|The evening was titled: “Marlene Dietrich is Dr. No’s Ludovico Clinic.” It was at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center. The dress code was “Decadent Chic” which is just about as clear as “Festive,” another popular dress code at social parties in New York these days.
800 came for the dinner. There were 1100 at cocktails. Where did they put them? Everywhere. The Gala is in the woods. Not just any woods but Robert Wilson’s woods -- which means they look like “the woods” in your imagination when your mother read animals stories to you as a kid. And then, on the other edge of the woods (from the entrance) is the main building and surrounding courtyards.
The cocktail party covers these areas. There is a lot of space to stand and look around. 1100 people is a lot to look at. So those of us who hate cocktail parties because we feel uncomfortable going up to strangers to make conversation, can stand both outside and inside while watching, (or gaping if you prefer — or eavesdropping) without looking like we are.
|This is now the must-go art event in the new Hamptons. If they go to nothing else all summer (a rarity), they go to Robert Wilson (or “Bob” to his legions of friends and supporters), and ”the Watermill.”
Because creative dressing is encouraged, there is always much to see. It is a fascinating evening, both artful and art-y. Celebrities, famous faces, glamorous young women and chic socialites and of course the Who’s Who of the Contemporary Art World. The homage to the host is almost religious; people swear by him. The high regard in which he’s held is almost palpable, almost cult-like in terms of awe and respect.
Also there is something about the beachiness of that part of the country on a beautiful summer under the light in the setting sun. Everyone, no matter how mad their get-ups, looks as sunkissed as the girls in white dresses fresh from the beach a few hours before.
There were installations/Performances. Jonathan Meese created the installation in the Watermill building which provided the title of the evening. His powerful sculptures are in the gardens. Baba Anand collaborated with Indian poster artists from Delhi to create the spectacular film poster for a non-existent film titled Watermill; and Anita Dube created a beautiful tent-like installation with a surprising wax element called TEMPLE.
|The drummers from the U Theater of Taipei showed off their exceptional skills while Shakespeare's Wild Sisters (also from Taipei), true to their name, created a vibrant performance with participants from the summer program. Jonathan Meese’s installation will be open to the public from July 31 through August 10 every Thursday to Sunday from 5-7 pm.
Honorary Chairs tell you everything about the public and social profile of this event. They were: Marina Abramovic, Bernard Arnault, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Ross Bleckner, Kathleen Brennan and Tom Waits, Chuck Close, Bob Colacello, Alan Cumming, Merce Cunningham, Philippine de Rothschild, Marianne Faithfull, Carrie Fisher, Renée Fleming, Philip Glass, Nan Goldin, Zaha Hadid, Jenny Holzer, Iman and David Bowie, Donna Karan, Harvey Keitel, Calvin Klein, Jeff Koons, Annie Leibovitz, Richard Meier, Jessye Norman, Isabella Rossellini, Diane von Furstenberg, Dita von Teese, Rufus Wainwright, Roger Waters, Dianne Wiest.
Bernard Arnault and Carrie Fisher?? Marianne Faithfull and Jessye Norman? Phililppine de Rothschild and Dita von Teese? Yes, Robert knows. You begin to think he does.
|Photographs by ©PatrickMcMullan.com.|