Featured Long Durational Work
WHEN I LEFT THE HOUSE IT WAS STILL DARK (2013), ODYSSEY WORKS
Duration: Three months
"When I Left the House it Was Still Dark" (2013) was a long durational, ephemeral performance made for an audience of one. The creative process for this performance, as with other Odyssey Works projects, is an act of attentiveness and devotion. The team spends several months studying the participant before beginning to compose a set of experiences designed to move him or her in a profound way. By immersing themselves in the life of an individual and creating fully participatory experiences, Odyssey Works establishes a new paradigm for the relationship between artist and audience. Traversing theater, literature, visual art, music, dance, dream analysis, web hacking, and a myriad of other forms, Odyssey Works has been creating performances for an audience of one for more than a dozen years, inserting themselves into the lives of individuals, hoping to change one life at a time. Between the months of July and September 2013, Odyssey Works created a performance specifically for Rick Moody, an author living in New York City.
It began one evening when Rick's priest gave him a children’s book titled "The Secret Room," to read to his daughter. This book, which appeared to have been written in the fifties, was actually a creation by Odyssey Works.
Shortly after this, Rick was given an invitation to visit Sid’s, a vacant hardware store in downtown Brooklyn. The store became his own secret room, and he continued to visit it weekly for the rest of the summer. In the space, he encountered a variety of objects foreshadowing moments to come in his odyssey. Among these was a notebook detailing the story of a man searching for a cellist whose music deeply moved him, a recording of string music, and a photograph of a prairie. One day after visiting Sid’s, Rick was brought to the airport and given a plane ticket to Saskatchewan, Canada. When he arrived, he was driven to the prairie in the picture where he found the cellist from the story performing a variation of the music he had been listening to for weeks.
After this, other aspects of the performance began to manifest in Rick’s everyday life. Dancers in red appeared in the streets, on the subways, on the Brooklyn Bridge. A review of the story about the cellist appeared on NYTimesBooks.com. When meeting new people, it became increasingly hard for Rick to distinguish whether they were performers or just people. The border between the quotidian and the performative became inapparent. Rick found his life completely overtaken by Odyssey Works' actors, dancers, musicians, and set designers.
In the culminating days of the performance, actors guided Rick between locations in Brooklyn, an experience which allowed him to meditate on the symbology of home. On the final day of his odyssey, he awoke in New Jersey and his family and friends led him back to Brooklyn.
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