Lizzi Bougatsos and Kim Gordon perform sonic improvisation to the projections of artist Penny Slinger's early experimental silent films from 1969. After returning from a Gang Gang Dance Japan tour last winter, Bougatsos found herself emerged in the films of Jane Arden, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Penny Slinger, part of an experimental feminist film series curated by Alison Gingeras and Nicoletta Beyer at the Anthology Film Archives. She began writing text while watching the Slinger films in the theater, and thereafter asked her friend Kim Gordon to perform a sonic reaction. The two artists improvised to the films teetering on the elemental, surreal, metaphysical, and distinctly feminine raw poetry of the sublime unconscious -- an almost Artaudian parallel for the unconscious leadings of the nature of improvisation in art and life, shared in the three practices of Bougatsos, Gordon, and Slinger. photographs by Julia Nicoletti
Organized by the Queens Museum, New York, The Wandering Lake, 2009-2017 is Chang’s most ambitious work to date: an eight-year project that redefines the role of artist, image, object and performance in the construction of narratives through an exhibition that integrates video projection, photography, sculpture, publication, and performance as one expansive body of work. The exhibition allows viewers to navigate through Chang’s personal, associative, and narrative meditation on mourning, caregiving, geopolitics, and landscape. The exhibition has been structured to replicate the complex way in which stories develop through geography, history, cultural mythology, fiction, and personal experience. While Chang’s multi-year project was in part inspired by turn-of-the-century colonial explorer Sven Hedin’s book The Wandering Lake (1938)—which tells the story of a migrating body of water in the Chinese desert—the project also chronicles the loss of Chang’s father as well as her pregnancy and the birth of her son.
The Wandering Lake, 2009-2017 is on view through August 4 at Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 1717 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021. photographs courtesy of Elon Schoenholz/ICA LA
Inspired by the exhibition The Wondrous Cosmos in Medieval Manuscripts, Ever Present brings together a group of artists who integrate the intergalactic into their varied work. Like their medieval forbearers, they quest for new artistic, analytic, and spiritual ways of understanding our connection to the cosmos. Performances include music by vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and Vedic astrologer Deradoorian (known for her work with Dirty Projectors), choral scores translated from the constellations by experimental artist and composer Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, an interdimensional ritual by A.S.T.R.A.L.O.R.A.C.L.E.S with live music accompaniment by ambient composer Ana Roxanne, a planetarium-style visual lecture on the multiverse by artists Jennifer Moon and laub, and site-wide energy work by multidimensional artist and Afrofuturist Jordi.
Conceiving one’s life as a creative force is the vector shared by the 80 international artists featuring in the new temporary exhibition at MAC VAL. Titled “Lignes de vies – une exposition de légendes” (Lifelines – an Exhibition of Legends), this new highlight in the life of the Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne brings together work by several different generations of artists, representing every kind of practice, from photography to video via painting, installation, performance and writing. It continues a programme that, ever since the museum first opened in 2005, has worked to question modalities and instances in the construction of identity – or rather, identities. All the works shown in the extensive exhibition space deconstruct, analyse, critique or interrogate the phenomena and processes that shape and legitimise identity/identities. There are no narcissistic or self-centred gestures here; rather, the artists reconstruct and propose – more than new identities: chosen identities.
Lignes de vies – une exposition de légendes is on view through August 25 at MAC VAL Place de la Libération CS10022 94407 Vitry-sur-Seine, FR. photographs courtesy of MAC VAL
Eleanor Antin (b. 1935) is one of the most important artists of her generation and a pioneer of performance and conceptual art in Southern California. In 1972, she challenged definitions of sculpture, self-portraiture, photographic documentation, and performance with CARVING: A Traditional Sculpture. Consisting of 148 black-and-white photographs, CARVING shows the transformation of Antin’s body as she lost 10 pounds over 37 days. Eleanor Antin: Time's Arrow brings together both CARVING series, a new self-portrait, and a related serial work from the 1970s, provoking reflection on discipline, vulnerability, and the passage of time. Time's Arrow is on view through July 28 at Los Angeles County Museum of Art 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. photographs courtesy of the gallery
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
What does it mean to be a twenty-first century renaissance man? For Maceo Paisley, a wide range of disciplines comes together in a positive feedback loop that supports his indefatigable exploration of human behavior. Using embodied inquiry, he investigates his own identity and presents his findings in performance and film. A prolific writer of prose, he just released his first book Tao of Maceo, which takes inventory of his personal beliefs and aims to define his perspective more acutely. Stepping off the stage, he cultivates community through his Chinatown gallery, Nous Tous and a multi-pronged community practice/social innovation agency called Citizens of Culture. Click here to read more
Co-organized by The Museum of Modern Art and Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager Basel, Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts draws upon the rich holdings of both institutions and nearly 70 lenders. Encompassing Nauman’s full career and featuring a total of 165 works, the exhibition occupies the Museum’s entire sixth floor and the whole of MoMA PS1. This joint presentation provides an opportunity to experience Nauman’s command of a wide range of mediums, from drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture to neon, performance, film and video, and architecturally scaled environments.
Disappearing Acts traces strategies of withdrawal in Nauman’s art—both literal and figurative incidents of removal, deflection, and concealment. Close relatives of disappearance also appear in many forms. They are seen, for example, in holes the size of a body part, in the space under a chair, in the self vanishing around a corner, and in the mental blocks that empty creative possibility. “For Nauman,” said Halbreich, “disappearance is both a real phenomenon and a magnificently ample metaphor for grappling with the anxieties of both the creative process and of navigating the everyday world.”
Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts is on view through February 18 @ The Museum of Modern Art, and through February 25 @ MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, New York. photographs courtesy of MoMA
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
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power shines light on a broad spectrum of Black artistic practice from 1963 to 1983, one of the most politically, socially, and aesthetically revolutionary periods in American history. Black artists across the country worked in communities, in collectives, and individually to create a range of art responsive to the moment-including figurative and abstract painting, prints, and photography; assemblage and sculpture; and performance. The exhibition is on view from September 14 through February 3 at Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, New York
Separation is a group show fueled by the trauma unfolding at our borders. AVA has invited artists to respond to the border crisis and examines different ways separation has existed as a political strategy in American history. "Separation" is on view through August 26th at Tin Flats 1989 Blake Avenue, 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
TRIO showcases three modalities of performance in music, art, and dance that reflect the diversity of POC and queer voices championed by Third—a magazine and public programming initiative that fosters conversations and collaborations among experimental artists. TRIO is the inaugural event for Third Presents, a series of live events at various partner sites.
- AKUA is a musician, singer, songwriter, and producer based in Los Angeles. Canada-born with Ghanaian roots, AKUA has moved beyond the experience as Solange’s former background singer to establish her own hypnotic sound. Her new record Them Spirits will be released this Fall.
- Samantha Blake Goodman is an interdisciplinary choreographer and community organizer. She is the founder of MAPS (Movement Arts Performance Space) dedicated to cultivating the contemporary and traditional arts of the Afro-Latinx and Caribbean diaspora in Los Angeles.
- Sebastian Hernandez is a multidisciplinary artist whose works range from drawings to video to performance. They cultivate an embedded connection to their indigenous Aztec/Mexica heritage and the history of the brown body in relation to the U.S.–Mexico borderland. Sebastian’s latest work Hypanthium will be featured in the upcoming NOW Festival at REDCAT.
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
Nicodim Gallery is pleased to present BioPerversity, an exploration of humanity’s darker and lighter perversions as told through the personification of the rest of the animal kingdom, creatures who exist a few rungs beneath us on the evolutionary ladder. BioPerversity is on view through April 28 at Nicodim Gallery 571 S Anderson Street Ste 2, Los Angeles. photographs by Lani Trock
photographs by Summer Bowie