Silas Von Morisse wanted an event of some kind at her gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, in connection with the ongoing show of paintings by artist and film maker Frances Barth. Barth had published ”Ginger Smith And Billy Gee,” a graphic novel, earlier that year. The novel featured colorful settings derived from Barth’s paintings and a cast of six characters represented as just six heads, and a funny story about the developing relationship of Ginger and Billy.
I was asked to work on the gallery project and accepted immediately because I was excited by the idea of it. I had read about the happenings and performances in art galleries in New York in the 60’s and this project seemed reminiscent of those events to me. Also, Barth’s paintings would still be up in the gallery and I thought that that would be the perfect setting for the performance.
I asked seven actors to be in the reading, seven because we needed a narrator, rehearsed for a couple of hours in the gallery on the day of the presentation, and had a full house for the show. The audience was a mixed crowd, friends of the actors, artists, and gallery-goers, and they were charmed and excited by the unique event. The actors enjoyed it as well as none of them, I don’t think, had really ever done anything like it before. And neither had I. It was terrific, the setting, the script, the actors, and the crowd. Frances and Silas were thrilled by the performance, and the audience response, and, I think, by how the gallery and the paintings were seen and appreciated as part of something artistically unique. A gallery performance. In 2018.