For the 30th Anniversary Gala, Robert Wilson’s Fabled Watermill Center borrowed a theme from HG Wells and took up a ‘booth’

Last Saturday night, July 30, the art scene came to the East End of Long Island for Stand: The 30th Anniversary Watermill Center Summer Benefit.

Hosted by visionary impresario Robert Wilson at his glorious 10-acre art residence and performance lab in Water Mill, New York, the event welcomed celebrities such as Lucinda Childs, Kyle DeWoody, Marc Glimcher, Roselee Goldberg and Carrie Mae Weems. Those in attendance chatted about their latest acquisitions, NFT drama and other buzzing topics over Maestro Dobel tequila cocktails. It was a big party and an excuse to dress up, but art and performance – as curated by Noah Koshbin of the center – were the main stars.

The annual gala was also the opening party of two summer exhibitions. The center’s galleries featured a career survey by Christopher Knowles, as well as vibrant paintings by Robert Nava. Outside, as the sun set, guests wandered the manicured grounds and adjacent woodland to see various performance art scenes and installations.

The first of the notable appearances was that of British artist Hollie Miller rock performance. She was covered in clay and camouflaged between a podium of rocks, on which she balanced and smashed intermittently. Native and prehistoric, Miller was captivating. Elsewhere, in ‘Standing on the Moon’, Adam Parker Smith’s presentation of a series of images previously shown in The Hole received new resonance when it was exhibited in a rural setting beyond the white cube. His eerie, sleeping bag-like sarcophagi (actually made of resin, steel, and urethane, rather than nylon and down) were lit up and scattered among trees.

The evening ended with a good old-fashioned barn clean-up, with dozens of volunteers poking in and pulling ropes to hoist and leave Japanese artist Tsubasa Kato’s ark-like structure. Art connoisseurs really know how to raise the roof.

Below are some highlights of the event.

Robson Catalunha invites you to the Watermill event.  Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Performance artist Robson Catalunha invites you to the event. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Gokcen Dilek Acay is smoking "Forms of protest" performance.  Photo by Maria Baranova, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Gokcen Dilek Acay is smoking Forms of protest performance. Photo: Maria Baranova.

Hollie Miller fights against a boulder.  Photo by Maria Baranova, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Move over Sisyphus! Hollie Miller fights against a boulder. Photo: Maria Baranova.

The visionary and host Robert Wilson.  Taeyi Lim's dramatic dance routine.  Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

The visionary and host Robert Wilson and guests. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Maestro Dobel fueled the event.  Photo by Maria Baranova, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Drinks from Maestro Dobel fueled the party. Photo: Maria Baranova.

STAND: The Watermill Center's Annual Summer Benefit Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, Courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Attendees risk rope burning in the name of art. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Up: Tsubasa Kato’s Pulling and Raising sculptural installation. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Artist Tsubasa Kato instructs the assembled crowd in the art of lifting a structure.  Photo: Maria Baranova.

Artist Tsubasa Kato instructs the assembled crowd in the art of lifting a structure. Photo: Maria Baranova.

Guests potter around at Watermill.  Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Dressed for the Occasion: Guests scurry around Watermill. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Those present marveled at the enlightened rise of Laurent Le Gall.  Photo by Maria Baranova, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Those present marveled at the rise of Laurent Le Gall. Photo: Maria Baranova.

Maestro Dobel cocktail anyone?  Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Maestro Dobel cocktail, anyone? Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Taeyi Lim's dramatic dance routine.  Photo by Jason Crowley/BFA, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Taeyi Lim’s dramatic dance routine. Photo: Jason Crowley/BFA.

Adam Parker Smith's "Stand on the moon." Photo by Maria Baranaova, courtesy of Pelham Communications.

Adam Parker Smith’s “Standing on the Moon.” Photo: Maria Baranaova.

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