BWW Reviews: Miguel Gutierrez Performs 'myendlesslove' at Abrons Art Center
I am standing in the lobby of the Underground, a tiny, lecture hall-esque venue in the basement of Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side, but the energy feels more like waiting at the stage door after a rock concert. The room is packed wall to wall, and the crowd is groovy and excited. Many familiar faces press together in greetings, recognitions, hugs, and noisy introductions. Simultaneously, the fluorescent lights and high cement walls make the atmosphere uncannily collegiate. The ambiance is anticipatory, but I am not certain of the best way to prepare. Should I go buy a beer or brush up on my notes? The house opens, and I feel oddly relieved.
Upon entering the small auditorium, Miguel Gutierrez is sitting with his legs crossed, elbow perched on his knee, and his hand tucked under his chin. His unplanted foot jiggles occasionally, and as the audience files in he adjusts his posture, eyes unselfconsciously taking it all in. He is so nonchalant that I half expect his friends and fans to tiptoe up to the stage for a kiss on the cheek and thanks for coming, but there is a delicately observed space for formality. This brings back the impression of a lecture hall, the main difference being that the guru we have all come to behold is in his underpants and wearing black, heeled ankle boots.
Gutierrez's (almost) solo myendlesslove begins with the lights on and ends in the kind of darkness felt by more than just the eyes. To shift myendlesslove into action, he first reaches down to pause the music coming from a CD player near him on the floor, then goes to the television set on his left and pops a VHS tape into the player. His own face appears on the screen, and a repetitive conversation ensues around the subject of what is to come: eagerness, interruption, and hotness to find out.