Friday, July 22, 2011

"Inner Course" at "Honey Space"

"Inner Course" at Honey Space, 2011.
"When is the last time you had inner course?" That is one of the questions on the application all participants are asked to fill out before taking part in the performance at Honey Space in NYC. And while I found the question perhaps a little personal, being no stranger to performance art I answered (This afternoon.) as if it were the most casual of questions. Really at that point I would have said anything to be granted access to the inner sanctum of the alternative art space located in the Chelsea Arts District.

Of course it helped that I was familiar with the space and recognized a number of the names in the list of contributing artist and special thanks. (Daphne Park, Lisa Lozano, Tora Lopez, Louise Riley, Rio Del Valle, Alf Naman, and etc.) 

After the lovely host, Hellen Mathers, took our information, I was led, along with my date for the afternoon, the adventurous Holly Ward, into a dark room, where by faint light I could make out only a large red satin covered bed, the hum of a fan gently circulating the air. We took our places on the bed, and the next "performer", Amanda,  began the process of "softing", a light body massage, something similar to Reiki.
Inner Course at Honey Space, 2011.
And while "Fun, Fast, Cheap, Easy" might describe me in many ways, this interaction was actually soothing and relaxing. It was also hot and sweaty, but again is a heat wave in NYC, so I surrendered to the heat and the experience.

Inner Course at Honey Space, NYC, 2011.
After an indeterminable amount of time, we gathered our things and were led into the next room, where two beautiful women in full regalia met us sitting behind a long glass table, containing only our questioners and two matching tubes of red Chanel lipstick, which the hosts, Tora Lopez and Rya Kleinpeter,  applied with some regularity. (Turns out I knew Tora from my days in New Orleans and had actually worked with her before in a fashion show.)

The entire space thus far had been predominantly beige with the occasional burst of red. The two striking performers before us where perfectly coordinated in amazing one piece lingerie, highlighted with long red fringe in a rather controversial spot, over the top wigs, and the aforementioned Chanel painted lips.
Inner Course at Honey Space, NYC, 2011.
Not wanting to risk giving too much away, I will say the what happened next was not what I was expecting, though I didn't know exactly what to expect. I will say that it was cathartic, and therapeutic, and has nothing to do with the similarly spelled inter course, unless that was what you were going for, which none of us were, at least not on this balmy evening.

After the interview process, which was filmed, we did some related exercises, some sound therapy, and were even given homework, before the ladies escorted us to the final door, opening out onto the blazing noise and blinding light of 11th Avenue.

Tora Lopez and Rya Kleinpeter of Inner Course, NYC, 2011.
The ladies invited us each back for solo-sessions, should we be interested, as well as the closing event schedule next week (28 July 2011), bid us farewell, then Holly and I made our way out into the neighborhood to several other art openings.

Inner Course is a conceptual installation and performance event that has appeared in various locations and cities across the US. I would recommend you check it out, should it come to a gallery near you.

Check out Tora's blog on Inner Course at:

Honey Space is an alternative art space in Chelsea, Located on 11th Ave and 22nd Street.
Check them out at:

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