Well Played, organized by Gracie DeVito, ltd los angeles, April 12–13, 2014

Posted in photo essays, reviews and commentary on April 14, 2014 by Carol Cheh

Gracie DeVito - Drive By 037a

Artist Gracie DeVito did such a great job organizing Well Played, a two-day mini-festival of short performance works that happened at ltd los angeles over the weekend. I caught most of the performances and everything that I saw was fresh, timely and compelling. Can I just nominate her right now to curate next year’s Perform Chinatown?

Looking at the group of works as a whole, I think you can discern certain qualities and trends that are at the vanguard of doing-performance-as-art right now. First, absurdist theater and improv are increasingly becoming the modes of choice, in a notable move away from the more conceptual and endurance-based works of the past. This makes sense to me, as I think theatrical formats can potentially offer a more pliable and multi-layered space in which to create work. Second, collaboration among peers and the incorporation of a variety of media such as video, installation, popular music and literature continue to be prominent, as they have for several years now.

And lastly, artists are hyper-conscious at the moment of the obscenities that have become commonplace in the current art market bubble, and are compelled to both comment on them and struggle against them in their work.

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Emily Mast, The Least Important Things, LACMA, March 29, 2014: A photo essay by Andrew Chung

Posted in guest blog posts, Institutional Partnerships, photo essays with tags , , , on April 8, 2014 by andrewthephotog

Elena Bajo's Performance

Elena Bajo's Performance

Elena Bajo's Performance

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Introducing ART!’s first INTERNS

Posted in about this blog, guest blog posts, Institutional Partnerships on April 8, 2014 by Carol Cheh

This year, Another Righteous Transfer! is experimenting with institutional partnerships as a way to broaden the scope of this blog, incorporate new voices, and help mentor a new generation of arts writers. I am currently in talks with several local schools about ways to engage students with this blog, and if all goes well, the results should be rolling out slowly over the next year or two.

Artist and Otis College of Art and Design instructor Dorit Cypis got the ball rolling by accepting ART! as an internship site for her upper level undergraduate arts course in Public Engagement Skills. Thanks to Dorit, ART! has been working with Maia Lee, a painting and digital media major, and Andrew Chung, a photography major. Look for their contributions to the world of LA performance art writing, coming soon!

John Hogan’s Thoughts on Mike Kelley and Anita Pace’s Pansy Metal / Clovered Hoof

Posted in guest blog posts, reviews and commentary with tags , , on April 7, 2014 by thejohnhogan
Mike Kelley, Switching Marys (2004-05). Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen, courtesy Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

Mike Kelley, Switching Marys (2004-05).
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen, courtesy Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, via moca.org.

Attending the Member’s Day Celebration of MOCA’s Mike Kelley retrospective with a brutal hangover was my way of opting into total immersion in the Irish Catholic shame Kelley is so famed for deconstructing. Or so my own robust Irish Catholic rationalization process would have me believe.

Mike Kelley with a hangover is like Lawrence Weiner stoned. Not only does it still make sense, it kind of makes more sense. Woozy videos of unwell vampires slumping around CalArts whining about how they’ve been on medical leave, or the slumped and dazed proles of Kandor milling around their pathetic cramped quarters within a swirling bell jar biosphere are all the more existentially poignant when one is prone to actual nausea.

As much as the sadistic barbers, spaced-out toddlers, and wine-soaked harem members of the exhibition felt consistent with my psychic space, my body needed regular doses of fresh air. So I spent a fair amount of time in the impromptu outdoor cocktail lounge set up for the event. At one point I decided to attempt to resuscitate myself with a hair-of-the-dog cocktail of vodka and “blood orange” mixer. It was a bad idea, as the afternoon sun began to bear down and I felt a little worse with each sip. Luckily, it was just at this time that Pansy Metal / Clovered Hoof began, and served as a shot in the arm.

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MOCA Members’ Day Celebration: Mike Kelley, with presentations by Anita Pace, Kim Gordon and Jutta Koether, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, March 30, 2014

Posted in reviews and commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by Carol Cheh


What an emotional weekend for the long-beleaguered MOCA. The museum simultaneously debuted their new director, Philippe Vergne, and brought home the biggest survey exhibition to date of Los Angeles’ most beloved prodigal art son, Mike Kelley. At Friday’s media preview, it seemed like the last five years (dear God, has it really been that long?) were just a really bad acid trip out of which we suddenly, collectively awoke.

Check it: MOCA has a director who acts like an art museum director and seems like a really cool guy to boot. The Geffen is beautifully installed with important work by an internationally regarded artist with deep ties to the local community. Artists are back on the MOCA board. It was a spectacularly sunny spring day in LA and everything seemed to make sense again, at last.

The sunshine and festivities continued throughout the weekend, concluding on Sunday with the Members’ Day celebration, which featured two special performances: a restaging of Pansy Metal / Clovered Hoof, a 1989 dance piece choreographed by Kelley and Anita Pace (and danced in the present day by Erica Carpenter, Beau Dobson, Lindsey Lollie and Jos McKain), and a spoken word/noise tribute from longtime Kelley pals Kim Gordon and Jutta Koether.

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Rafa Esparza with Sebastian Hernandez, no water under the bridge, Fourth Street viaduct, March 15, 2014

Posted in photo essays, reviews and commentary on March 19, 2014 by Carol Cheh

Rafa Esparza - no water under the bridge 001a

This past Saturday was a spectacular day for venturing outdoors to see art. Two major sculptural installations were unveiled in the late afternoon — Michael Parker’s The Unfinished at the L.A. River, and Finishing School’s We Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust on the Occidental College campus. But before that, Rafa Esparza enacted the first of two offsite performances planned to coincide with his solo exhibition at Vincent Price Art Museum.

no water under the bridge was performed under the bridge at Fourth and Lorena Streets in East L.A. This iconic viaduct, which has been used as a location in several popular films dealing with gang violence, provided a dramatic, sweeping, auditorium-like setting for Esparza’s performance, conducted in collaboration with artist Sebastian Hernandez. Hernandez, who is also an Aztec dancer, performed a native dance in full costume while Esparza quietly responded to his movements in the background. This involved a number of actions that included the shedding of a significant amount of blood. Bundles of flowers were strategically hung in the performance area prior to the start of the dance, and taken down at its conclusion. This beautiful and wrenching ceremony lasted for almost two hours.

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Dorothy Hoover, The Hits Just Keep On Coming, PAM, March 14, 2014

Posted in noteworthy, reviews and commentary on March 18, 2014 by Carol Cheh

Dorothy Hoover at PAM 006a

Brian Getnick, artist and organizer extraordinaire, has opened an important new space for performance and it’s called PAM. From Getnick’s own announcement:

PAM is the name of a small modular blue theater in Highland Park.
PAM performances are the result of 2-week long residencies in which artists have unlimited access to the theater space.
This year PAM is showing artists who migrate between theater and performance art, who evoke the theater in their work as a fictive territory to both explore and abandon and who treat its elements (lights, architecture, curtains, actors…) as resonant objects to be examined and played with.
For each artist we are making a unique object that becomes a part of PAM (a curtain, chairs, an architectural detail here or there…). At the end of the residency artists are invited to take the curtain with them to use in subsequent performances, bringing PAM‘s portals out into the world.

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