ULTIMA CENA & LA CENA DE LA LUNA FRIA
ISLANDS (SHEY RIVERA & JASON CURZAKE)
“La cena de la luna fría” (“The Feast of the Cold Moon”) is the beginning of a series of four collective performances inspired by fluxus, symbolism and decadence. This series of performances was birthed by a performance, titled “Ultima Cena,” that Jason Curzake and I did as ISLANDS in Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in Boston, MA. We decided to blow up the performance by turning it into a longer, collective piece that involved more people. We created an expanded faux dinner setting: the stage was turned into a table where performers and audience came together as part of the piece. We invited twelve artists that presented individual pieces while at the same time participating in this vibrant and bizarre dinner. The audience is not just an audience in these interventions; they are active agents in this collective “non-theater” piece. They were invited to come dressed in dinner party attire or embrace their exuberance in fashion: suits, gowns, cocktail dresses, gender-bending, dandy, surrealist heads, traditional folk costumes, body paint, horns, tails; whatever they could fantasize being at the dinner table. Each performer was assigned a tarot card and would initiate their piece, whether durational or not, once their card was called upon. The table had around ten plates with edible and non-edible props that both the audience and performers could use throughout the night. On the center of the table we had a large plate with meatloaf that was passed around.
The work that Jason and I create as ISLANDS is connected to the ebb and flow of our creative juices; we ride the tides, and it has taken us toward a fluxus revival informed by our eclectic experiences and backgrounds, as well as our need to create art that breaks the barriers between audience and performer. We want to create work with others, we want to share this awakening, we want to be fearless together. The city is hungry for more performance and fearless experimentation, so we decided to host a “dinner” party. We will follow with four more performances: a wedding, a cockfight and a funeral. We intend to create an experimental setting where people of all backgrounds can come together and create regardless of how much or what type of experience they’ve had with art or art-making. It’s necessary to have a step prior to exploration of one’s limits, the step where one peeks into a world of possibilities without being scared off. Our goal is to inspire courage and collaboration by making art that is explosive, daring and welcoming, as challenging as this might sound. Our work intends to be a gateway to experimental art; we hope to create more hunger in new audiences and performers for non-traditional theater and other forms of art in general.