From April 4-6, Gwendolyn Terry’s art installation piece for Joan of Arc: I was Born for This will be on display at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN.

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Gwendolyn Terry’s installation for “I Was Born for This” at the University of Notre Dame

With a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Department of Sacred Music at Notre Dame began to develop sacred music dramas, conceived broadly as opportunities to reflect on important issues in culture and society through a dynamic interaction of the humanities and the arts.

Under the artistic direction of Professor Carmen-Helena Téllez of Sacred Music at Notre Dame, the first of these projects, “I Was Born for This,” was inspired by the masterpiece of silent cinema The Passion of Joan of Arc, by film director C. T. Dreyer, and by and the work of Daniel Hobbins, Associate Professor of Medieval History at Notre Dame, and is an installation art work as an experience of meditation on the impact of Joan of Arc in the world and her role as a model for women who have changed history.

The story of Joan was echoed in Dreyer’s film, which itself inspired American composer Richard Einhorn to create his oratorio for solo voices, chorus and orchestra Voices of Light. These nested resonances between film and oratorio find now a third echo in the art installation by Gwendolyn Terry (featuring sound by Christopher Preissing and multimedia imagery by Charlie Simokaitis), which pays homage to The Passion of Joan of Arc by abstracting some of its most powerful images and ideas and placing them in an immersive space, where the audience can spend a moment of reflection, before or after viewing the film.

The art installation is named “I Was Born for This,” emulating words that Joan of Arc uttered when first entering battle. The words can be embraced by anyone who believes has a mission to fulfill in life–especially women. The three nested works–film, oratorio and art installation–will be presented to the community of Notre Dame and South Bend between April 4 and 6, 2014.

For more information on Terry’s piece, click here; to learn more about the project at Notre Dame, click here; for a schedule of events during the installation and performance, click here.