TABLEAU VIVANT OF THE DELIRIUM CONSTRUCTIONS
“The singers' voices resounded thrillingly... seems like a miracle"
— The New York Times
The Tableau mounts a unique, participant-driven experience, providing a platform for realtime contact alongside multi-genre creation and performance.
Part homage to the history of art, part joyous communion, part party, part experiment, the Tableau challenges our social media paradigm which postulates that intimacy can flourish through flatscreen contact with 'friends'. The Tableau promotes close dialogue and close physical proximity, alongside radical art making, reconstructing the void in interpersonal connections created by our growing affection towards technological insularity.
The 'living picture' is a self-revealing celebration of image, sound, and human communion.
As derived from Small’s 2001-2013 photographic series, The Delirium Constructions (the birth medium of TDC), the project investigates the tensions and resolutions of close connection. Social, graphic, and musical contrasts are examined side-by-side: youth and experience, hysteria and discipline, hilarity and tragedy, and sexuality and desexualization. The scenarios are staged, yet the resulting emotions are born through guided improvisations and spontaneous interactions during rehearsals. Personal histories are memorialized inside the 'living picture', an expression of
humankind’s timeless yearning to find connection within ourselves and with one another.
Incorporated into the framework of a 4-5 hour nightlife experience, the Tableau begins in silence and stillness, as the audience confronts a static composition:
a stack of human forms. As the performance unfolds, the forms come to life, singly and in groups, alternating between stationary poses
and surging gesture. Eventually, the performance melts into the crowd, eliminating boundaries between the observer and the observed.
Musical components include a Balkan vocal quartet, string quartet, classical arias, and choral droning.
Other elements include historical and contemporary dress, synchronized facial gestures and dance, and legal matrimony conducted by Small.
PERFORMANCE ARCHIVE - VIDEO
An intimate re-creation of the Dumbo Arts Festival Tableau. Sample documentary footage of production linked to left.
BathHouse Studios - (2011)
New York, New York
Featuring Brooklyn Rider, Shara Nova,
and Abigail Wright (Metropolitan
Brooklyn, New York
92 Y Tribeca - (2010)
New York, New York
Tableau sans-nudity, incorporating choreographed dance featuring
Black Sea Hotel and Shara Nova
Powerhouse Arena - (2011)
Part of the 2010 Dumbo Arts Festival;
followed by a panel discussion about
Featuring Willa of Black Sea Hotel; accompanying
an exhibition of Small’s still photography series,
The Delirium Constructions
Overlooking the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges;
explorations with voice, accordion and violin;
featuring Willa Roberts of Black Sea Hotel
One Main Street, Gallery 9B - (2010)
Dumbo Brooklyn, New York
Salon Ciel - (2010)
New York, New York
A light-hearted, boisterous celebrating the release of Small’s photography in Babeland's coffee table book, Moregasm
Babeland - (2009)
New York, New York
The first Tableau, originally
intended as a one-off promotional event for
Small's still photography business
Jewel Street Studios - (2009)
Brooklyn, New York
PERFORMANCE ARCHIVE - STILLS
AUDIENCE + PARTICIPANT RESPONSE
"The singers' voices resound thrillingly... midst the sea of humanity all around... seems like a miracle and ‘Delirium’ like a gift."
– The New York Times
“an energizing newness… a humble and humbling view of humanity that feels authentic. Even poetic... what you take away is a kind of peace.”
– The Washington Post
"I can't imagine when I last partook of something that made me feel so alive... so singular, so heartbreaking." –Jenny Jozwiak (Attendee, 2009)
“Maybe Dali's child, but not me, could have come up with what we experienced... celebration of love and life, union and individuality,
birth and death and everything in between...." – Alexandrea Thompson (Bride, Participant, 2011 - Married within the Tableau Vivant, May 24th, 2011)
“I came out of this experience transformed and connected to everyone” – John Marchini (Participant, 2011)
“Sarah has changed my life deeply." – Mark Hanko (Participant, 2011)
"Small allowed the sum interactions to unfold of their own accord without attempting to ‘build in’ particular elements of persuasion for the viewer. We were invited to see, but not offered an easy pathway towards a particular brand of intelligibility." – Noah McClain (Attendee, 2009)
“For days afterwards, I was almost unable to work or concentrate on anything other than the three days we all spent together. Sarah is a queen of creating a mythical realm of absolute beauty, love, joy and peace. This experience will remain in us forever... I leave with a single sentence by Dostoyevsky which has been my motto for many years: "Beauty will save the world." – Dennis Rolland (Participant, 2011)
“In a disconnected digital age, strangers came out of their houses and tenderly sat together cheek to cheek..." – Greg Walloch (Participant, 2010-2011)
“... at one point I could not feel my legs and arms of so many goose bumps I had... lost sense of where I was...
and felt the energy inside of me.” – Cecilia DeBucourt (Photographer, Attendee, 2011)
“We all felt safe in a way that cannot be forced or faked..." – Cybele Kaufmann (Participant, 2010-2011)
“I think, from now on, whenever I experience anxiety, I am going to take three audible breaths in and out, and feel everyone breathing with me.”
– Michael Angelo (Participant, 2011)
"Sarah brought the humanity back into art and for the first time made me feel like I was witness to something spectacular."
– Larissa Carson (Attendee, 2009)
“I feel as though something momentous and important has happened in my life.”
– Kira Kupfersberger (Participant, 2011)
“I think Saturday may have been one of the most worthwhile performances in my life..."
– Abigail Wright (Participant, Opera Singer, 2010-2011)
“... I never once heard anyone say, "I don't feel comfortable addressing this question.” – Sarah Zar (Participant, 2011) –
"... one of the great art events in NYC this year” – Jeff Wengrofsky (Participant, 2009)
"... Sarah is one of the "touched by God" people, like daVinci...” – Tatyana Kot (Participant, 2011)
“I wish I could write as good as a writer can in order to put into words to what I felt. I can't."
– Renzo Vitale (Acoustician, 2011)
“If only its waves could cover and contaminate the world!” – Cully Firmin (Participant, 2011)
“I've never felt so safe with a group of strangers, strangers who became family that I want to protect. I was living in an alternate reality...
We summoned an energy that most people do not get to experience in their lifetimes... I carry that with me forever... Sarah is a Shaman.”
– Michael Angelo (Participant, 2011)
“Tableau defies definition.” – Dragonfly Diva (Participant, 2010-2011)
“This is what kids must feel like when they have to return from the best summer camp ever.” – Susanne Goetz (Participant, 2011)
“It made me look at people differently on the subway and street. Now I imagine anyone could be a part of the Tableau – if they are open-hearted enough... more substantial than anything hippies and new agers could achieve... high art. I have elevated insight into the human condition because of Sarah.”
– Shelley Thomas (Participant, Vocal Quartet, 2011)
“Sarah is an incarnation of love.” – Sally Heckel (Participant, 2011)
“This is the first time I've ever trusted a large group of human beings so completely... We all believed in the importance of bringing this work
of art to life... this piece is masterful beyond even 'its own' goals... an untainted, transcendent creation.” – Sarah Zar (Participant, 2011)
“Small’s gatherings induce a collective voyeurism in her audience, with all of the decadent triggers of imperial pageantry,
and Fellini-esqe morbidity, that inevitably tips into participation.” – Peter Spagnuolo (Attendee, 2009, 2010, 2011)
MOVEMENTS + ELEMENTS
spring 2011 — 9-movements, 55-min
instrumentation + elements:
120-participant chorus / performer-dancer-collective
string quartet, Balkan vocal quartet, 1 soprano,
1 mezzo soprano, 2 live wedding ceremonies
mvt. 1 - (approx. 10:00) — At Rest: Silence
mvt. 2 - (approx. 5:00) — We Wake: Deh Vieni, Non Tardar
Susanna’s aria from Le Nozze di Figaro
mvt. 3 - (approx. 9:00) — We Sing: “Ibish Aga”
trad. Bulgarian; vocal arr: Small;
instrumental arr. + add. comp: Rima Fand
mvt. 4 - (approx. 4:00) — We Dance: “Wildebeest Waltz”
comp: Small; instrumental comp and add arr: Rima Fand
mvt. 5 - (approx. 2:00) — We Commune
“I will be with all of you”
comp: Rima Fand; text: Small
mvt. 6 - (approx. 4:00) — We Rest
mvt. 7 - (approx. 2:00) — We Wake: Shte Pejem Zajedno
comp: Small; aria, invented language
mvt. 8 - (approx. 10:00) — We Breathe
mvt. 9 - (approx. 4:00) — We Depart
C’est L’amour Vainqueur Nicklausse's “violin aria”
from Les Contes d’Hoffmann
CATHY & DENNIS HEPWORTH
CREATIVE TEAM + PRODUCERS
SINGERS + INSTRUMENTALISTS
BLACK SEA HOTEL
Balkan Vocal Ensemble
- with special guests-
Musical Director & Composer & Singer
ADAM J. THOMAS
After Party Producers
Noah McClain, Megan Browne, Stephan Marquardt, Riley, Johndonnell, Suzanna Denison, April Renae, Dogleaf Senior, DJ, Joro Boro, Raya Brass Band, Cowboys and Indian, Anna Shneiderman, Willa Roberts, Joy Radish, Dimiter Kenarov, Peter Spagnuolo, Rob Parry & Steel Deck New York, Lissa Gundelach, Leandra Solovay, Claire Westby, Lamia Akar, Natalie Kessel, Katy Azzarello, Malik Summers, Heidi Grunwald, Mike Samuels, Tom Stein, Jane Karsh, Dave Shelley, Corinna Snyder, Mitch Dean, Rachel Small, Betsy Small, L&M Light and Sound, Lara Kurtzman,, Melanie Randolph, Katherine Rusch, Noah McClain, Cliff Hausner &, The Mac Group, Devon Berkshire , August Barber, Kazue Peck, CiCi Ramirez, Laurel Richardson, Saori Kurioka, Ben Shneiderman, Gabrielle Jaworskyj, Duncan Brooks, Dreamer, Dream Tricycle, Black Sea Hotel, Hans Neleman, Chrissy Reilly, Craig Lechner, Lindsay Comstock, Amy Poueymirou, Cindy Lou Adkins, Lucas, Mendieta, Casey DeSantis, John Mazlish, TDF Costume Collection, Caitlin Wilson, Brandon Knight, Jess Tell, Bill Wicker, Rebecca, Melton, Danielle Chu, Abby Walsh, Renzo Vitale, Paul DePoo, Linnea, Olson-Schwartz, Jacqueline Kristel, Chrissy Reilly, Craig Lechner, Lindsay Comstock, Amy Poueymirou, Andy Cushman, Andy Stromberg, Debra Stromberg, Jewel Street Studios, Tim Hogan, Laura Newman, Jason Dirnberger, Alonso Homs, Adam Donald, Hossein Farmani, Cat Jiminez, Pamela Patalinghug, Bryon Fusini, Spencer Tunick, Kaysa and Joey, Leah Meyerhoff, Laura Gehrlach,, Greta Zozula, Steven Vega, Sam Henriques, Dan Katz, Spencer Moore, Gemma Fleming, David Burris, Alyssa Adams, Jacqueline Kristel, David Chapman, Fusion Model Management, Philip Mauro, Elizabeth Barragan, Nadine Goellner, Alan Miller, Craig Dykers, Clifford Henderson, Elena Avesani, Alessandro Spreafico, BOSS Models , Julienne Schaer, Colin Alexander, Mike Wally, Glenn, Glasser, Cecilia DeBoucourt
David Art Wales