Shuffling my way through Fort Greene last night, I decided to cut through a park to reach my destination. As I trod the winding paths, I saw a small, glowing shack in the distance with a paper bag candle path leading up to it from the walkway.
Naturally I stopped and went up to it. The "paper bags" were plastic and electric, and the shack was made of plywood and Plexiglas, with two rows of benches inside with headphones hanging from the ceiling like airplane oxygen masks. Moving images were being projected on the inside of the shack. The field in front of the shack was lit up with a single bright spotlight stretching out elliptically across the grass and various trees were similarly illuminated. The whole kit and caboodle was being powered by a gas generator, encased in it's own plywood cozy off to the side aways.
Two young folk, bundled up, walked up to me and I asked them if the installation was open. Turns out this was part of a dance performance that would start out a nearby funeral parlor and then make it's way over shortly thereafter. They told me that, while there wouldn't be room for me inside to listen to the sound track on the headphones or enjoy the space heater, I could at least see the movement in the park space.
I came back later in the night and waited, and sure enough a small group of people came up over the hill, led by a cowboy pulling a rickshaw with two lucky audience members inside. He paused for a moment, ruminated over a letter from his sister, and then sprinted he and his passengers up to the shack path. The audience filed inside, put on their headphones, and the cowboy picked up the spotlight and shined it onto a hillside, where the dancers were crouched.
Then began... I don't know what. Without the spoken word and music soundtrack, it was difficult to follow what exactly the movements of the male and female dancer symbolized, packs on their back, red lanterns in their hands.
Realizing the show was going to go on for an hour or more longer, I left after about 20 minutes. Just a taste of the lovely random art that springs up in this grand city of ours.
I'm glad I saw it. I mean, I can watch the episode of Lost I missed online tonight, right?