Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Watermill Workings

Watermill Center's “Marlene Dietrich is Dr. No’s Ludovico Clinic.”
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.
Watermill Acts.
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.

Robert Wilson
Mr. Wilson looks like a well-fed banker or lawyer. Maybe a little looser in the collar, but all-business. He’s accessible and with a ready smile, but he’s also soft-spoken as if to imply “reserved.” So you listen. And he is all business. Everything in the environment, including this huge fund-raising party itself is part of his creativity. He creates worlds and lays it on you. Welcome to my world, it says. Whether you like his work or not is irrelevant. Because he is ultimately the work. And he is a master at engaging, even mesmerizing his disciples.

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.
Rufus Wainwright, Kim Cattrall, and and Robert Wilson
Alison Chernick and Joel Mesler
Alex Kilgor, Christophe de Menil, and Catherine Waterston
Alexander Gilkes
Anne Hearst and Alison Mazzola
Alexandra Stanton and Michelle Paige
Alan Wyse and Kim Cattrall
Jorn Weisbrodt, a Performer, and Rufus Wainwright
Baba Anand and Performer
Arthur Wayne and Julie Dannenberg
Hope Atherton, Fabiola Beracasa, and Elise Overland
Beth Ostrosky and Howard Stern
Vanessa von Bismarck and Maximilian Weiner
Bill Cunningham
Debbie Bancroft and Victoria Wyman
Marisa Bregman, Luigi Tadini, and Amanda Hearst
Simon de Pury and Mischa Nonoo
Alexi Zoullas and Priscilla Azeredo
Baba Anand
Blair Voltz Clarke
Cristina Greevan Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo
Ms. d'Orglandes and Baba Anand
Denise Wohl and Ellen Bank
Gabriele Henkel
Justin Belmont and Dalia Oberlander
Beth Rudin DeWoody, Sebastian Sainsbury, and Kyle DeWoody
Paul Judelson and Kim Heirston Evans
Barbara Grodd, Nicholas Stone, and Clifford Grodd
Nicholas Dietz and Rachelle Hruska
Alice Judelson, Kyle DeWoody, and Lisa Anastos
Anthony Haden Guest
Alice Judelson, David Zinczenko, and Melissa Miln
Douglas Hannant
Richard Evans and Campion Platt
Laura Harring and Katharina Otto Bernstein
Jessica Joffe
Countess LuAnn de Lesseps
Marina Abramovic
Jamee Gregory and Randy Kemper
Gregory Speck
1. Beth Ostrosky
2. Rebecca Suhrawardi Austin
3. Debbie Bancroft
4. Catherine Waterston
5. Lisa Anastos
6. Kim Heirston
7. Elise Overland
8. Jessica Bale
9. Maggie Norris
10. Nicole Davis
11. Dalia Oberlander
12. Amanda Hearst

Maggie Norris and Audrey Gruss
Daniel Ragone, Lisa Anastos, and Daniel Urzedo
Sebastian Sainsbury and Beth Rudin DeWoody
Kate McGarrigle and Zaldy
Peter, Samantha, and Jamee Gregory
Russell Piccione and Cecilia Dean
Douglas Hannant, Frederick Anderson, and Max Wiener
Joe Zee
Marilyn Hoffman
Maynard Monrow
Sophie Gordon and Lucia Hwong Gordon
Robbie Meier
Rachel Zoe
Arnold Scaasi and Audrey Gruss
Austin Scarlett
Luigi Tadini and Richard Johnson
Performer with Jada Yuan and Nicholas Dietz
Luigi Tadini, Marisa Bregman, and Justin Belmont
Valesca Guerrand Hermes
Vanessa von Bismarck Wiener, Max Wiener, and Countess LuAnn de Lesseps
Joe Schildhorn
David Zinczenko, Sessa von Richthofen, Melissa Miln, and Richard Johnson

Photographs by ©PatrickMcMullan.com.

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