Valda Setterfield, 1999
November 7, 2014
“Once upon a time, long, long, ago…(the late seventies?), David Gordon was invited to give a concert at St. Mark’s and asked me to join him. At the time we would have begun to rehearse, my father became ill and I flew to England with no clear knowledge of when I would return. Two days before the concert, it became clear I could return to New York but I couldn’t get a flight out until the day of the performance.
I landed in New York in the afternoon, went home, bathed and went immediately to St. Mark’s for a long, slow warm-up and work through of Chair by myself. The church was peaceful and calming except for a furious and lengthy row between two men about lights and cost…
As the audience arrived so did my jet lag. Trisha Brown hugged me and told me I was crazy. The Chair sequence was to be performed four times with variations, each time facing a different direction. Ain Gordon agreed to help by sitting on the floor with a large sign saying FRONT and changing his location accordingly to keep me from getting lost.
I needed to go to the bathroom and was told to go through the audience, up the stairs, many convoluted directions…I was conserving my energies and this didn’t seem wise. I went into the dressing room. There was a sandy, unfinished patch in the corner. I peed right there on the floor.
Years pass…the fire happens, then the renovation. In the very corner of the dressing room where I peed, there now stands a beautiful, shining lavatory.”
– Valda Setterfield, 1999