The reading on Saturday was just so fantastic. I'm so thrilled with how it went. Look at the crowd!
It was packed. Jamie and Tony from Envoy set up the space beautifully, lovely Kyle agreed to bartend, and Bulldog Gin provided delicioua libations. I feel really overwhelmed and humbled to get the support.
AND THE REASON for the reading was the readers. I was so blown away with the performers, I gotta say, I'm glad I waited to get all four of these people on the same bill. It was my fantasy. I mean it. Kayla read two pieces, including this one, which totally blew my mind. I'm always wrestling with ways of addressing certain social or cultural themes, concepts. Some things feel too big or complicated to talk about: we experience these things but we don't have the ability to relay our experiences. Kayla's writing seemed to articulate something very subtle, nuanced, and beautiful. It was so cool to see her read it live and see the audience really get it. I was thrilled. Sam read an excerpt from his forthcoming memoir, which I'm now totally obsessed with reading, so I hope he hurries up and finishes it. I've long been a fan of Sam's writing on his blog, I knew he was smart and funny, but I was very impressed with the piece he read on Saturday. He relayed a few formative experiences from his childhood, interrogating his autobiography as vigorously as he does the paintings he writes about. I'm so excited and turned-on by people who clearly like to get into it. Who clearly have an intense engagement with what they're thinking about. I feel like with Sam's writing, he's not being a smarty-pants, because he's actually really excited about what he's talking about. He's not a show-off: he's in it. It's so great. Juliana read a few shorter pieces and absolutely brought down the house. I especially loved the way she frames her logic, her sentence structure. She makes multiple points at what feels like the same time. The idea of pace, of inflection. I felt like I was really paying attention to her performance, in a way that made me excited. The way people talk, how affect is a code. The crowd went wild, duh. Closing out the reading was of course Gio, who I am always glad to see perform. I've been a fan of Gio's work for a few years now, and I'm so happy he was part of the reading. He did a few pieces combining poetry/spoken word and singing. It was definitely the most punk rock thing I'd seen in a long time. I was really excited by the performance of something done in an almost caterwaul about conflicted personal feelings. (This is a quick interpretation). It was brave and sweet and funny and a little bit scary.
The whole night was so fantastic. I can't say enough how happy I am with it.
I don't really like to put on events super duper regularly, it's a ton of work. This one was absolutely easy, however, so maybe I'll change my mind.
I think it's really important to do events that are free and open to the public.
I think it's especially important, even in a media center like New York City, to make events happen where the only qualification for admission is affinity.
SO, thank you everyone involved and everyone who came out!
Friday night, I went to go see Miss Vaginal Davis' opening at Participant Inc.
It was so cool! A beautiful and trippy little space. I want to go back when it's not so fucking crowded! And have my own experience with the wonderworld Miss Davis has bestowned (however fleetingly) on us undeserving New York rats. At the opening, the gallery itself quite dark. It was pitch black and full of sexy celebrities, demimonde, etc. Vag's usual milieu. It was as if she brought the Berlin back-room darkness with her to New York. I'm so excited to see her talk with Jose Munoz at NYU tomorrow night.
OK That was then. The future is coming up next.