public record
<-- previous | next -->


May 22, 1970

Zap! Fruit in your face at Intermedia happening

Sun Drama Critic

Everybody seemed to be doing his own thing at the Intermedia show at the Vancouver Art Gallery Thursday night.

The special event, part of a week of public merry-making at the gallery, was billed as seven acts: Media Theater Performance and so, being interested in things theatrical, I turned up at the Gallery at the appointed hour of eight.

Nothing much happened until close to 8:30, After what seemed rather like a long wait, some people in laundry bag athletic outfits came out and pushed various objects over a tall screen.

Later balls and fresh fruit came over, hitting some members of the audience. Jolly good fun.

Then, in a richly dramatic episode, a boy with a Sun carrier bag threw rolled up newspapers against a wall. He was pelted with objects hurled from the back of the room. The plot thickened.

* * *

We all rose and moved into another room where a group of performers were discovered seated at a round table inside a large geodesic dome. Some crabs and a bottle of wine appeared and some of the players began to partake of this impromptu meal. Others lit jos sticks, listened to a radio, played the flute or simply sat looking into the middle distance. Hearts beat faster.
Bits of crab began to land on the floor beneath the table and a few of the bolder members of the audience scuttled to retrieve them. The sound of cracking bones provided a sort of counterpoint to the radio and the flute.

The diners rose and left the room in file. some followed, others converged on the table to finish what was left of the crab. A wine glass was heard to shatter. A child wept.

* * *

We moved like sleep-walkers into other rooms, listening to other voices. Inside one dome a couple lay hand in hand. Lights came on to suggest leaf patterns against the roof of the dome. We moved on breathlessly.

I moved back, famished, into the room where the meal had been devoured. The ruins of the feast still littered the table, but the crab shells, on close inspection, proved to be empty, scraped clean by the crowd . The wine was gone. A dog padded softly over the floor, sniffing. I left him to make what use he could of the table leg and joined the others in a larger room where a grand piano had been set up beside a dome covered with aluminum.

* * *

Presently a man appeared and began to play on the piano. He was joined by the man with the flute. Others rode recklessly through the crowd on bicycles-built-for-two, emitting fearful groans. I took refuge against a wall beside a girl who, by her sublime smile, seemed to indicate that she had found her special Bo tree and nirvana.

The lights went down. The pulse of the music quickened. A girl swept onto the floor with a tambourine and began to dance, stamping her foot. The more diffident clapped hands. Others wrote messages on a sheet of paper pinned to the wall. Jurgan Hess sat and played a few notes on the piano. Mothers rocked their new-born infants. Men moaned. Women hummed. One thought of a meeting of the hornerites or the ranters.

A gong sounded. A youth rushed onto the dance floor reaching for his zipper.

A girl sailed by on a bicycle-built-for-two bosom bouncing, hair a flutter.

Far away from the music and the dance, in other,cooler rooms. other wiser couples necked quietly under the thin shells of the geodesic domes.

I slipped out into the rain, forgetting my umbrella. The program was only half over, but I was replete. All play and no work makes chris a dull boy.


public record
<-- previous | next -->