Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Site #22: Butch Merigoni "Sunrise" 9001 Pritchard Place, New Orleans via Art In Action!


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'Sunrise' is a boxing match in which I will be the only contender. The bout will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday August 6th and end the next day as the sun fully rises (appx. 6 a.m). The consecutive rounds will be 3 minutes in length, divided by 1 minute breaks. Other breaks might be taken out of necessity. This performance will take place on a makeshift boxing ring built in front of Gregory White's home in New Orleans. His neighborhood, a community that is a quarter of what it was before Katrina, is one of many still struggling to rebuild.

The challenges of darkness (literal and metaphorical) truly exist in our lives, no matter how conscious we are of them. Though I will be standing in the middle of what can be the fearful night and repeatedly surrendering, I trust that I will come out whole into the clarity of the next day. In this regard, 'Sunrise' is symbolic of the devotion and risk that life in post-K New Orleans demands of its citizens.

Visitors are welcome to visit the performance at any time but I invite those who make the trek to stay for as long as possible. Given that 'Sunrise' is essentially about allowing quiet space to grow out of surrender, and falling into that space once it has opened, this process will take time. By investing in the performance of 'Sunrise' (the audience is as much a part of the work as anything else) you will participate in the performance and make it your own - it is as much for me as it is for everyone struggling to "let go" and recover their lives. That said, 'Sunrise' is especially dedicated to Gregory's family for many reasons, the least being that their contribution to this performance is priceless.

- Butch Merigoni

1 comment:

from Butch said...

The last 2 hours of the performance, 4:30-6:30 a.m., were the most important and learned. It was during this time that my anxiousness and impatience for the sun to rise was steadily building. These key emotions, emotions with which we consistently struggle, were brought to the surface, giving me no choice but to open myself to them. The more I sat with these emotions, the less intense they became. And when they grew intense again, I just sat and continued the piece.
But the most challenging part of this performance wasn't the performance at all, it's the time after. The time like right now, a week later, when
I'm reminding myself to let go. I plan to do this piece once a year in different locations throughout the New Orleans area. As time gets closer to the next performance I'll send out information as to when and where it will take place.

Thank you so much to all who helped me make 'Sunrise' a reality: My dear friend Augie, thank you for the 'floating deck system,' there would be no
ring without you. Angela and Taylor, thank you for your bell ringing and filming expertise. Trish, thank you for your wonderful support and camera
handeling wizardry. Tuyen and Becka, thank you for coming out on short notice to ring the bell at late night hours. Mom, thanks for the bug
spray and your love. Amanda, my sister, I love you. Brenda, thank you for
being there. Elizabeth, thank you so much for all your help. Ms. Scott, Troy, Gregory and all the other people of the Pritchard St./Hollygrove
St. neighborhood, thank you for your support. And everyone else that I might have forgotten, thank you.
New Orleans, your spirit is alive with love.

Butch Merigoni
August, 2007