Last month (Feb 20), I headed to the Grace Exhibition Space in Bushwick to check out Rob Andrews’ “Grace Minotaur” which I discussed with the artist on this blog a few weeks ago.
One of the city’s best performance art venues, Grace consistently attracts a good crowd and provides a great stage for some thought-provoking and experimental work. I arrived at the space when there were no more than a half dozen guests roaming about. Andrews had already begun his performance and sat like a couch potato in a cozy armchair in the middle of the space while chained to a nearby column. A single feather hung from the ceiling just beyond the range his chain would allow him to reach.
I walked over to the bar and grabbed a beer–a rarity for me–and sat down (in one of the many chairs Rob curated for the performance) to watch “Grace Minotaur” unfold. Andrews retained an intense level of concentration that made the space feel mysterious and charged. In one corner, Big Dick’s Hot Dogs (more about this in another post) added a whiff of processed meat to the mix. After an hour or so, Rob got up and reached for the feather before falling to the ground.
Intellectually I understood the power of “Grace Minotaur” that night but it wasn’t until it appeared in my dreams weeks later did I feel I emotionally understood Rob’s remixing of some powerful hybrid imagery. I woke up one night to remember I was seated in that armchair, sinking into its cushions unable to free myself of the heavy feeling of exhaustion that permeated my body. Trapped in my physical body, my hyperactive mind seemed to live elsewhere and begged me to move away from what felt like a tomb. Needless to say, it was a nightmare but a familiar one from my childhood when I numbed myself in front of the television to escape reality.