Saturday, June 9, 2012
June 9, 2012
Fitful bouts of sleeping and waking before dawn. During sleep were bits of dreams and flashes of images so unlike what I would ever think about, so foreign from anything I’ve actually seen, that it supports my ancient thesis that we are two people.
Studio stroll today. I lack any sense of the occasion, which is probably well.
With Jon and Dalton to dinner at LAB (the most excellent cream of corn soup). Then on to NC Stage for In the Next Room, the set for which is ravishing. After the play, drinks at Sazerac. The chef herself brought our charcuterie. In the Next Room is one of those plays you hear so much about when they’re on Broadway, but when you actually see them, you wonder why. It’s structured like a farce (and, of course, needs to be a farce) but never commits to farce, but balances , or fails to balance, between the farcical and the revelatory. Jon called it “Ibsen with a dildo.” The first moment of the play indicates the last, so that the last moment, while moving on its own, carries with it the sense of exhaustion you feel when something has been explained laboriously, repeatedly, to the most stupid person in the room. It made me think what I would do if, not having seen this play, I was assigned to write a play about vibrators. It would have been funny. I don’t know that I can do farce, but if I could, it would be farce. It would not try to say something sage and straight-faced about the human psyche, because you can’t do that with a dildo onstage. The playwright was forever checking herself, trying too self-consciously to toe the line between gravity and waggery that requires the most blessed lack of self-consciousness. The play congratulated itself overmuch on its superiority to its own characters. That the vibrator is a sad symbol of abridged intimacy is too obvious, finally, to need to be said. Fine production, fine cast.
Evening. Most of the day spent at the gallery stroll, where I painted not very well, sold nothing, and only really talked with a few people. Calamitous waste, which I will repeat tomorrow. Tim, the new owner of the Wedge, led the media to believe all would remain as it was, all artsy-craftsy and casual, but this is not what is happening. He has warned his renters that they will be culled to make way only for “good artists.” Part of the space will go for a restaurant. Since the breweries marked their space, the burnt-out shell next door, which failed to sell for $500,000, has attracted three buyers at $1,000,000. There may be something to stand against the tide of gentrification–and thus the destruction-- of one of the most vibrant art quarters in the South, but it’s hard to know what it is.