Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Anti(Dote)Wedding

...was fantastic!

I'll put up a portfolio on flickr now that it's over and I can fully document the show. I had a blast afterward with everyone who came and the work was very well received. I flubbed my own dance a little because I was incredibly nervous, but I think the performance was really wonderful -- and Jimmie and Suze and Jack and Frankie and the little girls were all fantastic.

I do have the best friends in the whole world, since they actually helped clean up before departing in the wee hours. I'm a little worse for the pro secco this morning, but I'll drink a lot of water and should be feeling chipper in just a bit. My house is full of flowers and it smells wonderful. And I have an in-home massage at 3. Yay!

Wow. It's over. I really feel as if I've accomplished something meaningful with this show. And I know without a doubt the work in this show is the very best work of my entire life. And, hopefully, all of it, making the work, mounting the show, creating the performances, conveys the meaning to those who witnessed it that it is critical to use the events of one's own life, the really "stripped bare" stuff, as art supplies. No matter how painful.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Antidote Wedding Vows, August 14, 2009

It all seems like a movie to me, this crazy romance of mine that was to have culminated in a wedding this evening. Its seeds must have been planted five years ago in Vienna; we even went to Hotel Sacher, like in The Third Man. Then, as in David Lean’s Summertime, our love affair began in earnest in Italy, and, as in An American in Paris, it continued during a few romantic days there. During the next six months our romance often felt alternately like a Hitchcock movie and a Fellini film. For some reason, tonight the final scene of The Philadelphia Story keeps playing in my head. I feel like Katharine Hepburn’s character, Tracy Lord, apologizing to her family and friends who’d gathered for a wedding that wasn’t going to take place.

Instead of a wedding, tonight I just want to tell all of you how sincerely grateful I am. I want to thank you, my co-workers, family and dearest friends, for your support during those seven months I was madly in love. Thank you for taking care of things at school. Thank you for looking after Buster for me when I was away. Thanks for the rides to and from the airport, laden with luggage full of e-bay purchases and gifts. Thank you for keeping the doubts -- which you surely must have had -- to yourself as I embarked upon what must have seemed like a mad adventure destined to end in heartbreak. As you all recall, I was deliriously happy during the seven months I was in love, and I want to thank you for being happy for me when it seemed I had finally found the soul-mate for whom I have long searched. Thank you, too, for your support in January when the love affair ended miserably in the course of just one day. And thank you for reading the fictionalized account of the romance in my book and for viewing the nearly one hundred drawings that also tell the story of this past year. Perhaps now you have more insight into what was going on in my heart and mind those months of my grand amour fou.

I also want to thank he who was once my love, he who would have become my third and final husband tonight. Louis, I sincerely thank you for your affection and for the tenderness and intimacy we once shared. I am deeply grateful not only for your love, but also for your belief in me as an artist and a writer, which propelled me into one of the most intense periods of creative activity I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s not often that I produce a hundred drawings, much less a 350-page novel, in the course of one short year. Thank you so much for the energy and inspiration you sparked in me. I hope, in this, at least, that you were not wrong – that my work is important. Thank you for believing that I’ve earned my rightful place alongside Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabeth Vignée-Lebrun, Camille Claudel, the Louises Bourgeois and Nevelson, Pina Bausch, Frida Kahlo, Simone de Beauvoir, the Brontës, Anne Frank and Anaïs Nin.

I’m grateful to you for proving to me that my heart is still alive, still capable of loving and, evidently, still hopeful. I would not have believed it possible at my age, and with my past romantic failures, that I could once again love so deeply and with such passion as I loved you. I would be lying to you now if I did not admit I miss your intellectual companionship, the quirky, esoteric interests we alone shared, your hands and your kisses. I miss playing Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller with you. Even though we have no future together, tonight I promise to treasure the beautiful, rich memories of our time together. I realize we are like the movies: at the end, I still know so little about you that you remain a mystery, a shadowy character like one written by Patricia Highsmith for Hitchcock – like the talented Mr. Ripley. And I, probably, will remain in your mind your Madelyn from Vertigo: an ideal, an anima projection. When I became uncomfortably “real,” our time together had to come to its inevitable ending and I had to disappear. I am a photograph, removed from your wallet and thrown away. Still, I have no regrets. Everything has turned out exactly the way Fate meant it to for both of us, my old love. Louis, I wish you well. I’ll quote Rick in Casablanca: “We’ll always have Paris.” And to Paris I will return alone to reclaim my city, as an antidote honeymoon.

I had originally planned to perform this piece as part of my wedding vows to Louis. So, in the words of Tracy Lord, “as originally and beautifully planned” I will now do just that to “Face the Music,” sung by Fred Astaire, from his movie Follow the Fleet. As I recall, Astaire sang it to a suicidal Ginger Rogers on the deck of a ship as she contemplated jumping overboard.

12:36 a.m. That means it's my not-wedding day!

House is pristine. Floors are done and taped off for the performances. I'm totally rehearsed. Exhibit and installation have been totally installed for days. I think I'm going to bed early tonight, so I can get up and walk Buster tomorrow morning early before I have to go pick up the cake, flowers and do the food. There's a notice the hot water is off from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., so I guess I better get up and get a bath and shave my legs before then, in case it doesn't come back on by late afternoon. I was planning to take a disco nap about 4 before the performers arrive at 7.

Yes: I am excited. And a little nervous. But I feel really, really good about the work and I'm proud of the show. And I'm looking forward to spending a festive evening with my nearest and dearest. Although this place is going to be as packed as Holly Golightly's apartment during her cocktail party in Breakfast at Tiffany's. I hope no one's hair catches on fire, as in the movie. :)

And I'm looking forward to loads of barefoot dancing and drinking after 10 p.m.! And if I get really crazy, I may go for a moonlight swim to cap it all off. And I have an in-home massage to look forward to Saturday!

Someone said, in essence, "I think it's cool that you're marrying your art, not a man." And I thought: Wait. I may have divorced several men, but two things I've never divorced. My art, and an animal.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One of my friends can't go to her twentieth high school reunion

...because of current work projects. I'm so sorry, since she was looking forward to it.

Then I was thinking: me going to my high school reunion (if it weren't just the sub-set of art and drama people) would be pretty much like asking Carrie to go to her high school reunion. Bad idea.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Ali has done it again: resurrected a 1993 or 1994 "commercial" for Hard Women by Linda Montano.

Monday, August 10, 2009


The documentation of one of my most ambitious and largest scale performances, which I have for over a decade believed to be lost, has been, like Lazarus, resurrected by Ali White and all the digital gods and is available for viewing at the link below. "The Death of Orpheus," from Metamorpheus, 1990.

These have something to do with the next project I propose.

More news as it develops.

Hm. La joueuse/les joyeux. Les joueuses joyeux?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Show's installed and labeled, including installations.

Furniture is moved. House is cleaned. I have four more stray labels to make, then it's completely done. My house looks like an art gallery now, and I kind of like it this way. I may never move the furniture back in, because I have loads of space to dance in now. Now we can ALL drink wine and dance barefoot to gypsy music after the performances are over!

I'm really, really excited now. We rehearsed this morning, and everything is coming along really nicely. Frankie is an excellent musician, but we decided I have to have a mic because the song I'm singing is really challenging to me, range-wise. No, it's not "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," but the first two notes are separated by an octave and it's a stretch for me. It may not sound so great except for Frankie's cello, but it will be profoundly heart-felt.

But the biggest cool thing that's happened this weekend is the choreographer I admire most in the whole world now that Pina Bausch is dead has expressed interest in coming, so I invited her and she accepted. I will be so nervous when I do my dance piece, but I am really happy she's going to be here because I am such a fan of her work. Maybe the whole project will give her some kind of big idea of her own. And, coincidence: drumroll, please. She'll be living in Italy until January.

All that's left for me to do now is DJ in advance -- load up my iPod and iTunes play lists so I've got appropriate music in the upstairs installation room, and downstairs in the gallery. And pick up the things I have to pick up, coordinate the food, get the cake and flowers. With any luck I can lie down and have a disco nap about 4:00, then get up and get ready before the performers arrive at 7:30.

Work is going to seem unbearable this week, with the performance looming...