Avant-garde fashion designer and artist Valerj Pobega presented her “Kabuki in Berlin” -Fall/Winter 2019 collection with a site-specific performance in collaboration with dancers, acrobats and a music performance by Lawrence Rothman. Dressed in the designer’s hand-painted silk creations from “Kabuki in Berlin” her collection was inspired by the hybrid identities and androgynous stylings as seen in the Liza Minnelli’s turn as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, and the epicene performances of Lindsey Kemp and David Bowie in their 1970 mimed numbers which had hints of Kabuki theatre. photographs by Mekael Dawson
Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016 is the most comprehensive West Coast exhibition to date of the work of Adrian Piper (b. 1948, New York). It is also the first West Coast museum presentation of Piper’s works in more than a decade, and her first since receiving the Golden Lion Award for Best Artist at the 56th Venice Biennale of 2015 and Germany’s Käthe Kollwitz Prize in 2018. Organized by The Museum of Modern Art, this expansive retrospective features more than 270 works gathered from public and private collections from around the world, and encompasses a wide range of mediums that Piper has explored for over 50 years: drawing, photography, works on paper, video, multimedia installations, performance, painting, sculpture, and sound.
Piper’s groundbreaking, transformative work has profoundly shaped the form and content of Conceptual art since the 1960s, exerting an incalculable influence on artists working today. Her investigations into the political, social, and spiritual potential of Conceptual art frequently address gender, race, and xenophobia through incisive humor and wit, and draw on her long-standing involvement with philosophy and yoga.
For this exhibition, the Hammer is partnering with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) to present Piper’s work What It’s Like, What It Is #3, a large-scale mixed-media installation addressing racial stereotypes. Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016 in on view through January 6 at Hammer Museum 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. photographs by Summer Bowie
Chris Emile and No)one. Art House presented a choreographed performance in response to Haegue Yang’s Strange Fruit (2012-13), part of MOCA’s permanent collection. Yang’s work takes its title from the anti-lynching anthem famously recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939. Using Yang’s installation as its stage, Emile’s performance examines the public display and consumption of violence against marginalized bodies and investigates how Black Americans process trauma. The performance expands the dialogue between Yang’s Strange Fruit and the protest song of the same name. Chris Emile, the choreographer, is the cofounder of No)one. Art House, a collective that produces movement-based installations in unconventional spaces throughout Los Angeles. photographs by Lani Trock
Line Steppers, a performance by Maceo Paisley and Katie Malia, unfolds within Albert Oehlen/Peppi Bottrop: Line Packers”. Paisley and Malia’s navigation of a social space in the gallery adds a layer of commentary on labor versus expression in the world of art and entertainment. Curated by Brian Getnick. photographs by Lani Trock
Choreographed by Samantha Blake Goodman, Sky Echo is a psalm whispered to the universe, drifting the dancers in and out of the museum’s fountains. It is a trio performed by Bianca Medina, Chris Emile, and Sasha Rivero. The dancers move in costumes provided by New York-based designer Mara Hoffman to live musical accompaniment by vocalists AKUA and Anthony Calonico. This transcendent performance sways audiences and softly carries viewers to a place of bliss. photographs by Lani Trock
Milka Djordjevich’s ANTHEM, presented by Los Angeles Performance Practice, currently on a three-night run at Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles, is a pulsing kaleidoscope of movement that is difficult to label. Maybe disco dressage comes close, a choreographed disintegration loop, something akin to the rising and fading blips on a Soviet-era heart monitor, performed by a distant artificially intelligent species programmed only with 1.44 megabytes of 20th century cabaret instruction. In actuality the dance is performed by four human women named Laurel Atwell, Jessica Cook, Dorothy Dubrule, and Devika Wickremesinghe.
According to Djordjevich, ANTHEM utilizes “existing and imagined vernacular dance styles” to explore “labor, play, and feminine-posturing.” You could say that this trifecta becomes a first, second and third act by which to break down the performance, and break down it will. Within the hour-long performance, an innocent playground clapping game turns into a cocaine fever dream that reminds you of Sydney Pollack’s 1969 adaption of Horace McCoy’s 1935 novel, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? It's about a Great Depression-era dance marathon the devolves into desperation, exhaustion, greed and death. ANTHEM is electric and existentially thrilling in the same context. It is a fragmented mirror reflecting an alternate reality that absorbs the viewer within Djordjevich’s enthralling matrix, helped maybe by the droning, undulating music of Chris Peck and theatrical communist bloc, discotheque-toned lighting by Madeline Best.
Each dancer, one with a full Petra Von Kant afro, arrive in a kind of centipede-like daisy chain, various lackadaisical rhythmic exercises turn into cavalier Saturday Night Fever dance moves performed with brilliantly stolid indifference. Soon, the dancers climb on top of each other, writhing double-deckers of velvet covered flesh. One chews gum, blows bubbles and makes awkward eye contact with the audience. Two of them lose their shoes. At points they all rehydrate and fix their hair as they fall into a hypnotic groove, one of which takes on a texture of movement that has a robotic, cool remove. Mascara, eye shadow and sweat glistens. The dancers slowly succumb to gravity and exhaustion, like bon vivants at dawn. They emerge from their stupor to return from whence they came. The fever has broken and no bitter tears were shed.
ANTHEM has three remaining performances in Los Angeles, Saturday 6/9 at 10pm, Sunday 6/10 at 3pm & 7pm. Ghebaly Gallery is located at 2245 E Washington Boulevard. photographs by Summer Bowie
On May 25, 2018 PAM hosted the debut performance of Untangling Manhood, Maceo Paisley investigates gender through embodied inquiry, juxtaposing identity and social constructs. Using movement, language, and audience interaction, Paisley guides us through a narrative that goes beyond making art, inviting audiences to confront themselves in the process. photographs by Lani Trock
On Saturday April 28th, Navel LA celebrated the launch of MAPS, Movement Art Performance Space. MAPS was founded by Samantha Blake and is dedicated to cultivating the contemporary and traditional arts of the Afro-Latinx and Caribbean diaspora in Los Angeles. The launch featured three dance performances by Samantha Blake, Chris Bordenave and Vera Passos (respectively), along with a film screening by Nery Madrid, singing by Felicia ‘Onyi’ Richards, costumes by Gabrielle Datau + Jiro Maestu (Poche) and Desiree Klein, and still photographs by Russel Hamilton, shot during the film’s creation. You can read our interview of Chris Bordenave from our Winter 2017 issue here. Navel LA is located at 1611 S Hope Street Los Angeles. photographs by Lani Trock
A classically trained, multi-disciplinary choreographer, who is one of the 3 founding members of a dance company called No)one. Art House., Chris Bordenave has recently been working with a number of musical artists, such as Anderson Paak, Mayer Hawthorne, and more recently Solange and Kelela. He has also been creating site-specific works for institutions such as the California African American Museum, Hauser + Wirth, and Solange’s SAINT HERON House. Click here to read the full interview.
photographs by Summer Bowie
The movie "Faraway, So Close!” tells the story of an angel who comes to earth to live as a human. What is heavenly, imprecise and volatile descends to fully stamp against the earthly, the concrete. These two worlds, distant and contradictory are bound by a new atmosphere that allows movement, pulse, life. What it far is close. Ballet Parking is directed by Nacho Alvarez, with a performance by Vicente Etcheverry. Shot in Montevideo, Uruguay
Copenhagen, Denmark based Kenton Slash Demon are set to release their Harpe/Syko EP on September 11th on vinyl and on September 18th digitally via Future Classic. Today, the Danes release the music video for their track Harpe off the new EP. Director Jenna Mangulad says, “The idea for the video was to create a scene that could be from a feature film, where different types of people at a bar, come together and share their love for music and dancing. The video is about those moments you experience in life, were you just let go, and lose yourself to the moment.”