I dropped in at the Columbarium on Saturday evening to catch Luciano Chessa's LIGHTEST, a performance art piece that concluded a full afternoon of site-specific events presented by the SFMOMA. The audience, which had just watched a film, was being asked to rearrange their chairs around the center of the rotunda when I arrived. The piece took place in the dark & lasted just under half an hour. It was evidently about searching. At 1st, 7 performers roamed the building with flashlights while boom boxes on different floors played overlapping tracks of conversations & songs. I recognized The Great Pretender & The Muppet Show theme song. The centerpiece of the performance was Mr. Chessa playing an amplified saw under the rotunda. He produced an unexpected variety of sounds, from scraping metal to thunder claps to high metallic pitches. After his solo, the other performers converged on him, attached their lights to his clothing & then led him blindfolded around the building. The piece ended when they reaching their goal, the niche of Harvey Milk. The performance had a receptive audience. A photographer & videographer recorded the proceedings, even though it was very dark.
§ Luciano Chessa: LIGHTEST
Saturday, November 16, 2013, 6:00 p.m.
Neptune Society Columbarium