Observation of “An Elongated Now” – Performance piece by Lita Albuquerque


Many to gather to join the spectacle with little or no awareness and understanding of the spectacle. Motivations blurred, expectations none, anxiety high. Participants gather in waiting patiently. More gather on the steps creating a blanket of white glimmering as the sun hits the purity of their clothing. A woman appears, call’s for their attention, silence comes over them. A brief address of reassurance as the participants wonder and wander in there expectations. The anticipation grows ever greater. In the distance a core group gathers separately discussing.


What lies in store for the participants? The core group continues to converse. The core group is now ready. They move toward the anxiously awaiting participants. The artist is addressed. What is to happen?


The artist addresses the participants describing what lies ahead of them. The core group now presents themselves lining the outside of the stage. A woman emerges on to the stage explaining the steps of the performance to the participants using the core group as an example. The participants are then assigned to a core leader.

Now in their groups the participants begin to rehearse the routine. Each core leader with their own teaching method, some more successful then others. You begin to see a moment of chaos and confusion among the faces and bodies of the participants. On lookers observe skeptically at the activities. A small spherical light atop a square base is then distributed to each participant. The rehearsing continues. With expectations rising a mild aggravation begins to set in on some of the participants. Some beginning to loose interest. The core leaders beginning to loose there authority. The artist now interjects asserting a level of authority. A sudden conformity appears. The core leaders becoming more assertive.


The rehearsal is slowly winding down. People begin to converse on the grass. Patiently awaiting what is to come. Time passes slowly. Participants continue to rehearse while other continue to converse. A woman appears and addresses the participants. The stage is ready.

Onlookers follow the performers decent to the shore photographing with excitement and confusion. Actors in place, the stage is set, a line begins to form. A shoreline defined, a shoreline outlined, a shoreline traced. The sun begins its decent. Excitement flows over the participants slipping through the seriousness  of there faces. Still and tranquil the line remains, audience in awe. Extended time passes. The line suddenly changes direction but does not move. Each participant turning toward north. Questions begin to whisp across the beaches onlookers as they continue to watch eagerly from either side of the line anxiously waiting and expecting something to happen.


Bound to the their spot in the line and land the participants endurance begins to fade. Some time has passed now. The anxiety of the onlooker begins to take a toll on there patience, attempting to converse with the participants the onlookers hope to gain insight. Many come away more confused. The line adjusts’ its self.

The line. A white line so close to the water but not close enough to touch it. Blue cushions are set along the outer edge. The line takes a foreign authority over the shore. An uneasiness lays over the beach. The sun is moments away from the end of its day. Is the sun there guide? Contemplation. Time passes. With the coming of night and going of day. the sun begins its final act. Clinging onto its last moments it bids farewell over the oceans horizon a boy shouts out “Fly already!”. Night edges closer. Who are we waiting for? Who are they waiting for? What are we waiting for? Higher and higher the onlookers anxiety grows.


Standing just beyond the frame the “Lady in Red” appears. her decent begins. An aura emanates from her presence taking precedence over the line. For a moment the presence of the line is forgotten. She moves closer to the line. An interruption breaks the tranquility and stability of the line. 2 objects touch. She moves fluidly weaving between the participants touching each one on the shoulder as she passes leaving the participants spinning clockwise and counter clockwise in her wake. As the participants spin the small spherical blue light appears from each participant marking the passing of the “Lady in Red”. Questions of meaning, power, spectacle, cosmology and duration begin to rattle in the mind. She reaches the end of the line and begins her return.

In her return she walks charismatically along with outer edge of the line. Her red dress flowing elegantly in the wind. Onlookers are captivated by her. undistracted by the Onlookers she continues along the outer edge of the line. As she passes each participant the participant finishes their spin and stops in their original orientation. She gets to the end and takes position at the front of the line. A pause. Silence pours over the shore. Waves crash the wind cool and crisp. The accent begins. The act is over. The curtain begins to close. An elongated now.