The Art of Nicole Peyrafitte

The thing about a performance is that when it is over, it is over, and if you were not there to experience it, then it’s been missed, but this is not so with Nicole Peyrafitte.

I saw her do a performance piece at the Poetry Project at Saint’s Mark Church several years ago, and enjoyed being a part of the audience sharing in the intimate immediacy of what words, music, and dance create. From the unknown to the known art happens, and there it is: something is also finished. Something’s been left. And it’s a gift, the product of all that has come before, what belongs there on the wall.

I stopped by to see an exhibit Nicole Peyrafitte was participating in called 11 Women of Spirit at Salon Zürcher on Bleeker Street on March the 8th, the last day of the show, and what would pretty much be the last day of normal living in New York City because the self-quarantine for COVID-19 was about to begin. Even as we talked, we kept our distance, but Nicole said something that brought me closer to her as I was talking about her work. Her father used to tell her: Touche à tout, bonne à rien, touch everything, good for nothing, which is a lot like the English, “Jack of all trades and master of none.”

This fatherly advice, I think, paid off in that the artist was able to grab onto and organize her various parts to come up with a striking whole. When I left, we did not hug, but the photos you see that I took, Nicole is on the wall, the very engaging work she leaves behind. On the Vimeos below, you can watch Nicole Peyrafitte perform with her husband, Pierre Joris, in the here and now a few months ago in Kingston, New York. Enjoy.

Nicole Peyrafitte

Here is a link to Nicole Peyrafitte’s performance at the Poetry Project that I was talking about:

By the way, as the quarantine continues in NYC, here are some cooking videos from their home in Brooklyn to yours, Nicole Peyrafittee and Pierre Joris prepare some sustaining dishes for you. Bon appetit.

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