Bryce Dessner is a founding member of the band The National but also a trained composer from Berkeley School of music in Boston. He grew up in Cincinnati and remembered, as a child, the controversy that sprung up around the exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe’s “The Perfect Moment” at The Contemporary Art Center. This show was highly challenging due to a large portion being images of a sexual nature. Some images were of sadomasochism but some others were of minors, children, which blurred the boundaries between innocence and sexuality. The CAC and it’s director were prosecuted for pandering but were acquitted by a jury. It was a decision that was very important for free expression and made Mapplethorpe a household name.

“The Perfect Moment” was actually broken into three separate parts.  Besides the darker, sexualized images that he became famous for there was a section dedicated to floral still life photos. And a third section devoted to portraiture of African Americans.

The original director of the piece was Daniel Fish. Daniel is a long time, successful downtown director. Always experimenting, always innovative his work has almost exclusively been seen in smaller venues throughout New York and the broader arty theater circuit.  He was a perfect choice for this show which

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