It started in the church garden and I think we were supposed to move around, but it was dark and I couldn’t. Led Zeppelin played in the background and the dozen or so dancers ethereally faded into the evening’s darkness. Thus marked the mysterious introduction to Paige Martin’s Panorama that premiered on Thursday, April 8th at Danspace Project.
Then I stood in a line outside the church and waited for admission. Waited. Entered one at a time into a faux art opening. Walked through a reference of Marina Abramović’s Imponderabilia—a piece currently on view at MoMA. Homage or mockery? Paige says: “This whole night is nothing new. It’s all just appropriation. I always appropriate…I like to manipulate.”
White curtain walls. Free booze. Anxious chatter and ugly art work. Tall phallic column. Black ravenous animal sculpture. Awkwardly waited. About 20 minutes of this. And then another 20 minutes. People started pulling out their cell phones. Someone pulled out a book. It got hotter.
An hour into nothing. Dismantled the phallus. Disorganized. Paige scurried around with a grin across her face wearing a silky oversized, vanilla pleated skirt like a poncho. Unrolled rugs for seating. Red-orange-maroon-fuchsia.
Paige wriggled naked on the floor. Lazy choreographer. Blissed-out on some kind of psychedelics. Three bodies in brightly colored sheets. Green, floral, and peach. Only-legs ghost. Pussies out. Deep sexual sighs. Genital grooming. The colorful naked ghosts exit. Then there was a five-minute topless women dance. Possibly improvised. Undeniably messy. Set movements performed at one’s own pace. Some gum. Some irregular poses. “It’ll all just be chaos.” She says.
More waiting. Careless antagonism. Followed by a lecture on darkness. Lights dimmed. Mumbling accented voice. I couldn’t understand him. Slow. It was getting hotter and I was getting hungrier. Described darkness. Described the shape of a rectangle. The lights went out. We were supposed to sit in darkness for 25 minutes. I left early. She doesn’t care. Why should I?
Christine Hou is a poet and arts writer living in Brooklyn.