‘CROSSROADS’ At The Watermill Center - 27 East

Arts & Living

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‘CROSSROADS’ At The Watermill Center

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Guests at The Watermill Center’s Annual Summer Benefit, 2016.

Guests at The Watermill Center’s Annual Summer Benefit, 2016.

Laurie Anderson performing at

Laurie Anderson performing at "FLY INTO THE SUN," The Watermill Center’s Annual Summer Benefit, 2017. © LOVIS OSTENRIK/COURTESY THE WATERMILL CENTER

Laurie Anderson performing at

Laurie Anderson performing at "FLY INTO THE SUN," The Watermill Center’s Annual Summer Benefit, 2017. © MARIA BARANOVA/COURTESY THE WATERMILL CENTER

authorStaff Writer on Jul 27, 2021

The Watermill Center’s “CROSSROADS,” a summer festival led by Carrie Mae Weems and Robert Wilson, will run Saturday, July 31, to Sunday, August 8, at the art center. The week-long gathering considers the meaning of ritual, healing, and hope at this moment in time and affirms The Center’s dedication to offering artists time, space and freedom to create, while revealing artistic processes to the broader community.

An invitation from Weems and Wilson for audiences to ‘meet at the Crossroads,’ the festival assembles vital voices and viewpoints to mark a pivotal moment in history, together. “CROSSROADS” will be documented by Weems for a new body of work. The programmed events, including installations, spiritual practices, and performances throughout the grounds, offer access to an active creative process.

The festival kicks off on Saturday, July 31, with a drone-based sonic experience titled “A Hole in the Sky” from Laurie Anderson in collaboration with artist and member of the Shinnecock Nation Shane Weeks, featuring guitars from Anderson’s late husband Lou Reed’s collection. The installation — performed by Reed’s former guitar technician, Stewart Hurwood — places the instruments in an arrangement against a group of amplifiers. The tuned feedback creates an enveloping drone of harmonics that shifts and changes, depending on audience location and the environment. This is the first outdoor circular installation of the drones. Other participating artists include Vijay Iyer, Craig Harris, Nona Hendryx, Carl Hancock Rux and David Lang.

Carrie Mae Weems, a previous artist-in-residence at The Watermill Center, is considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists living today. Investigating family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems, and the consequences of power, her career has spanned over 30 years. In 2017, she was a recipient of The Center’s Inga Maren Otto Fellowship, which provides support for artists who have demonstrated exceptional creative ability.

“This summer is about building community,” Robert Wilson said. “Engaging the community is vital to The Watermill Center, and ‘CROSSROADS’ is a new and exciting chance to continue doing so. It will be nothing like what we have done before.”

“The Watermill Center has always been a space to not only create art but to create community,” added Managing Director Elise Herget. “After a year of reduced activity and inevitable programming shifts, our focus is on bringing the creative community together again. Our highly anticipated annual summer benefit was without exception a major success, yet it has not always told our full story. The summer festival and our summer residencies reinforce The Watermill Center as a laboratory for artists. The programs echo what we do throughout the year: inviting the public into the creative process.”

“CROSSROADS” will include a series of performances, concerts, film screenings, and installations throughout The Watermill Center’s 10-acre property. Proceeds from ticket sales go toward the year-round artist residency and education programs. Tickets for all events are available at watermillcenter.org. The Watermill Center is at 39 Watermill Towd Road, Water Mill.

The Schedule:

Saturday, July 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Kick-off celebration with Laurie Anderson, Shane Weeks and members of The Shinnecock Nation.

Saturday, August 7, 7 to 11 p.m.

Performances, installations and film screenings by Laura Anderson Barbata, Hoesy Corona, Marcelle Davies-Lashley, Craig Harris, Nona Hendryx, David Lang & So Percussion, Memorialize the Movement, Kimberly Nichole, Vernon Reid, Carl Hancock Rux, Basil Twist, and others.

Sunday, August 8, 5 to 8 p.m.

Performances and installations Kyle Bass, Memorialize the Movement and others.

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