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.