Good Riddance: Tonight’s the Beginning of the End in Art

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Published August 27, 2009

Apropos of nothing, someone said to me this morning, “I love the Fall.” How fitting (albeit not so surprising for the time of year) that tonight at Williamsburg’s Klaus von Nichtssagend gallery there will be a performance entitled La Petite Mort d’Ete, or The Little Death of Summer. The summer heat has broken this week, and the season is on its way out (it appears, anyway). Peter Zuspan, a 30-year-old performance and sound artist (and architect), his friend and bandmate, the artist TM Davy (together they make up the band Come Rad Comrade), have put together a multimedia installation and performance with choreographer Paul Monaghan to do just that—to memorialize, and celebrate the summer. (LEFT: ZUSPAN)

 
“The gallery is a really small storefront,” describes Zuspan. “Even in November, when there are a lot of people in there, it’s unbelievably hot. We decided to go with that in terms of mood. It’s half-concert, half-conversation.” Davy and Zuspan will play live instruments throughout the two-hour performance; Monaghan will also execute what Zuspan calls “slow, sculptural choreography,” while liquid is poured on his body; and Davy’s video installation “In Sacrament Island” will project footage of him and his lover engaging in various sex acts, outdoors on tiny Sacrament Island. When I asked Zuspan if Sacrament Island was a fictional idyll, he replied, “I actually don’t know—it could exist!” Meaning, maybe, that summer is a dream anyway.
 
By the summer of 2011, Zuspan and his New York architectural firm Bureau V (which he founded two years ago with Stella Lee and Alexander Pincus) hope to complete another small, intimate project in Williamsburg. “We’re designing a venue for new classical music,” says Zuspan. “It’s going to be a totally acoustically-driven project. We’re working with a large acoustics firm to really develop this kind of isolated sound box within a larger structure-it’s going to be a somewhere between acoustical jam space and rough warehouse.” In the meantime, Bureau V will be out in the Nevada desert designing a small artist residency for the Montello Foundation. For Zuspan, there are more days under the sun to look forward to.

La Petite Mort d’Été will be performed 8–10 PM. Klaus von Nichtsaggend Gallery is located at 438 Union Avenue, Brooklyn.