A staple of the summer arts calendar, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center hosted its annual benefit and auction this past weekend, bringing a score of artists, benefactors and revelers to the center’s scenic Long Island property. Launching the event in collaboration with the Bruce High-Quality Foundation, which seems to be slowly but surely returning to a more concrete, object-oriented practice after several years almost exclusively focused around the BHQFU, the event featured As We Lay Dying, a new selection of works and performances spread out across the Watermill grounds, executed in conjunction with a series of sound installations by composer and artist Anohni.
Continuing the show’s ongoing tradition of performance mingled with sculptural installs, the show spread a series of bodies around the Watermill Center, running through a series of themes including mass incarceration (Marianna Kavallieratos had placed several artists in prison jumpsuits around the space, atop illuminated boxes that recalled Robert Wilson’s own stage designs) , distended Americana, and the occasional moment of pure formal surrealism, the latter two perhaps best exemplified by artist Tony Matelli’s bent and broken barrels and industrial objects, each covered with halved avocados. Elsewhere, artist Brian O’Mahoney had placed a series of sand bags and sleeping performers atop one of the institution’s buildings, creating a bizarre spatial reconfiguration.
The result was a rousingly successful event, which ultimately raised over $2 million for the institution’s proposed projects, among them a new library for the Watermill’s archives. Art Observed was on site for the event, and took these photos documenting the performances and works.
Tony Matelli, Warrior (2016), via Art Observed
John Margaritis, One Ton Tank (2016), via Art Observed
Jacques Reynaud, Angels of Apocalypse (2016), via Art Observed
BHQF, As We Lay Dying: Lecture Notes (2016), via Art Observed
Actor Leah Lane performing at the Watermill Center (2016)
Jacques Reynaud, Cut in a razor blade (2016), via Art Observed
Pussy Riot, Make American Great Again (2016), via Art Observed
Marie de Testa, Gold (2016), via Art Observed
Manu Halligan, How about color? (2016), via Art Observed
Martyna Szczesna, Image (2016), via Art Observed
Nikita Shokhov, Ice (2016), via Art Observed
BHQF, As We Lay Dying: A smack and then nothing (2016), via Art Observed
Watermill Center Benefit [Site]