Find other projects
This project was successfully funded on September 9, 2014

fantasia upon the moment when...

by Mary Armentrout


Download Video: Closed Format: MP4 Open Format: OGG / WebM

“fantasia upon the moment when the woman invisible to herself and the man who isn’t sure whether he wants to exist or not yet decide to go in on an apartment together” is the name of my newest dance theater performance installation project.  It is both a continued exploration of the complex nature of self identity that was initiated in my previous work "the woman invisible to herself," and an exploration of how love is possible within this landscape of discontinuity and fracture.  I am thrilled that this exciting new project will be happening in Z Space in San Francisco, an extremely large, flexible warehouse theater space created out of an old industrial factory space.  This venture will be a new chapter for me – creating an intimate, installed, site specific performance piece, as I have been doing for the past five years, but this time putting it in a giant space rather than the small gallery and studio theaters I have been working with up until now.  This constitutes an exciting step forward in the kinds of spaces I can work in with ease.

“fantasia upon…” is basically a love duet show, but it is of course an exploding of a love duet show, as I will take both love and the duet form apart, and while we’re at it also explode/deconstruct the proscenium nature of the Z Space theater, rendering the audience’s experience of the space dramatically different through my site specific interventions in the space and through moving them around in the space.  This project is exciting because it moves my recent site explorations into a bigger space exactly because that bigger space is clearly the right container for the concept and experience I am interested in exploring.  This is the idea: if we take the idea of love, which is a mysterious and perhaps unknowable thing, and make a show exploring that unknowability, and we make it for a small audience but put it in a very large space, the audience will have a physical experience of the vastness and mysteriousness of love simply by how the space is set up around them.  This turns out to also be an exciting new way to create a powerful, viseral and absorbing audience experience within these large theater spaces that can often seem cold and unappealing.

That brings us to the practical side of this project.  In order to break down the proscenium nature of a theater space like this, we have to work hard – changing how the audience sits in the space, creating installations in unusual spaces, taking advantage of quirks about the space to create unique architectural interventions in the space.  We will be doing all that – using some of the leftover giant steel cranes from its factory days that can swing out into the middle of the space to hang video from, creating a video installation in the lobby, confining the audience to a small part of the seating area for part of the show and then bringing them down onto the theater floor for another part.  All this will sculpt the audience’s experience of this material in a very felt way, giving them a very unique theater experience.

This brings us to the numbers.  I was lucky enough to receive a special grant to cover the rental of this large theater – how fantastic! That allowed me to create this idea for a new and unusual use of the space.  However, these large spaces require a lot more labor and equipment to use, and that just means more money.  I have received several other grants for this project, so I have gotten quite a bit more grant money for this project than for any other project before this, but I am still $6000 dollars behind.  I am asking for your support to raise this amount and help this project see the light of day as I am envisioning it.  This money will go to pay production crew and video and lighting equipment costs. In the event that we raise more than this amount, two things will get to happen – I will get to pay my performers and artistic collaborators a little more than the very modest sums I have budgeted for them, and I might, just might, be able to pay myself a choreographer’s fee, something I have not been able to do yet on any of my projects.   Thank you all in advance for your support of me and my artistic progress through your support of this project – I so appreciate it and look forward to what this project will engender!


    • September 09, 2014 Mary Armentrout Artist

      wow, we totally made it - we are over $6000, thanks to my fabulous circle of supporters! I feel so lucky to have all of your support. This project will remain open for another month, so more people can contribute, should they like to, so that's a nice bonus, and the show approaches quickly - this Thursday is the first show! hope you can make it; come see what all the fuss is about...

    • September 06, 2014 Mary Armentrout Artist

      dear everybody, wow, we are almost there - just a little ways to make it to $6000, which is the minimum we need to hit in order for me to get all your fabulous donations. I feel certain we can make it - just a few more days left! xx Mary

    • September 01, 2014 Mary Armentrout Artist

      dear hatchfund followers, I am so touched and thrilled by this whole process - having all your support really feels awesome. thank you all so much! As some of you already know, we have gotten a really nice write up in the East Bay Express Fall Arts preview and the link to that is here if you'd like to take a look: And then Ian Winters made us a quick trailer from some of the video footage we have been editing recently - you can watch that here: We are now well over halfway there, and we have another big week to go to make our goal - I think it can totally happen! xx Mary

    • August 24, 2014 Mary Armentrout Artist

      wow, everybody, this is going so amazingly! I am so touched by all your generosity and willingness to stand behind this project! I know we're going to make it to the 25% marker by Monday - I can feel it. and that makes me confident we can make it to $6000 by September 8th. oh boy, and then there's a whole show to see and feel and experience - I hope you'll be able to make it out and take in this experience you are helping create. xx Mary