Thursday, October 22, 2009

Exquisite Corpse

Today was great day.

Work, bright and early (not so great), followed by bike ride home for the rare luxury that is homemade lunch, followed by awesome rehearsal, followed by quick and fun Fanny dinner at Five Leaves (homemade ricotta with honey, thyme, and figs, followed by whole grilled brook trout with spaetzle, brussel sprouts, pecans, etc--delicious!), followed by tech for an incredible show I'm participating in on Saturday night (more on that to come...), and then a lovely bike ride home coupled with perfect weather.

So, the show I'm in is a part of an art show called system:system that opens tomorrow night and takes place in an abandoned, dilapidated convent on the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The performance, presented and gracefully put together by a Miss Bonnie Pipkin, is called By Virtues Guarded and Manners Graced...A Game of Exquisite Corpse. It is a ghostly story told by 4 different groups, in the manner of an exquisite corpse, i.e. each group is responsible for one section of the whole. The groups will not see the other performance's until the night of and have been rehearsing/tech-ing separate from one another. While the story is already written and the characters remain the same, each group conceives their own representation of their material. My group, led by my dear collaborator Meryl Williams, will be second--the lower torso.

Rehearsing in this space has been incredible. Artists inhabit every room and corner, their bicycles stashed in the main hallway, putting together intricate installations at all times of the night in preparation for Friday's opening. By tonight's rehearsal, the place was teeming with people--standing outside rehearsing segments in wild costumes, crowding the steps while smoking cigarettes, exploring three stories of rooms, waiting to get into the chapel where the lighting guy, projectionist, and musicians were syncing the performances with technical savvy. And these guys are awesome--multicolored clip lights, a white screen behind the altar projecting creepy, pixelated footage, and a ragtag group of musicians on guitar, keys, organ, cello, and violin. We would tell these guys what we wanted and they instantly made it happen, it was unbelievable. We asked for an "Unsolved Mysteries"-like theme and they composed it on the spot, and then played it alongside our piece flawlessly. And, they're doing that with three other groups! There were cans of Red Bull and Budweiser abound and relentless creative energy.

This show marks mine and Meryl's first performance project as collaborators, so we're very thrilled to be a part of this and to be working together in such a great environment. Here is the official info:

* Opening reception: Friday, Oct 23, 7pm – 10pm with performances by Matamoros and New Idea Society / after party at The Richardson, 451 Graham Ave, BK

*Performance: Saturday Oct 24, 8 pm / Bonnie Pipkin Presents “By Virtue Guarded and Manners Graced…A Game of Exquisite Corpse”

* Exhibition Hours: Friday Oct 23, 7 pm – 10 pm
Sat & Sun Oct 24 – 25, noon – 6 pm

* Location: St. Cecilia’s Convent, 21 Monitor Street, Brooklyn, NY

*Sponsored by The Richardson, the official after party venue. Support for system:system is generously provided by Brooklyn Brewery, the exclusive beer sponsor of the exhibition.

And below, some photos of the exquisite madness of it all:

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