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Surreal Soirée: Performa to Party Like It’s 1924

“One must go through life, be it red or blue, stark naked and accompanied by the music of a subtle fisherman, prepared at all times for a celebration.” Words to live by (say what?)–and a line from a prose poem penned by Francis Picabia during his Dada phase. One of the most fiercely wacky of the Surrealists gets his due this evening as the visual art performance biennial Performa hosts a Hurricane Sandy-delayed gala. The bash is a tribute to “Relâche,” the 1924 ballet that Picabia created with his eccentric composer buddy Erik Satie, and Performa has tapped artist Ryan McNamara to re-envision the performance (we hear that a certain well-known arts patron will make a cameo, as will aerial acrobats). After a dinner inspired by Magritte and Dali, guests will be treated to a screening of René Clair’s “Entr’acte,” the short film (watch it below) that played during the intermission of the original Relâche, followed by a performance by pop songstress Sia–a 21st century version of Picabia’s subtle fisherman? Gala-goers can ponder this while sketching Exquisite Corpses and waiting in line for the “time machine” photo booth.

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