GUTTED, curated by Dino Dinco for LACE’s Annual Winter Benefit, February 20, 2010
The LA performance art world had its own Coachella this past weekend, as GUTTED wowed over 500 spectators with a 4½-hour marathon of nonstop performances. How I felt about this event was identical to how I feel about music festivals in general; it was sweaty and crowded and tiring, the good stuff was mixed in with the bad, there was too much burner culture for my taste, and I much prefer to see individual acts that I like in more intimate settings. As with Coachella, however, the majority of attendees seemed blissful, and the whole thing was nothing but good for the local art scene.
There were more than 20 artists performing, but the following were the ones that stuck out for me. Lucas Michael projected a video of what looked like a younger version of himself singing “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” then took up a microphone and dueted with himself. This campy piece was beautiful, sad, funny, and wistful all at once. Ryan Heffington choreographed a catchy and confrontational all-male dance number that had the crowd cheering. Taisha Paggett did an evocative two-hour performance in which she covered herself completely in black—including full-body tar-black makeup—and repeated a quiet series of seated movements inspired by theoretical writings on perception and phenomenology. I would say something about Dawn Kasper, but I stepped outside to get some air, and missed the entirety of her performance. That happens to me a lot.
The amazing Hi Fashion $9.99 closed out the evening at just past midnight. If I had seen nothing else but their set, it would’ve made the whole night worth it. A seriously 80s-flavored techno-pop group that utilizes over-the-top costumes, props, and choreographed dances, HF$9.99 blew the roof off of LACE with their funny and very queer-identified songs. Imagine a dykey Toni Basil or a psychedelic Devo with costumes designed by Pucci or Kelly of “Shoes” fame gone to art school, and you start to get a picture of the fun. Photos below.
More photos of GUTTED available here.