For its 30th anniversary gala, Robert Wilson’s fabled Watermill Center borrowed a theme from HG Wells and took a stand

Last Saturday night, July 30th, the art world came to Long Island’s East End for Booth: The 30th Anniversary Watermill Center Summer Benefit.

Hosted by visionary impresario Robert Wilson at his glorious 10-acre art residency and performance lab in Water Mill, New York, the event welcomed such luminaries as Lucinda Childs, Kyle DeWoody, Marc Glimcher, Roselee Goldberg and Carrie Mae Weems. Attendees chatted about their latest acquisitions, the NFT drama, and other lively topics while sipping tequila cocktails from Maestro Dobel. It was a great party and an excuse to dress up, but art and performance – curated by Noah Koshbin – were the main protagonists.

The annual gala also served as the opening party for two summer exhibitions. A career review by Christopher Knowles and vibrant paintings by Robert Nava were on display in the centre’s galleries. As the sun went down, guests wandered outside through the manicured grounds and adjacent forest to encounter various performance art tableaux and installations.

The first of the standout appearances was that of British artist Hollie Miller bedrock Perfomance. She was covered in clay and camouflaged between a stone step on which she balanced and at times shattered. Primal and prehistoric, Miller was captivating. Elsewhere, in Standing on the Moon, Adam Parker Smith’s presentation of a series of sculptures previously shown at The Hole gained new resonance when displayed in a pastoral setting beyond the white cube. His eerie, sleeping-bag-like sarcophagi (actually made of resin, steel, and urethane rather than nylon and down fill) were lit and scattered among trees.

The night ended with some good old-fashioned barn-building, with dozens of volunteers pitching in and pulling ropes to hoist and stand Japanese artist Tsubasa Kato’s ark-like structure. Art connoisseurs really know how to bring out the roof.

Below are some highlights of the event.

Performance artist Robson Catalunha invites you to the event. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Gokcen Dilek Acay smokes

Gokcen Dilek Acay smokes forms of protest Perfomance. Photo: Maria Baranova.

Hollie Miller fights a boulder.  Photo by Maria Baranova, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Move over Sisyphus! Hollie Miller fights a boulder. Photo: Maria Baranova.

The visionary and host Robert Wilson.  Taeyi Lim's dramatic dance interlude.  Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Visionary and host Robert Wilson and guests. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Maestro Dobel heated up the event.  Photo by Maria Baranova, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Drinks from Maestro Dobel heated up the party. Photo: Maria Baranova.

STANDING: The Watermill Center Annual Summer Benefit Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Participants risk rope burn in the name of art. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Up: Tsubasa Katos Pull and lift sculptural installation. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Artist Tsubasa Kato instructs the assembled crowd in the art of erecting a structure.  Photo: Maria Baranova.

Artist Tsubasa Kato instructs the assembled crowd in the art of erecting a structure. Photo: Maria Baranova.

Guests cavort in Watermill.  Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Dressed for the occasion: guests cavort in the watermill. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

The participants marvel at Laurent Le Gall's illuminated performance.  Photo by Maria Baranova, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

The participants marvel at Laurent Le Gall’s performance. Photo: Maria Baranova.

Would you like a Maestro Dobel cocktail?  Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Maestro Dobel cocktail, anyone? Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Taeyi Lim's dramatic dance interlude.  Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Taeyi Lim’s dramatic dance interlude. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Adam Parker Smiths

Adam Parker Smith’s Standing on the Moon. Photo: Maria Baranaova.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay one step ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news, insightful interviews and incisive critical statements that drive the conversation.

Leave a Comment

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial