Thursday, May 31, 2007
William/Adam vs. Warhol/Satie/Cage
well mr. william krieger iv just left. he was here for 9 days and we did a plethora of things that could be filed under musical/artistic/literary things. ya know the general educational debauchery. i could go on and on about every show we saw, every museum we went to, every famous writer we fell asleep listening to (boycott dave eggers), but instead i will just tell you about our 18 hour and 40 minute multimedia tour de force experience.
at the tate modern this past weekend they had a series of events which were quite off the hook (including a performance by Throbbing Gristle). the overnight activity that we attended focused on warhol's film "sleep" and erik satie's piece "vexations". originally the first performance of erik satie's "vexations" was arranged by john cage in 1963.
satie's piece is rather short, only a couple of minutes and repeated it has the structure A,A2,A,A2. however, there is a quite interesting performance note that informs the performer that they should repeat the form 840 times. cage followed this instruction to the T, however, he was gracious enough to employ 10 pianists instead of one sad soul. warhol happened to be at the legendary first performance. it inspired him to create his film "sleep"
sleep is a 5 hour and 21 minute film of warhol's lover, the poet john giorno, drumroll: sleeping. the film is a bunch of short 3-4 minute clips pasted together/looped to create what seems like a continous night sleep for someone who never wakes up.
ok, so if the creation of these two things don't seem ridiculous enough just imagine the fun you'd have witnessing them both at the same time (warhol's film is looped three times in order match the never ending length of satie's piece). basically will and i were very excited at the possibility of having something like this fully infultrate our beings. to put it mildly we went crazy.
we stayed for the whole thing. we were part of a small elite group who completed the task (we felt that watching was as involved as playing). because of our steadfastness we got interviewed by the tate archives and had our picture taken by (not only every fucking person in the world, after the doors opened the next morning) but also the londonist.
the only terrible thing is that even though the event went from 8pm to 3pm the next day they allowed visitors to start coming in the next morning at 10am. so, we got to be bothered by little kids screaming and the chill of the doors constantly being opened and closed. let's just say that it was quite the meditative buzz kill.
ok, well this is my last london post. i have to finish studying for my postmodernism exam tomorrow. then ill be home the day afterwards. give me a call.