For nearly 10 years I’ve witnessed the successful transformations brought to the site during the annual Benefits that serves as an opportunity for Bob Wilson to thank donors for their support and to present new accomplished work. I took photographs, filmed workshops and gained Bob Wilson’s permission to produce a documentary on the extraordinary summer of 2006 (and those which followed), reminiscent of his Byrd Hoffman School in the 1960’s, culmination of both the physical achievement of the building and sixteen years of fundraising.

But the reality of the Watermill Center is not locked into a predefined mold and Robert Wilson, driven by a diabolic energy, is never short of ideas to disrupt “the state of things”. Production continued the following summers resulting in hours of invaluable footage that puts the film in an optimal condition for editing.

The film discovers the very private universe of the artist and unveils the intimacy of his laboratory. It explores his dreams, triumphs, and failures in this incredible journey to establish an international arts center in the United States. This cross portrait of Bob Wilson, the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds and the Watermill Center is built as an action film. The character’s actions reveal more than any discourse or commentary and therefore the film, through its quasi-fictional form, attains a greater level of honesty and relevance.

Video and photographic archives of the 1960’s from the Byrd Hoffman era are the translation of Bob Wilson’s view of his past. A mutating past and a future already foreshadowed in the present.

The film also shed light on the artists in residence and their opinion about the Center created for them. Some question the idea of Watermill and give insight to how realistically the center can achieve Bob Wilson’s hopes of becoming a space devoted to interdisciplinary art for the global culture of the 21st century. The film also includes personalities that influenced the most Bob Wilson’s artistic imagination such as Christopher Knowles, …

From here the film is about the fear of mortality and being forgotten. Robert Wilson has changed the face of theater with something that has no script, that can’t be reproduced like Shakespeare, that has no fixed canvas to hang in the Louvre for centuries to enjoy as intended. In Robert Wilson’s art, the stage lights dim, the performers bow and his life’s passion disappear with the closing of the stage door. Will the Watermill Center give Robert Wilson a chance to create something permanent beyond the small family of artists who hang tough next to him questioning how Watermill will survive the initial impulse of his creator?

– Pauline de Grunne, Director