Friday June 15, Le Bain presents Puss Puss, the blowout brainchild of photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya and producer Stefan Dufgran. Puss Puss parties have been a New York underground sensation for the Scandinavi-Euro transplants since it began a few years back. We’re bringing the basement to the penthouse for the last Puss Puss ever. Expect special goodbye presents. They say on the lips, we say through your ears and into your feet! We met the Puss Puss boys for a Kiss Kiss Standard Q&A.
The Standard: It seems you both have been having a good time with Puss Puss! Why is it the last one?
Ruvan: We love it. It’s been the single most fun extra curricular activity we’ve had the last few years. Stefan is moving back to Sweden after five years in New York and we always said Puss Puss is a collaboration, thus if one of us moves, then the party is over. So this is it, one last big hurrah. There might be more in the future, either in Europe or in NYC, but nothing is planned and it will exist in a totally different context.
What have been your main motivations when you created the party?
Stefan: Most of our friends are DJs and there is definitely not a shortage of good venues with good music in New York. But we felt the really crazy good parties were missing. We’re huge fans of No Ordinary Monkey and what those guys used to do, but those parties were too few and far between so we decided we wanted to start a party-party that’s less DJ oriented (i.e. bringing in a ‘name’) and something more focused on a warm, young vibe that combines art (Ruvan’s photography), an eclectic sense of dance music and an ‘anything goes’ vibe. We started out doing parties in various dive bars all over town and feel it is fitting that we close out at one of the nicest venues in New York - a place we both genuinely love.
What does the name stand for?
Stefan: Originally we wanted to do something inspired by the crazy parties they throw in Scandinavia -thus the name, Puss Puss, translation: ‘Kiss Kiss’- specially seeing we have so many friends in New York from Iceland, Norway and Sweden. We wanted to do something for them. It evolved into a weird mix of Scandinavian house-party with grimey New York club.
Ruvan’s DEAREST OF DEAREST 2011 exhibition video
Your favorite parties ever?
Ruvan: In New York it would be No Ordinary Monkey and Let’s Play House. Some years ago Eric Duncan from Rub’n’Tug took us both to Horsemeat Disco in Vauxhall, London, which was just insane. At the time I was staying in London quite a bit and was frequenting nights like Family (which later became Boombox) and whatever Hackney warehouse was going on. On some level, we take inspiration from houseparties, too.
How would you describe Puss Puss using a metaphor?
Ruvan: The best party you’ll never get to go to again. It is now or never (laughing). Once you are in, everyone is a VIP. We want our friends to meet our other friends. We want people to make out. We want people to get sweaty from dancing. We want it to be crazy in the best way. We want you to talk about it a month after the fact.
And a song?
Ruvan: Something early 90’s like this Andy Weatherall remix of Primal Scream.
Stefan: I would have to say, that Munk’s Mis Labios has been stuck with me the longest throughout all of these parties. I seem to never get tired of it. Always works, specially early in the morning!
Munk’s Mis Labios
You both are very creative men. Do you consider New York as the best playground?
Stefan: It’s definitely the best city we’ve both ever lived in. I am truly sad to leave it. Moving here you quickly realize that there’s hardly a line between work and life. The consistently high output of creativity and ambition generated in this city is astounding even through these last few depressing years. New York is truly relentless when it comes to creativity and entrepreneurship, which can also become pretty exhausting (laughing).
Ruvan: So much here is inspiring for creative people here. We would never have become who we are today without New York as a guide. As much as we love other cities and travel, we’ve always felt lucky coming home to NYC.
What is your own definition of ‘making it in New York’?
Stefan: I would say that if you manage to feel at home here, truly at home, and you create a life for yourself on your own terms, then the city belongs to you and not the other way around. Then you’ve mastered it and ‘made it’.
Ruvan: I see what Stefan is saying, but I also think that the minute you think you’ve “made it”, you’ve missed a step.
PopRally: A Portrait of Sigur Rós at MoMA, By Ruvan Wijesooriya. Camera & Editing: Stefan Dufgran.
Friday June 15, Le Bain presents Puss Puss. Special guest, Liv Spencer, from House Of House/Still Going will be escorting them to the jacuzzi. If you’ve been to Puss Puss before, then you know. if you haven’t, then get ready! Doors open 11pm. The Standard, New York.