Sunday, June 21, 2009

Moore Inside-Out Semi-Redux

Last night, along with several thousand other close personal friends, I experienced the sensory overload that was Moore Inside-Out. Billed as an "artistic intervention," the event featured installations and performances from no less than 50 artists and musicians. Even the day after, I'm having a little trouble processing it, as there was so much to see and there were so many places to go. I was there for an hour and a half and I left feeling that I'd just scratched the surface. Let's start at the beginning.

The line to get in was about a block long. Everybody entered at the alley. On the way in, they let you make your own little Moore poster. Here's mine:

Here's my favorite:

Massed together, they're pretty impressive:

I did see about four that all said "Intentionally Left Blank." Coincidence? Conspiracy? Dearth of ideas? Spastic groupthink? Who knows?

Once inside, it was dark, hot and kind of disorienting:

We shuffled around while the Moore crew shouted at us to get moving, which kind of gave our first moments inside that "just arrived at prison" feel to it - minus the guard dogs and mandatory fire hose showers. When we got out of the backstage area, things were better. The main floor and lobby were where all the action was:

There was a walkway that ran from the stage to the balcony. Backstage, they let you go up two at a time. When you hit the spotlight, a cheering section in the balcony would applaud for you. Once you made it to the balcony, a few people in costume would wave at you:

That was pretty cool. Down on the main floor, there was a piece by Jason Puccinelli that really got my attention. Here it is in video form:

Can you guess why it's called "The Four Directions?" So can I! Pretty hypnotic, ain't it?

In the lobby, all kinds of stuff was happening. There was this big thing by Beliz Brother that went up to to the chandelier:

To the side of that, there were all these people dressed in togas roped off in a designated "muse pit." I could sort of see what they were trying to accomplish, but all the people involved seemed really dedicated to ignoring everyone.

It was at about this time that I noticed two things: the Moore was smelling actually OK and that all kinds of people were carrying around watermelons. I never found out where they got them.

I saw a variety of performances. Some were better than others, but most were not good. The best was probably the guy who bombastically channeled Moore architect E.W. Houghton. You know, all the performances and installations were all well and good, but I was into the main attraction - the Moore itself. I had no idea it had so many tunnels and passages. Here's a video that shows all the twists and turns. Notice all the people carrying watermelons.

Yeah, it was like scuttling through the casements of Verdun and underscored the grandness and expanse of the Moore. I mean, it's a really big place. Oh, and here's one last installation that was in the bar.

Those are orange plastic cones sitting on a table in from of a very bright blank screen. I guess you're supposed to sit down and stare at the screen for the full effoct. For those of us who didn't, it just looked like orange cones and a very bright blank screen.

Like I said, I was there for an hour and a half. I saw just about everything the Moore had to offer, but I still had the desire to climb into the rigging. That place is like a world unto itself. Yes, I sometimes badmouth it for being smelly or featuring inferior acts, but I badmouth because I care. Let it be known by all far and near. It is the gem of 2nd & Virginia.

It was crowded, it was very hot and stuffy, but it was a great experience. By the end, the only thing left to do was go up to the balcony, lean onto the fire escape and gaze out at naked Belltown at dusk:

Cue tenor sax wail.

I really, really want this kind of thing to happen more often in Belltown.

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