This was an historic performance in many ways. It turned out to be our last six hour performance. (In my younger days I did forty eight hour performances!) This also turned out to be the last time I got on the mat at the performances. But I made it a good ending by introducing TANSEX by playing hot explicitly with Alex. Also this was Erika’s very first performance of mine! In fact the audience was full of cast members going back to the OUTRAGEOUS BEAUTY REVUE days… Even Extreme Elvis in his CLARK KENT persona brought a hot babe to impress!
Here is what I wrote back then:
It really is hard to write about because it was a nonlinear night that created itself ... On the surface nothing much happened for hours ... me drinking water, talking to people who packed the small (great) space. They arrived on time ... that never happens ... So I didn’t have time before they came. No assholes came ... or came in ... On the video of it you can hear assholes outside the door all through the night, but they never came in ... The force field worked! Inside, the web was there from the beginning ... All of us wanted to go deep and small, revealing. So I sat without my board, Linda translating me/Feisto. A room of amazing people telling/revealing their stories. Nude Teresa throughout the night kept going from person to person, feeling/touching under clothes beyond taboos, using her blindness to weave a web of comfort. She was the base line. Actually the performance was rooted, made possible, expanded from my explorations with Teresa, Alex, Jennifer, and Erika over the last year.
There was always a lot of small things happening all the time in a relaxed reality ... So we sat around eating chocolate cake, Teresa crawling exploring bodies, a woman going around collecting piss, blood, hair, and I don’t know what else for a magical art package as a kid’s musical toy played as a guy described passionately the chrome fucking machine he was making for the dadafest. And that was the “intermission break” if we were in theater rather than a communal trance. I swear, I was trapped Sunday for 6 hours watching the video of the night ... I couldn’t move! Very near the end of the performance night, Alex and I played very deep erotic small human rubbing into each other’s body rocking as my story “Magical Cave Lovers” was played on tape and slides of my 30 years of performances were projected on the wall. (Funny ... I saw on the video that people didn’t watch Alex and me, but were focused on the slides.) Alex and me were a powerful generator of possibilities in the whole night, combining with Teresa’s exploring throughout the night. At the middle of the performance, I asked Teresa, Alex, and Erika to talk about their working with me and how it has affected their life work. They talked very deeply, pulling the whole performance in much deeper ... So deep it made it possible to do the ritual that we always had done before within the hidden/secret Cave of Lila. The whole room became the Cave of Lila. This made it possible to video this ritual. It hasn’t been possible to video this ritual before. It is extremely beautiful, melting bodies together ... At the end there are magical shots of hands moving/dancing together.
Two years in the making, on May 23rd and 24th of 2011, Sarah Small and collaborators mounted a 120-participant Tableau at the former Williamsburg Savings Bank, now known as Skylight One Hanson. Chosen as one of Time Out New York's Top Critic's Picks, and listed in the New York Times, Flavorpill and more, this performance had the attention of many, long before the cast took the stage. Maintaining it's roots in her still photography series, The Delirium Constructions, and already the most ambitious project of her career, in 2011, for the first time, Small explored, within the Tableau Vivant, a specific social phenomenon: the ritual of marriage. With its airs of pageantry and religious rectitude, wedding ceremonies celebrate the most intimate joining of two individuals in the most public sphere, providing rich fodder for examination within the project’s framework. On the evenings of May 23rd and 24th, Small acted as the legal officiant for three couples (two weddings and a vow renewal ceremony), as she simultaneously directed the attendant Tableau Vivant cast in their own explorations of the theme, mingling performance art with reality in a compelling cocktail.
Small and collaborators received a stellar review from The New York Times and were featured on both the front and back covers of the Sunday Art section of the The Washington Post. Among many others, the event had press in attendance from both local and international media, including Italy's Virgin TV.