1. press release
A Surreal Cabaret will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 25 at the Orange County Citizens Foundation, 23 White Oak Drive in Sugar Loaf. Admission is free. The event, produced by David Horton and William Seaton as part of an ongoing Surrealism Festival, will feature a series of short acts with local artists in performance. Refreshments will be available and admission is by donation.
Like the first Surreal Cabaret last December, this event is a tribute to Surrealist émigré Kurt Seligmann (on whose estate the event will be staged) each work will contain elements influenced by Surrealism. Acts may cross genres from poetry and drama to dance and music. The audience can expect conceptual play, experimentation, improvisation, and audience involvement.
Producers of acts include James Antonie, Michael Sean Collins, Kevin Geraghty, Janet Hamill, David Horton, Steve Roe, William Seaton, and John Toth. Further details are below.
Surrealism Festival events will continue at least through next fall. A show of contemporary collage curated by Jonathan Talbot and Jessica Lawrence is currently on exhibit. Upcoming events include a film screening with director Jacob Burckhardt on April 27, a dining event with pasta made on Seligmann’s etching press in July, and a poetry workshop with Janet Hamill in September. In addition, next fall an exhibit will open featuring Seligmann’s own work and rare photographs documenting Surrealism in Orange County.
The series is produced by the Seligmann Center for the Arts at the Seligmann Homestead with the cooperation of Orange County Citizens Foundation.
Further information is available from William Seaton at email@example.com or David Horton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. invocation by the Lama Swine Toil
I am pleased to see that you have returned for a dose of our salutary spring tonic. Open wide – your eyes, your ears, and your mind. In preparation for our setting out for unknown realms, at once so distant and as close as each of our skulls, I shall invoke the ancient goddess called by many names whom artists know as that most fickle beloved, the Muse.
-- May she come among us this evening and every evening.
-- May she awaken our soul like a new Rip Van Winkle, wandered back to town again but this time to find that everyone else has been asleep and only he awake and thus he is little understood!
-- May she bring order to those parts of our minds that are disordered while, at the same time disordering the orderly!
-- May she stir our hearts to small leaps and bounds like goats in a field running nowhere!
-- May we feel her texture like most intimate moss, like quizzical tomato leaf, like the orderly asphalt, like cleverest rabbit fur, like thoughts yet unthought . . .
-- May our work tend always toward the enlightenment of all sentient beings!
The vision passes from world to artist to work to you, the saving remnant, o practitioners of sensibility, and what you will do with it will make tomorrow.
3. Featured artists:
After opening words by Surrealist chaplain, the Lama Swine Toil, William Seaton will read his “adult nursery rhymes” before a background of projected images.
Next Janet Hamill performs her surreally inspired poetry to the ambient drone rock and roll of Lost Ceilings featuring Bob Torsello, Mark McNutt, and Greg Feller.
Then Steve Roe presents an excerpt from and variation on Robert Ashley’s opera That Morning Thing performed and adapted by COPE (Council of Poetic Experimentation) for voice, dance, musicians. Al Margolis (of Pogus Productions) has agreed to perform as musician. The excerpt deals with the relationship between the rational and its opposite. A description of a strange erotic encounter is described while a dancer performs to live music.
Kevin Geraghty will next present The Conference, a brief theater piece in which he, Larry Portner, and Steve Roe portray businessmen engaged in a most curious non-verbal conference.
James Antonie, known for the University of Utopian Determinants and the Micro-Gallery, will then perform The Alchemist showing the process of transformation and the discovery of the philosophers’ stone.
The Four Grape Theory of Human Functioning will be explained by Dr. Thelonious Tinker with an introduction by David Horton. There will be a live demonstration of Dr. Tinker’s Creation Vibration Booster.
Michael Sean Collins will perform a surreal theatrical poetic narrative of the absurdly macabre.
Finally John Toth will present The Nurse's Back: Apparitions on a Landscape, a work Holly Fairbank (choreographer/dancer) and John Toth (sculptor/digital artist) collaborate on a performance-installation piece inspired by Salvador Dali. Using fabric as pages of a life-size “book” to create places for video and photography projection, Fairbank has opportunity to interplay with her own image as well as other images to examine an interior mind-scape much as Salvador Dali alluded to in many of his surrealist paintings. Various sections of the piece can be viewed at www.johntoth.net/dali/nurses_back.htm.
4. poster by David Horton