Watermill Center Raised $2.2M at Benefit Featuring Resident Artists

A scene from Sisyphus, a piece by Dimitris Papaioannou, was a popular stop on the woodland trail. Jennifer Landes photos

The Watermill Center held its benefit “One Thousand Nights and One Night/Sleepless Nights of Sheherazade” on Saturday night with Jim Jarmusch playing guitar in the Zen room and guests such as Philip Glass and Isabelle Huppert milling about the grounds. The party raised $2.2 million for the center’s International Summer Program and its year-round artists residencies and education programs.

This summer’s artists in residence once again did up the grounds with a series of live performance and video work. As per usual, clothing was optional. A special performance of “Sisyphus,” conceived by Dimitris Papaioannou, was also presented with the cooperation of the Greek government and mesmerized the audience. A show of video portraits of Lady Gaga by Robert Wilson, based on classic art historical imagery, was displayed in the ground floor.

The arts center will open up its grounds on Aug. 10 from 3 to 6 p.m. for free tours and a chance to see many of the performances recreated from the party.

Alessandra Armenise knitted her dress and had a head start on a shelter made from red yarn in the woods.Jennifer Landes
Guests, many dressed thematically, stopped along the way to check out the artists.Jennifer Landes
Even the service of drinks came with a flourish and sound, as a trombonist played and the seagrass whispered to guests on the way into the party.Jennifer Landes
Another scene from Sisyphus, which featured Drossos Skotis, head, and Savas Baltzis, legs.Jennifer Landes
In an inversion of the theme of Marcel Duchamp's "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even," a woman here started out nude, placed a white sheath over herself, and then walked down a neon aisle/runway with her attendants spraying her with a fine mist.Jennifer Landes
An examination of subject and object through the themes of the gaze and the selfie merged in a piece where an artist applied make up to frightening effect while looking into a camera/mirror.Jennifer Landes
The video works often fit in rather seamlessly with their surroundings.Jennifer Landes
Kayije Kagame and Walter Hanna made a series of banal routines intriguing through their use of staging and masks.Jennifer Landes
Guests enjoyed lounging with this piece.Jennifer Landes