"But no one told us!" a woman in lace tights and a flared skirt squawked as a frustrated security guard dubbed her "disrespectful" and relieved her of her glass. Guards herded other wrongdoers downstairs, while guests who successfully smuggled booze in sipped it inches from Kippenberger's masterwork, The Happy End of Franz Kafka's 'Amerika'. After a few hours of milling about and annoying security guards, the crowd drifted to the lobby, where indie-rock band Gang Gang Dance came on. They played to perhaps not their typical crowd. "I think it's interesting," a white-haired man told me. "I like the electronics. But I don't think the singer has much of a voice."

Photos by Scott Rudd