Behind the Scenes: Geneva Jacuzzi as Auto Garvo in Idiot Menagerie of the Automatic Dream Crud
Includes mention of the Curse of the Enema Umbrella Art Gun.
Geneva Jacuzzi is a sensational lady. The first night we met was about two years after I had discovered her music and two hours after I arrived in Paradise/Hellhole Miami, FL for Art Basel. In the midst of a cold and miserable post-break up NYC winter that had fully transformed me into a lonely toad/salted slug hybrid, I had landed and immediately absorbed all available tropical vibes, fruits, and substances.
In sharp contrast from the lonely scab-picking and shivering-myself-to-sleep that had been dominating my nights back in Brooklyn, I was now in an enchanted land of best friends and pineapples. On our third stop in a series of bars/clubs and by complete happenstance, me and my entourage entered Mamushka’s and noticed a mime, onstage, dancing up a dark storm.
It was weird because before then I had never been into mimes. Ever since I was a kid I couldn’t stand them and I’d never been sure why. Like, I’ve always fantasized about pinching them really hard or letting a mean dog chase them just to hear them scream. Anyway, this mime was surprisingly cool and I remember thinking “Hey, I am totally feeling this mime’s energy.”
Then I hear the music switch to “Do I Sad?” which is Geneva Jacuzzi’s number one jam, and quite possibly the most euphoric sad pop song ever written. Then it hit me: Geneva Jacuzzi was the mime!
“OH MY GOD! THIS IS GENEVA JACUZZI!!!” I shrieked, spraying endorphins all over the dancefloor and immediately solidifying my “friend zone” status with all of the females in my crew.
So yeah, when I got back home I immediately emailed her, asking her to perform at Midnight Express, this ravy warehouse party that I put on monthly and she’s says something along the lines of “sure.”
I contacted Kae Burke, master visionary and proprietor of House of Yes, a Bushwick art event space that daylights as a training facility for aerial performers about renting her space. It’s the kind of place you go to at night and motherfuckers are just flying around dressed as unicorns, covered in glitter and walking around on stilts like it’s nothing. Perfect spot for Geneva. I tell Kae who I’m booking and it turns out she’s a fan and offers to help out with props and whatnot. So I ask her if she can make Geneva fly, as in can she hook her to the aerial rigging and fly her around the room like a circus performer, and she’s like “Yeah, of course.”
I put the two of them together and the next thing I heard is talk of five flying dancers and the logistics for assembling an “Enema-Umbrella Idiot Art Gun with Hose Attachment.” At that point I decided it best for me to step aside and let them handle the details of the performance.
This had become a full-scale theater spectacle, and with it came a surplus of dramatic escapades:
The computer that housed the video intro for the act consumed itself at the last minute; in a fit of primal passion, one of the key players, who wished not to have her name revealed, smashed her fist through a door; and of course there was the Curse of the Enema Umbrella Art Gun, which Geneva described as such:
“Due to electrical problems, missing screws, airport security, and technical engineering miscalculations, the gun caused hours of frustration, screaming fights and passive aggression between 3 separate parties, back pain, head trauma, and at one point, induced a schizophrenic episode in one of it's operators. I both hated it and worshiped it at the same time.”
Soon it was show time and House of Yes was at near-capacity with a grotesque blend of art freaks and ravers flailing and tweaking all over the place. Despite the fact that Weird Magic was sweating out pure gold in the DJ booth, the mob was thirsty for Geneva who was almost an hour behind schedule. A bunch of people texted me things along the lines of “WTF” and I heard some overgrown baby scream “This is bullshit!” in a disturbingly genuine tone. I scampered upstairs to find the dancers, who were fittingly dressed as Sea Monkeys standing with horror on their faces. There had been a terrible accident. While assembling her costume, Geneva received synthetic fur fibers in her eyeball and was blinded, in no shape to perform.
At this point a lunatic had begun to tear apart the cityscape backdrop on the stage. The mob wanted blood. Surely I would be shredded to pieces and feasted upon within moments if something didn’t happen ASAP. I considered fleeing, perhaps calling the cops. At that point I heard a voice over the PA. It belonged to Geneva Jacuzzi.
Within seconds she was on stage followed by glow-in-the-dark dancers who slid down from the ceiling like ninjas carrying out an assassination. Thirty minutes of flawless choreography, weird proppery, sky dervishing and costume changes (itchy hobo? sexxxi mouse?) later, Geneva hanged herself above the crowd. It was brain melting to say the least and made at least one grown man (not me) weep.
Here is a pretty montage my friend Joel Fernando made of the night:
Video/Images: Joel Fernando
- Vice Blog