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September 25th, 1996
Fantastic Prayers, A Virtual Artwork And Live Performance, Will Highlight College Day At Art Museum

College Day on the Parkway, an annual rite of Fall in which college and university students are welcomed (with free admission!) to the museums and cultural institutions of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, will be held this year on Saturday, September 28. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, College Day's youthful and adventurous visitors will be appropriately greeted by Fantastic Prayers, an ongoing project, performance and artwork that utilizes such cutting-edge technologies as CD-ROM and the internet to explore eternal themes -- time, memory and death. Fantastic Prayers, which has been created by writer/performer Constance DeJong, artist Tony Oursler, and composer Stephen Vitiello, will be presented in the Museum's Van Pelt Auditorium on September 28 beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Set in a dreamlike landscape called Arcadia, Fantastic Prayers consists of an internet site, a CD-ROM and a sixty-minute performance that incorporates spoken text, video images, music and sound. Those who attend/participate in performances of Fantastic Prayers can interact with Arcadia's residents via CD-ROM and the internet, and even help to create an archival record of the event. This record is in a state of continuous evolution, both reflecting earlier versions of Fantastic Prayers and informing future presentations.

Fantastic Prayers has been sponsored by the Dia Center, New York, and can be visited on Dia's website at The performance in Philadelphia is co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and by "Arranged Introductions: Art Works in Different Places," a project of the Tyler School of Art, Temple Univesity.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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