Thursday, June 02, 2011

Ophelia ... dress rehearsal !

(Above: Ophelia. Dress Rehearsal/Photo Shoot. Reflection from suspended mirror above the claw-footed bathtub. Photo by Stephen Chesley. Click on image to enlarge.)

The dress rehearsal on Tuesday night went very, very well. I learned several important things:

1. Do not apply make-up, colored hair spray, and a wig when wearing a summer dress that requires it to be removed over one's head ... unless to take off the dress first!
2. Do not spray red hair coloring after applying make-up ... unless you want to reapply your face!
3. Lying in a bathtub under heaps of artificial flowers in window exposed to afternoon sunshine in the South is HOT ... but not as hot as the photographers felt while snapping images!
but ... most importantly ...

At 5:30 this afternoon the curtains will be pulled open and I'll be back in the bathtub posing as Ophelia, dead.
At 7:30 my husband Steve will be acting as the "funeral director", allowing the public to form a line for semi-private "viewings" inside the installation window. This will allow people to really get up close to both me ... and to the amazing graffiti-styled suicide note created by Michael Krajewski.

Michael spent over ten hours scrawling in pencil all over the back wall and pull-down doorway for the space before painting "I Love You Hamlet". (Click on any of these images to enlarge.)

The oddly shaped words, tally marks, scribbles, and phrases really reflect the rantings of a confused, lovesick, mental case with a final sentence before death. It is beyond perfect ... better than I dared to hope ... positively excellent. It adds to the overall experience of the installation and space in the best way possible.

Heather Bauer and Eric Parton snapped all sorts of images on Tuesday. Two have been printed in large format and framed. They are FABULOUS and will function this evening to entice the public to "form a line" for the "viewings". By tomorrow, they will be in the window as the central focal point for the continuing window installation.

During the dress rehearsal/photo shoot, my mentor and friend Stephen Chesley came by and snapped several great images from the street outside the window. I've hung a large mirror at an angle over the bathtub in order to provide a more intimate view directly into the bathtub. Stephen captured the reflection beautifully.

I've even used the photo above for a new Facebook profile. (Thanks, Stephen!)

The interior of the space actually looks like the the image below. It is "dark" because the theater curtains are drawn shut. The white trash bag is stuffed full of additional artificial cemetery flowers.

After the performance art piece tonight, I plan to leave the bathtub filled with flowers ... and the red wig...

(Above: View to back wall with reflection from the suspended mirror. Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)


Gerrie said...

Utterly fabulous!!

Caron at Michigan Quilts said...

I don't know how you do that without cracking up or opening your eyes to see who's looking at you. I would think the time would drag on. Very, very awesome!

Vision gallery said...

We here at the Vision Gallery think this is AMAZING! We can't wait for your installation here in October.

Lynn Cohen said...

1. are you actually laying in a tub of water for two hours plus?
2. Or is the last photo what the people see?
3. are you nuts?
4. LOL
5. Your ideas boggle my mnd. this is exciting and wonderful in all ways!!!!
6. if one is so then you must be a prune when this is over!
7. BRAVO!!!

Julie said...

Have a fantastic night Susan!

Anonymous said...

Susan you so brave, so amazing and you so nailed this!!!! I am beyond
missy from the bayou

Carrie said...

Fantastic! Shakespere suddenly got interesting! I hope you've got plenty of hand cream sorted after an evening in the bath!

Anonymous said...

I'm stunned! Linda at the Lake

Elizabeth said...

Spectacular!!!! I love the mirror and the shots that Stephan took are fabulous!!!!
Brilliant beyond words!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a wonderful piece of art. I love the way all the elements: the graffiti, the flowers, you, come together into something which both references and makes anew a wonderful picture and a fantastic piece of literature.

lynda Howells said...

WOW..says it allxxxx

EmandaJ said...

I read your blog right after you posted it but didn't have time to comment. I'm back to say that I am moved by this work -- it has such depth with everything involved and the many layers you have built into it. keep up the great work and thanks for letting us in on the inner workings of your mind and art.


Wanda said...

Beyond words. Absolutely beyond words. Even if you don't know Shakespeare and/or the story of Ophelia and Hamlet (am I making myself sound like I do??), it boggles the mind. The wall alone is fascinating. Susan....brilliant. I don't even know what to say I'm so in awe.