Johnny Depp, others indulge esoteric side at Art of Elysium gala curated by Marina Abramovic | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Johnny Depp, others indulge esoteric side at Art of Elysium gala curated by Marina Abramovic

Camila Alves arrives at The Art Of Elysium Heaven Gala at Hangar 8 on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 in Santa Monica, CA. (Photo by Omar Vega/Invision/AP)
January 11, 2015 - 7:19 AM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - If the Golden Globes are obvious — celebs, cameras, tuxedoes — the night-before Art of Elysium fundraiser is the ultimate in esoteric.

Where the typical black-tie gala promises drinks, dinner and entertainment, the art charity's eighth annual Heaven gala aimed to provide an artistic experience curated by performance artist Marina Abramovic.

"It's Marina's vision that you are part of the art," guests were told upon entering the party Saturday, held in an airplane hangar in Santa Monica, California.

It began with a "silent cocktail hour." Celebrants such as Zach Braff, Usher, Joaquin Phoenix and Johnny Depp, who lounged on a couch behind velvet ropes, were instructed not to speak during the cocktail reception and encouraged to wear silencing headphones provided by attendants. Drinks were to be ordered by pointing at a menu.

Depp and fiancee Amber Heard, the night's guest of honour, did not wear the headsets.

When chatter erupted after about 30 minutes, Abramovic playfully admonished partygoers for not following the rules.

Instead of a ballroom of numbered tables, guests entered a gymnasium full of beds topped with tray tables. Everyone was given a grey robe to wear over their fancy clothes. (Depp and Heard did not wear the robes.)

A small stage rotated in the centre room and four giant video screens glowed overhead. Entertainment included a performance piece on love and loss, a 3-D film and a musical set by Moby.

The event was projected to raise $1 million for the non-profit group that brings art to sick children and others in need.

News from © The Associated Press, 2015
The Associated Press

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