photo credit: "ANGEL" by Barbara Silverman
Uptown to downtown, glossy to gritty, our idea of cool is moving south for the summer… if you haven’t yet caught 7 ELEVEN Gallery’s “MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME” extraordinary installations, or even if you have, you won’t want to miss our tribute to the muse of chic schlock (as in ‘useless beauty’)!
Thanks to the inspiration of Steve Starosta and the beautiful trio of women that put the show up, we’ve got an amazing opportunity to make ourselves at home in the cell’s mounting tradition of collaborative art. We love a challenge…so, as fast as one can say gesamtkunstwerk we are cranking out a one-time-only performance that will transport us through the unbelievably believable “sets” in the warehouse space. B.Y.O.B. (that’s booze, not bong) and see what we’ve imagined into being. It’s free!!!
Speaking of gesamtkunstwerk , did I mention the cell has a ghost? Yup! Lila Smalls. Although she remains unseen, we know her name and sense her vivid presence in all things creative; she is our muse.
History reveals West 23rd Street as a long-standing cultural and literary hub. Along with the (now extinct) Grand Opera House at 23rd and 8th Avenue, the Chelsea Hotel always drew many intriguing personalities to the area. Edith Wharton, Tennessee Williams, William S. Burroughs, and Arthur Miller are some legends of Chelsea. Even Santa Claus, from the imagination of Clement Clarke Moore, was born on 23rd Street. No wonder we believe in the power of imagination!
Who is Lila Smalls? What is an apparition? Who can dispute the power of spirit? I believe Lila Smalls is a remnant of flesh and bones; a phantom in search of a lost identity. She may be dead, but her essence refuses to yield to the genericism of a culture gone awry. I like to think of her as the force that lives in Chelsea, fighting for light where shadow prevails.
So much of the cell’s programming is about poetry, words and music. What we do is brought forth from the mysterious depths of creative energy. What is art if not an energy? If Lila Smalls is but a name, let us wallow in our fantasy of a guiding force. We like the inspiration.