Michael Alan’s “Living Installation” at ABC No Rio

Posted on: September 19th, 2011 at 11:15 am by

Perhaps this is the opposite of sensory deprivation – being engulfed by layers of color and sound, populated with live performers.

This image has been archived or removed.

This past Friday night, within the very raw space of ABC No Rio’s ground floor at 156 Rivington, artist Michael Alan presented “The Wedding/Vampire Circus,” what he calls his “Living Installation” of art. Moving between two scenes at opposite ends of the room for six hours, Alan draped, painted and collaged on the performers, using them as moving art. The art happening was accompanied by a sonic environment composed of Alan’s layered music, with live musicians playing over his recorded songs.

This image has been archived or removed.

[Photo Credit: Garry Boake]

On one side of the room was “The Wedding,” which was a living art “marriage” of two performers. The counterpart to this was “Vampire Circus,” a moving carnival, colorful, but also dark – his statement on our current obsession with vampire culture. But this ain’t exactly for the Twilight crowd.

This image has been archived or removed.

[Photo Credit: Worm Carnevale]

Visitors – and there were many – could come and go as they pleased, sitting on the floor, on chairs, or standing, and immersing themselves in the environment.

This image has been archived or removed.

[Photo Credit: Worm Carnevale]

On a recent visit to Alan’s downtown studio, we saw a process of sketches transforming first to paintings, which become more elaborate as they move toward translating the environments onto human form. An impressive variety of materials is utilized. (We even thought we caught a fish tank in one of the completed environments the other night.)

This image has been archived or removed.

[Photo Credit: Lori Greenberg]

Previous Living Installations have taken place at art galleries and performance spaces including Kenny Scharf’s Cosmic Cavern, embedding Alan’s live art happenings into Scharf’s day-glo wonderland.

Even without a day-glo element at the ABC No Rio installation, it was easy to lose oneself in the alien-like complex settings. “This is not theater or performance,” Alan says. It’s hard to describe exactly what it is, but that’s okay with us.

Written by Lori Greenberg

Recent Stories

NY PopsUp with Performances at Essex Crossing

A small crowd gathers outside the entrance to the International Center of Photography on Essex Street. Rain be damned. Music blares onto the street. Inside the sparse Essex Crossing storefront, behind plate-glass windows, a group of dancers prance around to the rhythm. The weekend spectacle was part of NY PopsUp, the months-long festival billed by […]

Lady Gaga’s Former Lower East Side Apartment is Back on the Market

The Lower East Side apartment formerly inhabited by Lady Gaga before she was famous is again available for rent. The one-bedroom abode at 176 Stanton Street (#4A) is currently listed for $2,000 per month via StreetEasy, and has been on the market for about thirty-five days. And the broker babble was recycled from past listings. […]

Seward Park Co-op General Manager Stepping Down After 13 Years

Yesterday afternoon, Seward Park Co-op members were informed that the general manager is stepping down next month. Frank Durant, who has managed the complex since 2008, cited personal reasons for the departure, effective April 1. However, many residents feel the true reason might be related to rumors of Seward’s financial arrears. His replacement is Brendan […]

Electeds Descend Upon Chinatown to Rally Against Hate

In the aftermath of a string of (potential) anti-Asian crimes across the city, several hundred people attended a rally as a show of support. It was held in Foley Square, not far from the incident last Thursday, in which a random attack on a Chinese man with an eight-inch kitchen knife left him clinging to life in a […]

‘Best Wingers’ has Flown the Coop on Delancey Street

Best Wingers has flown the coop. The Lower East Side chicken joint, an offshoot of the decades-old Murray Hill restaurant, recently closed its Delancey Street location. A large lease sign currently hangs in the windows. Sum told, Best Wingers spent nigh on three years here at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge. It had signed […]