The dress code asked for primary colors and almost every one wore red. I did too, as I snuck in late to the seated dinner honoring artist Rashid Johnson and collector Dasha Zhukova on the occasion of Performa‘s 2019 iteration. My first observation upon entering was the gravity in the room. The center tables were overflowing with blue-chip personas from Gavin Brown and Richard Chang to Cindy Sherman and Shirin Neshat. I slunk into my chair just in time for the speeches. My favorite was given by Liz Diller, who enlisted Siri’s voice to get her through an introduction for Zhukova. Her own was shot by a seasonal cold.
I found my cure in the form of Gaetano Pesce, who offered me a sprig of rosemary for my pillow—a sleep aid, he said. I wouldn’t need the herbs until much later because it was time to dance. Performa 19 participant Bunny Rogers gave me an impromptu lesson as an army of waiters lit the biggest Baked Alaska I’ve ever seen on fire. The high octane dramatics were perfectly sweet.