inspired the beautification of objects and buildings, and today’s show looks at today’s variations on that impulse — installations at Coachella, the artistry of seder plates and the resurrection of a Rudolph Schindler-designed church in South Los Angeles — as spring brings its explosion of seasonal rituals.

The worship of higher beings has traditionally inspired the beautification of objects and buildings.

Today’s show looks at contemporary variations on that impulse — installations at Coachella, the artistry of seder plates and the resurrection of a Rudolph Schindler-designed church in South Los Angeles — as spring brings its explosion of seasonal rituals.

Are Music Festivals the Art Museums of the 21st Century?

Thousands descended on Coachella this past weekend to hear bands including Lorde, Pharrell Williams and Queens of the Stone Age.

And when fans weren’t watching bands they could mingle among gigantic art installations: among them an animatronic astronaut, a field of large mirror-walls and a huge, colorful mobius strip-like structure called Lightweaver (above).

Futura seder plate by Jonathan AdlerIn times past, Coachella was only about the music but the art is increasingly central to the total experience. Hear why in this segment with Jason Bentleyand Lightweaver creators Alexis Rochas and Andreas Froech.

Read more about this story, here. And read this story by KCRW producer Benjamin Gottlieb for background on the growth of art at Coachella.

The Seder Plate: A Canvas for Contemporary Design and Values

This week is Passover and many Jews — and non-Jewish friends and relatives — will participate in a seder dinner at the center of which is the seder plate bearing the symbolic foods of the liberation story. Although this plate can be quite ordinary, over the centuries it has been a vehicle for artists to express religious devotion through beautification, and to give visual form to the evolving Seder liturgy itself.

Hear about how on this segment with Avishay Artsy, including commentary from Jonathan Adler and Lori Starr (Adler’s design shown, right).

Read more about this story, here.

Schindler Church pulpit, photo by Robert MaceAn Abandoned Rudolph Schindler-designed Church is Resurrected 

This past weekend architecture enthusiasts and members of the Faith-Build International community gathered for the re-opening of the Bethlehem church on Compton Avenue, designed in the mid-1940s by Modernist pioneer Rudolph Schindler and abandoned for several decades.

DnA asks, how did Schindler come to design this radical church, left, in that location at that time? And how did his design celebrate spirituality? Hear from Pastor Melvyn Ashley, Steve Wallet, Steve Lamb, Cindy Olnick, Robert Mace, Martin Fenlon, Chava Danielson and Capri Blount.

Read more about this story, here.

Photo left of the interior of the Schindler church by Robert Mace.