Disordo Virtutum

Disordo Virtutum is an online performance for six remote vocalists, cello, and recorded sound that uses the 12th-century mystic, philosopher, and composer Hildegard von Bingen’s morality play Ordo Virtutum (Order of the Virtues) as a blueprint for reckoning with the moral imperatives of our time. In the medieval Ordo Virtutum, the devil and seventeen personified virtues fight over the fate of a fallen soul. Each of the virtues gets a solo before Chastity crushes the devil’s head under her foot. In Disordo Virtutum, the virtues have been reimagined for our current moment – Underlying Condition, Distance, Riot, Planning, and Abolition – with the audience occupying the position of both the fallen soul and the devil.

The performance is conceived especially for a series of intimate audiences of just 20 over Zoom, with the expectation that participants keep their cameras on and participate in small, but important, ways. In an era of proliferating violent orders and rampant virtue signaling, Disordo Virtutum is a meditation on the virtue of disorder.

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“Nun of the above: Jess Barbagallo on Ethan Philbrick’s Disordo Virtutum,“ Artforum July 2020

Performed online in conjunction with the Museum of Arts and Design
July 2020

Performed by
Amelia Bande
Hai-Ting Chinn
Tomás Cruz
Malik Gaines
Ethan Philbrick
Ned Riseley

Organized by Lydia Brawner
Associate Curator of Public Programs, Museum of Arts and Design

Technical support by
Thuto Durkac-Somo
AV Coordinator, Museum of Arts and Design