“We’ve been thinking about how Le Corbusier would be a choreographer and how Josephine Baker would be an architect,”1 Kelly says, dismissing tropes about the performer as a mere sensationalist. Her collage approach to choreography—South American social dances and Martha Graham homages alongside burlesque and the Charleston—had a sly jump-cut elegance. And Le Corbusier’s work is no place to sit still. The spiral staircase or the roof terrace’s sliding doors lend themselves to an organic, almost sensual flow. “The relation to the body in space is key to understanding his practice of architecture,” says Brigitte Bouvier, director of the Fondation Le Corbusier, who sees Gerard & Kelly as kindred spirits. “Architecture is emotion, and motion is emotion.”

  • 1. Poring over Le Corbusier’s archives, the artists Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly found themselves fascinated by the short-lived rendezvous at sea. “It was a jumping-off point to imagine how this encounter could have influenced modernism,” says Gerard, describing the performance that the Los Angeles–based duo will stage outside Paris at Villa Savoye this month, in a coproduction with the city’s Festival d’Automne and the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès. The property—not coincidentally the very one Le Corbusier was building when he met Baker—is the fullest expression of the architect’s early radical propositions: open floor plan, wraparound windows, and a foundation elevated on slender columns. (Commissioned by the bourgeois Savoye family, the place was eventually occupied by the German army and later used as a makeshift hay barn; it was designated a historic monument in 1964 and is now open for tours.)