Sunday, October 5, 2014

October 5, 2014

Today was the final performance: Would/Lands: Walk on the Wild Side. Originally, the performance was scheduled for yesterday, but it was postponed until today due to rain. This turned out to be a wise decision, because today's weather was beautiful. 

I arrived as per requested by the trestle bridge at 2:30, unsure of what to expect. Pat informed me through email that  "you are going to have to be a damsel in dis dress again, being run over by woody's giant saw blade at the beginning of the walk."  I did not know how exactly to interpret this, but apparently she meant very literally. Woody created this spinning saw blade that was used to terrorize me. My job was to scream and flail about. I did not feel especially qualified but I did my best. One person told me that I was smiling just the right amount, and I was surprised because I did not mean to smile. My parents told me that I smiled a lot. However, there was one little girl who stayed after the procession continued on so that she could ask if I was okay. So some people were convinced! 

Most of the pictures my parents took did not come out well because of the
lighting, but this gives some sense of the scene

The rest of the procession involved Pat stopping at various pieces hung in the trees, and talking about them. There was a band that led the way with lively tunes. Pat outfitted them in bright turquoise uniforms, and they looked quite festive. People seemed to enjoy the whole spectacle, although I sensed that some parts did not go as Pat wanted them to. For instance, when Pat became the "Boracle," she had some trouble with her assistant holding up the speaker for her properly, and she seemed annoyed that the crowd did not ask more questions. However, it seemed like a generally successful event overall. It was quite an experience working with Pat, and I hope to see her when the piece gets de-installed and burned.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 27, 2014

Today was the Open House, which Pat used as an opportunity to showcase the work she has made so far. She did this by staging a wedding, and using those who attended for the open studios as the "wedding guests." Upon arriving, participants were given black drapes and hats. The purpose of the black drapery was to make the crowd more cohesive and provide a more neutral backdrop for the hats to pop against.

Once everyone was properly attired (meanwhile, I had donned my Auntie Maim curtain dress & wig!), we were conducted outside of the church, down the road, so that we could simulate a joyous procession, gaily headed for the church. Everyone was instructed to be as theatrical and over-the-top emotional as possible, for the purpose of the documentation. Then, we made our way inside the church in pairs. Next, we gathered around and sat in anticipation of the pretend wedding. Here, guests were encouraged to perform a variety of theatrics, such as laughing, crying, sleeping, gossiping, and bickering. Following this, Pat climbed into her full bridal-party costume, and everyone stood and provided general fanfare as she flaunted the lovely ladies about the church.  Finally, the whole group made its way back outside, where we all posed for the big wedding portrait.

The guests that I talked to all had a fine time. Most were surprised at how they were asked to participate, but pleasantly so. I was interested to see how willing people were to help, and how patient and flexible they were with all of Pat's instructions. It is good to keep in mind for any of my own future social/participation based work.

Next Saturday will be the final performance, "The Would-Lands." Many people at today's event expressed interest in participating in this, so it will be interesting to see how that all plays out. I am not quite sure what to expect, but I know that the pieces displayed in the church will be featured, either in the performance itself, or as part of the Rail Trail installation.

The family portraits of the wedding party plus a sign for the performance
next weekend
Foot soldiers

Banner in front of the CHRCH Project Space

The wedding inside

A few of the pieces to go out on the trail

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 20, 2014: The Gala!

I went to Rosedale to pick up Pat and all of the hats at 2:30, but my preparation began far before then. I wanted to look my best, so I showered, did my makeup, and dressed earlier in the day. When I arrived, Pat was waiting for me as scheduled in the church. We loaded our costumes into the car, and then went to the WSW to raid the hats from the gallery. Pat changed into her costume, and then we were off.

A few people asked me about how we
transported the hats, and if I documented
it, so here it is!
We only had minor difficulties finding our way there. The main problem was trying to navigate to the pavilion; fortunately, we met a friendly worker who let us follow the supply truck there. Then, I got to keep my car up there, so I had priority parking!

We unloaded the hats onto a table so that they could be displayed before (and after) people wore them. Pat put on her makeup, and then we had a bit of free time until we had to don our costumes in full, so we walked around and looked at the Mohonk House and the lake.

Hats displayed on the table
The artist contemplates nature
Once we returned from our stroll, Pat and I added the final touches to our costumes: our hats and paper adornments. Guests started arriving by 4:45, and at 5, Pat made the declaration that everyone must put their hats on. This changed the energy of the space greatly. Much of the seriousness of the event was replaced by an excited and humorous energy. It was very interesting for me to see everyone in their hats, because they transformed from stagnant objects into the clothing of the wearer. Furthermore, the way the hats were activated by the personality and form of the wearer was very interesting. Everybody's hat seemed to fit with them very well. They also made it easy to pick people out of the crowd. Those who did not wear hats seemed to really appreciate them. A few were sold during the auction part of the event. Pat kindly offered that the hat models were to be included with the hats, but not all of the models appreciated this.

 Pat and I received many compliments on our costumes. I was told that I wore mine well, and somebody wanted to buy it during the auction. It was difficult to maneuver through the crowd and to eat while wearing the costume, but I wore it for the duration of the event regardless. 

At the conclusion, I helped load up the hats again, but this time we fit them into Anne's van, and they drove Pat back to WSW so I could proceed directly home. Overall, it seemed like a successful event, and the hats and costumes were much appreciated. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 16, 2014

Brief visit to Pat today. Came in at 10, and got to work painting fabric triangles which make up the eyelashes on an enormous eyeball. Unfortunately, Pat purchased a paint designed for metal, so it smelled especially bad and took a very long time to dry.

When I finished with that, we went on another errand run. Then, we went to the WSW so that Pat could pick out colors for the poster she designed. The poster is for the final performance piece, and they will be screen printing it for her at the workshop, so they had to pick out colors from the Pantone color booklet to try to match the colors  in the original design.

Finally, we returned to the church, and I spent the remainder of my time there painting another large patterned sheet (to wrap over a tree).

Update on the open house: it is going to be on Saturday the 27th instead of Wednesday the 24th.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September 14, 2014

Things have been busy at Pat's studio. She made a costume for me, several more hats, a costume for herself, and is working on another costume for one of the volunteers, all for the Gala this Saturday night.

Sneak preview of my costume for the Gala!
She also has been putting together characters for the rail trail piece. The latest on that is that the title is "Would-lands," and that there will be various fantastical characters floating up in the trees. The tree trunks will be decorated with material. My primary task of the day was painting this red material with patterns in white paint. I completed 3 of these sheets.

We also took a break to run some errands. At the end of the day, I helped her transport the additional hats to the gallery space. Pat is going to be doing a fitting session so that those representing the WSW at the Gala can all have properly sized hats.

Wednesday the 24th is going to be an open house for the studio, during which we will be staging a wedding, using the materials produced for the Soap Box Derby. Pat will be using it as an opportunity to document her work.

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 7, 2014

Came in for a short day today. Before I headed over, I tried to look for hula hoops, as requested by Pat. Unfortunately, the dollar store in New Paltz doesn't open until 10am on Sundays, and it was about 9:30. So I continued to Rosendale, and returned to the dollar store later on, to successfully purchase 2 large hoops and 1 small.

Once I arrived, Pat and I ran some errands, including a trip to True Value to get supplies for pouring concrete. We found some flimsy plastic buckets that were the perfect size (and price!). I mixed up our 2 bags of concrete and poured them into the buckets, putting a piece of wood in each one. These are going to be used as the bases for the sculptures for the Rail Trail. They are translucent, which is nice because you can see the concrete texture. It seems like an appropriate aesthetic, considering that we are trying to showcase the history of Rosendale cement.

Meanwhile, Pat has been working on costumes for herself and me to wear to the Gala. I am very curious to see what she comes up with. The hula hoops are for the skirt of her gown. It should be quite the spectacle!