visiting Sarah Small’s ‘Tableau Vivant’ of the delirium constructions

monday night, may 23, i had the opportunity to volunteer on sarah’s new show out at Skylight One at the Williamsburg bank building in Brooklyn on her new production. sarah’s productions are  growing larger each time she does one. the last time she did one of these it was in powerhouse books in DUMBO. now she’s into a much larger venue with a larger cast and impressive performance.

Williamsburg Bank Building

i’ve know of her work for some time and have contacted her before about working on any upcoming project together, which never came about as she has her vision and i’ve mine. see her work at and mine at we’re much different but we both work with nude & clothed bodies so we’ve a similar premise.

as her web site says “for the first time, this May, Small will be exploring, within the Tableau Vivant, a specific social phenomenon: the ritual of marriage. With its airs of pageantry and religious rectitude, wedding ceremonies celebrate the most intimate joining of two individuals in the most public manner, providing rich fodder for examination within the project’s framework. While the process is still developing, Small will act as the legal officiant for two couples as she simultaneously directs the attendant Tableau Vivant cast in their own explorations of the theme, mingling performance art with reality in a compelling cocktail.”

my work is more about how we hide what we reveal but covering ourselves up. i am also interested in a personal quest of self discovery which i began years ago having what would be categorized as a religious experience but at the time i had no idea what had happened during a aikido meditative moment. it’s been a long journey with many delightful discoveries, but as the saying goes, self discovery isn’t always good news.

Sarah Small directing 'Tableau Vivant'

Sarah Small directing 'Tableau Vivant'

well that’s the big Tableau picture and there were many photographers wandering around cameras clicking and zooming shooting videos and pictures, what i usually do is to take in the whole scene then see what interests me. after all this isn’t a commercial job or wedding more like fun, that’s it FUN that’s why i do photography for the fun of creating it. i’ve worked since i was 14 years old now it’s time to have more fun in life.

sarah small taking a picture of her 'Tableau Vivant'

sarah small taking a picture of her 'Tableau Vivant'

she is shooting with a canon camera through a L series lens which i also own. so what could i add to this scene? here we are in a beautiful classic bank building………….. look around you what do you see?

ceiling of Williamsburg bank clandelier

ceiling of Williamsburg bank chandelier

this reminds me of the Byzantine Cathedral in St Marks Square in Venice Italy, talk about cool. i can imagine the immigrant family walking into this bank depositing their hard earned pennies and being impressed, who wouldn’t? where is the america and americans who built buildings like these. now banks are just plain hollow walls with automatic tellers and cameras. empty spaces to be filled with the next dry cleaner tenant, what have we wrought on ourselves america?

another chandelier

life is about looking around especially in photography. there is a photographic exercise where one is confined to a 10′ square area having to find photographic subject matter. well here we are

williamsburg bank windows

williamsburg bank front entrance windows

window detail

window detail

and looking closely into the windows one can see these

williamsburg ghosts

more ghosts

so you can see i was pretty busy during rehearsals discovering things, someone had draped the front doors to prevent people from couldn’t seeing the naked people inside who were there to be seen as part of this evening performance, yea i know. but this was exactly my kind of picture.

williamsburg bank doors

williamsburg bank doors

with everything coming together personal possessions on the floor, costume accessories on the counters, details everywhere, life is always in the details

personal possessions

talisman or eeyore

there are always moments to straighten out technical problems and have discussion as to what the artist wants

sarah small discussing small technical issues

now i figured everything was covered and i might as well find something constructive to do to help out and earn my keep. i found two young ladies stuffing programs and helped them fold & assemble the programs, then i helped bring ice in for the bar and generally hung around being helpful. but here is what you’ve all waited so patiently for. i retired to the balcony over the front entrance for my view of the beginning

the beginning

 the awaking

'Tableau Vivant' of the delirium constructions

i really just watched and listened, after all if my eyes are looking through a view finder they really aren’t seeing and experiencing the whole performance. i loved the music by meredith monk and the voices of the awakened tableau. yes i tried out the video portion of my camera and found other limitations of it. one can’t pan, zoom & focus at the same time without growing another hand. but who needs sharp images when making a video?

little did i know that the balcony was part of the grand finally. so more ghosts appeared

people shadows

people shadows ll

reminds me of an Ancient Egyptian tomb as the tableau reassembled in the balcony

my favorite shadow

sarahs acknowledgment to the audience

who consisted of family members of the participants of the tableau along with other followers and fan of sarahs work. finally here is sarah’s final goodby’s to the performers who helped bring this all about, lots of hugs and kisses a wonderful night for all.

saying goodby

and just plain sarah

sarah small

jene youtt


4 Responses to “visiting Sarah Small’s ‘Tableau Vivant’ of the delirium constructions”

  1. marywehrhahn Says:

    Loved the commentary – I almost feel as if I were there…Thanks for much for sharing

  2. marywehrhahn Says:

    Loved the commentary – I almost feel as if I were there…Thanks for much for sharing. The photos – lovely!

  3. fuzzypictures Says:

    mary is my biggest fan, life is more wonderful with her around

  4. Says:

    I really intend to save this particular blog post, “visiting Sarah Smalls Tableau Vivant of the delirium constructions Fuzzypictures’s Weblog” on my very own page. Will you care if Ido? Thanks a lot ,Seymour

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