On April 27, Smokebrush Foundation for the Arts hosted The Well Between Two Words
, "an experimental performance art piece about justice, desire, and the wishful immediate," created by Ella Goodine Richardson. Billed as lasting from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the performance took place in and around a hut erected on the Pioneers Museum lawn, decorated with cylindrical pillows and draping curtains.
When I arrived at 11 a.m., a group of performers sat in the hut, applying each others' doll-like makeup while they spoke quietly to each other. As with most experimental art, it can be hard to tell what is part of the piece and what is not, so I watched from afar for a few moments and decided to return for the main performance at 4 p.m.
At four (on the dot, thanks to the Pioneers Museum's bells) a small group of folks gathered on the lawn to watch what was essentially a brief fairytale, told through magic, music and a Greek-like chorus of three elaborately dressed narrators. The magic, provided by performers Anthem and Aria, earned a few well deserved rounds of applause from the audience, with cards, coins and trays disappearing into thin air.
The story itself was opaque — I think I picked up something about a woman looking into a well and seeing another world — but story may not have been the entire point.
While the main performance lasted less than 10 minutes, it transported its small audience momentarily from the nearby bustle of Tejon Street, and offered a nice, peaceful respite in the middle of a busy downtown Friday afternoon.
See below for some photos.