Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Watermill Center Announces Crossroads Summer Festival: Led by Carrie Mae Weems and Robert Wilson

Saturday, July 31 - Sunday, August 8, 2021

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WATER MILL, NY (July 15, 2021) – The Watermill Center is pleased to announce CROSSROADS: The Watermill Center Summer Festival, a week-long gathering to consider the meaning of ritual, healing, and hope at this moment in time, led by Carrie Mae Weems, in collaboration with Robert Wilson. The festival, running from July 31 through August 8, affirms The Center’s dedication to offering artists time, space and freedom to create, while revealing artistic processes to the broader community. CROSSROADS is presented by Van Cleef & Arpels.

An invitation from Carrie Mae Weems and Robert 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 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 (Saturday, July 31). 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. Full festival programming is to be announced, further artists include Vijay IyerCraig HarrisNona HendryxCarl Hancock Rux and David Lang.

Carrie Mae Weems, a previous Artist-in-Residence, 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 thirty years. In 2017, she was a recipient of The Center’s Inga Maren Otto Fellowship, which provides support for outstanding artists who have demonstrated exceptional creative ability.

Robert Wilson comments, “This summer is about building community. 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,” says The Center’s 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 Center’s 10-acre property. Proceeds from ticket sales go towards The Center’s year-round Artist Residency and Education Programs. Tickets will be available to purchase on The Watermill Center’s website from Monday, July 19, 2021, at 10:00 am. Limited quantities are available.  

Guests at FLY INTO THE SUN: The Watermill Center’s Annual Summer Benefit, 2017. Copyright Maria Baranova, courtesy The Watermill Center
Guests at FLY INTO THE SUN: The Watermill Center’s Annual Summer Benefit, 2017. Copyright Maria Baranova, courtesy The Watermill Center

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