A Performance of Relentless Stillness, With Live Score

March 16, 2012                                                The New York Times/The Bay Citizen

Eiko, the female half of Eiko and Koma, the contemporary movement arts duo who have performed together for some 40 years, hurled her small frame onto an oblong pile of canvas and feathers on the floor of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
“Naked, naked!” she said mischievously, gesturing to herself to indicate how she and Koma will appear in “Fragile,” a new four-hour performance with a score performed live onstage by the Kronos Quartet at the arts center through Saturday. 
Photo by Anna Lee Campbell
 The evening was an informal preview of the couple’s two-week Yerba Buena residency, which also includes performances of three iconic early works and a series of workshops and other events.
Just as quickly, Koma darted from standing to lying down on the opposite side of the nestlike pile. Then he jumped up again and ran to the other side of a large backdrop covered in feathers and salt suspended from the ceiling. 

“This is what people do who don’t want to see the naked bodies,” he said with a teasing tone, peeking back at Eiko through one of the many holes in the canvas as if he were embarrassed. 

If anything characterizes Eiko and Koma’s art, it is the slow, even glacial pace of their movements — sometimes so slow they are almost imperceptible, like ice melting. They describe their work, which evokes a deep connection with nature and deals with elemental themes like nakedness, hunger and death, as “infused with relentless stillness that subverts and transcends our everyday notions of time and space.” (More)

(ESSAY) Bob Carroll and the Art of Dying

Break Brick, Break Bread, Break the Mold

January 28, 2012              The New York Times/The Bay Citizen

Art and food mixed at a dinner last Thursday at Engine 43, a private residence and social club in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood, in the form of bricks served on a bed of hay.

Using small hammers, a group of about 40 diners smashed the bricks until the clay fell away to reveal a pouch of steamed hen-of-the-wood mushrooms. The dish, intended “to spark erotic dreams,” emanated earthy smells that were enhanced by a handcrafted perfume that had been placed on each person’s wrist.

The course was only one of many served up by Max La Rivière-Hedrick and Julio César Morales as part of “The Alchemy of Dreams,” an evening-length food performance that immersed the audience in the world of Remedios Varo, the surrealist artist who died in 1963 and was known for her playfulness, wit and intense engagement with dreams, science and the occult. 

The piece was commissioned by the Frey Norris Contemporary and Modern gallery in San Francisco, where Varo’s work is on view through Feb. 25. The two artists have pulled off a handful of other special dinners, each with a different theme.  (more)