Fluxus Moon Cabaret

Fluxus Moon Cabaret

The Fluxus Moon Cabaret is a four-part series of participatory performances inspired by fluxus, symbolism, and decadence. This series is a collective ritual to celebrate the full moon according to the Farmers’ Almanac.

This series of performances came out of a performance titled “Ultima Cena”, that ISLANDS (Jason Curzake and Shey Rivera) presented at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in Boston, MA. It was an interactice dinner-table setting in homage to Mourning Day. After realizing the power of this piece, we decided to turn it into a larger collective piece and invite other artists to join in. This was the birth of the Fluxus Moon Cabaret, with “La cena de la luna fría” (“The Feast of the Cold Moon” aka Fluxus Dinner). ISLANDS joined with artists Sussy Santana, Elizabeth Keiser, Kurt Fowl, Saul Ramos and Maritza Martell, among others to create this massive work of collaborative art. The cabaret blurs the barriers between performers and audience. The audience is participant and accomplice of the piece, encouraged to join in by creating their own spontaneous performative acts.

Fluxus is a movement of “anti-art”. It was born as a response to the commodification of art and artists. It celebrates process over commodity. Providence, Rhode Island, has a history of underground performance art and work that is fearless and eccentric in the face of a world that constantly forces artists to be polished and marketable. It is raw and unapologetic; communal and celebratory. Although Fluxus is tied to a specific moment in time, it hasn’t died yet; There is a spirit of Fluxus that has inhabited the walls of AS220 from its early beginnings as an artists’ squat and still resonates in the walls of its now three buildings.

Our work as ISLANDS is connected to the ebb and flow of our creative juices; we ride the tides and it has taken us toward a revival of the fluxus ethos, informed by our eclectic experiences and backgrounds, as well as our need to create art that breaks the barriers between audience and performer. We want to create work with others, we want to share this awakening, we want to be fearless together. This need for connection and expression is calling out from the concrete of the city and we are responding. The city is hungry for more performance and fearless experimentation, so we decided to host a “dinner” party.

Fluxus is a movement of “anti-art”. It was born as a response to the commodification of art and artists. It celebrates process over commodity. Providence, Rhode Island, has a history of underground performance art and work that is fearless and eccentric in the face of a world that constantly forces artists to be polished and marketable. It is raw and unapologetic; communal and celebratory. Although Fluxus is tied to a specific moment in time, it hasn’t died yet; There is a spirit of Fluxus that has inhabited the walls of AS220 from its early beginnings as an artists’ squat and still resonates in the walls of its now three buildings.

The Fluxus Moon Cabaret intends to create an experimental setting where people of all backgrounds can come together and create, regardless of how much or what type of experience they’ve had with art or art-making. We challenge the perception that art is shrouded in elitism and privilege, hidden away in galleries and museums. Our goal is to inspire courage and collaboration, by making art that is explosive, daring, and welcoming. The Fluxus Moon Cabaret is inspired by “THE NEW CHALLENGE ART MANIFESTO“.

“The Fluxus Dinner” // La cena de la luna fría

La cena de la luna fria. Fluxus cabaret.

A cabaret-style performance dinner on the day after Winter Solstice, to celebrate exuberance and ritual. This was a dinner setting where the stage was turned into a table, where performers and audience came together as part of the piece. We invited 12 artists that presented individual pieces while at the same time participating in the dinner, which in itself was a collective performance. The audience is not just an audience in these interventions; They are active agents in this collective, “non-theater” piece. They were invited to come dressed in dinner party attire or embrace their exuberance in fashion: suits, gowns, cocktail dresses, gender-bender, dandy, surrealist heads, traditional folk costumes, body paint, horns, tails; whatever they could fantasize being at the dinner table. Each performer was assigned a tarot card and would initiate their piece, whether durational or not, once their card was called upon. Recommended attire: suit and tie, formal wear, gowns, cocktail dresses, dandy, surrealist heads, body paint, horns and ears, and exuberance in fashion. // Dec 22, 2013

Featured Performers/Artists:

ISLANDS – Jason Curzake (Death) & Shey Rivera (The Hermit)
Anabel Vázquez (The Tower)
Ian Deleón (The Empress)
Sussy Santana (The High Priestess)
Kurt Uccello (The Wheel of Fortune)
Jacob Nathan (the dead cat)
Chris Anderson (The Devil)
Umberto Crenca (The Sun)
Susan Clausen (The Start & The Moon)
Ric Royer (Intro song & card maestro)
Elizabeth Keiser (The Hanged Man)
Ivanna Bergese (Justice)

The Fluxus Wedding // La boda de la luna de nieve

Fluxus Wedding

“La boda” is an interactive performance; the second installment of the Fluxus Moon Cabaret. This is a decadent celebration and probe into the rituals surrounding marriage. 17 artists perform a chaotic wedding, alongside the audience. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in attire that is either appropriate (or inappropriate) for a wedding. // Feb 16, 2014

Featured Performers/Artists:

ISLANDS: Shey Riv and Jason Curzake
Sussy Santana
Jacob Nathan
Susan Clausen
Umberto Crenca
Auntie Rita (Noah Anacleto)
Kurt Fowl
Richard Goulis
Maralie Else VALISE
Saul Ramos Espola
Maritza Martell
Hannah Thompson
Ian Deleón
Anabel Vázquez
Elizabeth Keiser
Ric Royer

“The Fluxus Cockfight” // La gallera de flores y leche

Fluxus Cockfight

The third part of our Fluxus Moon Cabaret series. About 12 artists from diverse mediums perform under the context of the ritual of sport, inspired by Latin-American cockfights. May’s full moon is known as the Flower Moon and the Milk Moon. This collective performance is inspired by Roberto Fabelo’s Roosters, cockfights, blood sport, boxing, Caribbean cultures, Santería and religious syncretism, flowers, milk, and tropical bird plumage. // May 18, 2014

Featured Performers/Artists:
Sussy Santana
Kurt Fowl
Shey Rivera
Jose Ramirez
Jason Curzake
Ric Royer
Gyna Bootleg
Ethan Kiermaier
Hannah Thompson
Saul Ramos Espola
Maritza Martell
Susan Clausen
Philippe Lejeune
Umberto Crenca

“The Fluxus Funeral”// El funeral de la luna de fresas y la procesión del trueno

Fluxus Funeral

As the final installment of the Fluxus Moon Cabaret, the Fluxus Funeral involved the work of 30+ artists executing performance art, monologue, animation, dance, drag, installation, video, and music. The cabaret began at AS220’s Black Box Theater, then a Lobster man carrying a giant strawberry (Big Nazo puppets) led the audience and artists in procession toward Grant’s Block in Westminster Street in Downtown Providence, gaining more audience along the way. At this outdoor public space, we had interactive installations by Philipe Lejeune, and more performances and video projections by local artists. The Fluxus Funeral was part of the First Providence Fringe Festival. // July 24, 2014

Poster by Carl Dunn

Featured Performers/Artists:

Philippe Lejeune
Kurt Fowl
Anabel Vázquez
Ian Deleón
Hannah G. Thompson
Ric Royer
Gyna Bootleg
Saul Ramos Espola
Sussy Santana
Jason Curzake
Stephanie Maiden Carey
Rose Jermusyk
Francesca Caruso
Chris Anderson
Jose Ramirez
Ethan Kiermaier
J Vega
Sam Thompson
David Lamoso
Shey Riv
Umberto Crenca
Richard Goulis
Erminio Pinque & Big Nazo puppets
Rachel Lewallen

Live Soundtrack by Laurie Amat

Films by:
JR Uretsky
Susan Clausen
Jay Critchley
Sarah Samways
David Ian Griess (Future Death Toll)