Last night I had a very Well That’s New York I Guess type of moments. One that didn’t involve kamikaze pigeons or realizing that you share the same subway car as a corpse. A pleasant one, I mean.
A new friend invited me to a video installation with which he works. It’s called Monkey Town and the Chelsea-based performance space Eyebeam hosts it.
In the sparse building, a humongous four-sided cube sits. Each wall is made up of a 20-foot screen. Upon arrival, the coordinator pushed white wine (good sign) on all 30 or so attendees. It was immediately intimate as we circled the screens, taking in the first film, Theo Angell’s “Central Park Quilts.”
Patrons have to duck to enter the cube, finding way to benches with tiny tables. Once sat, the wine kept flowing (happy face). A server slung an insanely decadent five-course meal (if there was a way to physically and safely make love to that lemon risotto, that would have been the rest of my evening) while films from 20 additional artists—my stupidly talented pal, Will Rahilly, included—swallowed us up.
The surround sound boomed and the colors were crazy. Subjects ranged from what I’d anticipated (v. scary psychedelic ambience) to those I couldn’t possibly have planned (recorded real-life [I think] Skype conversations, reenacted con maneuvers from the ’70s, food fights, etc.).
Here is one of my favorite films from the night, Bunny Rogers and Filip Olszewski’s “Blouse Klaus”:
"Blouse," like the entire experience, is endlessly bizarre. But so earnest, honest and sweet. I guess that’s representative of the entire experience.
Consider checking it out yourself. It runs for just two more weeks. Find ticket info here and trust me—there is zero need to smoke a thing beforehand.