A Night of Philosophy

April 24, 2015
7pm–7am (all night)

Simultaneously hosted by The Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 East 79th Street (corner of Fifth Avenue), and Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 972 Fifth Avenue (between 78th and 79th Streets).

Co-presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, The Ukrainian Institute of America, FACE Foundation, and the Onassis Cultural Center of New York, A Night of Philosophy is an energizing international phenomenon that offers curious guests and participants an interactive experience with the state of philosophy today. Created and curated by philosopher and stage director Mériam Korichi, the event will showcase contemporary philosophic thought in a non-academic, entertaining setting. Its New York premiere will take place in the course of one night starting at 7:00pm on April 24, and ending at 7:00am the next day.

While the philosophers “philosophize,” audience members will be free to wander from room to room, building to building, entertained by dozens of talks, music, staged readings, artists’ performances and film screenings weaving through both the Ukrainian Institute of America and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy mansions.

Originally launched in Paris in 2010, A Night of Philosophy is a roaming event that takes place in a different major city each year. Thousands of people attended the program in London in 2013, and Berlin in 2014. Ms. Korichi, who conceived and organized the event in the above cities and cultural centers , will once again stage the upcoming creative happening – on the historic corner of 79th Street and Fifth Avenue. Highlights will include “Spinoza in Kiev,” a melodrama for two actresses, with piano improvisations, based on Bernard Malamud’s novel The Fixer, a full-text reading – in English – of the Marquis de Sade’s Philosophy in the Bedroom, and a wooden replica of the Mercury Seven space capsule serving as a stage.

In a recent interview introducing the New York version of A Night of Philosophy, Ms. Korichi states: “When I heard that the event would not only occupy the Cultural Services of the French Embassy but also the adjacent Ukrainian Institute of America, I was struck by a fascinating parallel. In 2012, I had rewritten The Fixer, a novel by New York writer Bernard Malamud, as a melodrama. It follows a Jew in Kiev in 1911, a reader of Spinoza and subjected to persecution… The coincidence was too fantastic not to have it revived here in New York at the Ukrainian Institute of America under the title of “Spinoza in Kiev,” with the great classical pianist and composer Karol Beffa accompanying the reading of two actresses, like a recital…”

Ultimately, A Night of Philosophy is designed to give the audience an opportunity to explore how philosophy informs everything from current affairs to contemporary arts that is both inspiring and playful.

Full Program

Admission: Free to the public

Read about A Night of Philosophy in the New York Times Arts Beat Blog

A Night of Philosophy