Yesterday we stopped by D & F Contemporary, a new gallery located in a former discount lingerie store at the corner of Delancey and Orchard, to chat with Don Devore of New York hardcore band Sick Feeling. He’d been at the gallery for the past 30 hours, creating an immersive, one-night-only installation to coincide with the release of “Metaphysical Cops,” the new single and music video by his electro project Collapsing Scenery.
“I did not go home last night,” Devore told us. He was wiped, but psyched about the show: “I have my own keys, I am at this dope gallery all by myself, I am having the greatest time making weird shit, it rules.”“Metaphysical Cops” is based on a trip Devore and his collaborator in Collapsing Scenery, Reggie Debris, took to Palestine last year. But loosely based: “On my end,” Devore told us, “I veer away from letting the narrative be expressed clearly because I am not interested in that.” He’s more interested in the visuals. “There’s an intense psychedelic element in the whole installation: the rainbow-like, gooey, plasma-like color projections are meant to convey the idea, in Devore’s words, of a “futuristic-psychedelic version of the past.”
The performance, co-presented by Todd Patrick’s Ridgewood venue Trans Pecos, is divided into stations. After gallery-goers enter D&F Contemporary from a side entrance on Orchard Street, a stairwell will lead them to the basement, where an usher will explain the nuts and bolts of the show. In a bar area, there’ll be a four-foot-tall ice sculpture shaped like the letters C and S, as in Collapsing Scenery.
The following room will have more of a lounge setting — a large piece of dusty pink silk brocade pinned to the walls will double as a projection screen while bands and DJs perform behind another curtain/screen.
The ascending staircase will feel like a dark tunnel, with a plant at the top “for hope.”
At ground level, there are four more environments, each playing a quarter of the song. In one rainforest-like environment, there’s a boyish, Roman-like statue. “In art, it’s important not to have a purpose for everything,” Devore says when we ask what’s up with the statue, though he goes on to note that it looks “guidable” and young.
Metaphysical Cops is in part a reaction to Jeff Sharlet’s exposé about the violence perpetrated against LGBT people in Uganda, with the lyrics representing both those who see homosexuality as a communion with the divine and those who equate it with demonic possession.The next spaces of the installation are meant to convey a more immersive experience, with shimmering silk and plastic projection curtains hanging from the ceiling. Yellow, purple, and amber Chinese snappers are scattered in one corner — when they’re set off, they emit an eerie glow against the light of the video projector.
The installation is set to wrap up with a “climax”: the end of the “route” there will be a surprise performance inside what Devore referred to as a “human aquarium” (he didn’t want to reveal specifics).
After the installation is over, I.E.T. Band, a wedding band from the Bronx, will take the stage in the basement area. Devore gave them a set of songs consisting of “stuff they never heard.”
In case this psychedelic frenzy wears you out, the ground and basement levels of the gallery have several seating areas in the form of “Jurassic-Park-themed” faux rocks — they make for a “wonderful place to take drugs,” Devore joked.
Collapsing Scenery presents “Metaphysical Cops,” Thursday, April 16 at 8pm at D&F Contemporary, 86 Delancey St.; vinyl records of the single will be given away at the event.
Correction: The original version of this post was revised to correct the gallery’s location.