And we would walk by downtown, and downtown, really, Lower Manhattan weren’t as built obviously, and Twin Tower really stood out.1 And I remember thinking, God, this looks like a monument, it just like stood out from — from without any sense of surrounding. And then in 1980, when Creative Time was doing this, we could kind of choose how we perform, and we chose we are on the top of the landfill, and there was a kind of sloping down, and underneath that the audience were sitting. So, the audience were first looking up the hill where Koma and I came with a very big white flag. And the white flag of course, the antidote to the red flag or black flag or national flag or any kind of a flag, right, white flag. And I used that white flag, and there was very strong wind because it’s right by the Hudson River, and we were up in a hill, people are looking up to us in a direction to the sky.

 

And then if you shift your eye a little bit, behind of us. Not directly behind of us, but to the east, was Twin Towers. And I would use that flag as if it’s a weapon, as if it’s like a sword or something, and then I would like run towards east on top of the hill, so people see me like I’m attacking something, but using white flag, nothing more, which was kind of significant because Lower Manhattan, even without the high scrape — the very high buildings, it’s Wall Street, it’s that capitalism, the center of the capitalism. I was kind of Don Quixote, my attack, and then I came back without really doing any more than just significantly attack, and then coming back, and then I would hit Koma with that, and then we would tumble down the hill, and then underneath of it, very close to where the audience gathered, we had prepared our own small field, and we performed this very, very messy — we were using white flower and water to all over our body, to the very distorted clothing. And so, that attracted lots of sand on that landfill, so we — like within 10 minutes, we already had quite a big mess.

 

We prepared fire, because it was open air, so the four fires were around our site, and then we also dug a big hole, and we hid the hole — as the children would prepare like a hole that is hidden, and people would be trapped, or people will fall down to the hole. So, at the very end of the performance, we would scoop very gently and slowly to the place where we actually made a hole. It took us a long time to dig that big hole, and then, “Wham!” at the end, we kind of like — we are swallowed by that hole, and there’s a very big dust. So, what you end up seeing by then, getting a little darker, and the fire was going on, dust, and we looked totally, utterly near the end of the world. We totally forgot about this performance. It was young, and it was an event, and we didn’t even carefully choreograph it. After 9/11, we did remember about this piece, and I looked for the video, which we haven’t actually seen for 20 more years, and I was amazed. We felt chilled, in the way we looked, the way we were dealing with that destruction.2

  1. Downtown 81, Where They Can Go And Dream
  2. Looked The Most Czech, Martial Art Pt. 1, Moral Philosophy After 9/11
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