Bright White Underground party, Country Club, Los Angeles, October 7, 2010

I’ve been on an unfortunate bender lately of missing interesting performances. Wasn’t feeling the drive for Confusion is Sex 2. Chose Plastic Ono Band over Elana Mann’s Driven By What’s Inside. Stuck at a family dinner during Vaginal Davis, Triumph of the Butch, and Psychic Outlaws. And just now, I found out that you need a ticket to go see Annie Okay at the Hammer this Friday. I don’t have one, and the show’s been sold out for weeks. Sigh.

Thanks to last week’s anti-climactic MOCA event, I also missed Jonah Freeman’s slide lecture and Dead Meadow’s musical performance, both of which took place under the rubric of LAND’s Nomadic Nights series of roaming, “salon-style” events. The backdrop for these performances was Freeman’s and Justin Lowe’s Bright White Underground installation at Country Club, which has been getting an awful lot of press both locally and nationally.

I did drop in on the aftermath of the performances and was suitably blown away by the elaborate transformation of an immaculate modernist house into a dilapidated 1970s drug den. (Funny that this was actually my virgin trip to this place—I can’t wait to come back and see it in its original pristine state.) I wandered through a compact maze of dry ice, broken floors, fabulous strangers, an outdoor bubble machine, a beautiful video projection, mirrors and sound equipment. What a perfect, anonymous LA party. My favorite moments came when I stumbled into the quiet archive room, which contained the didactic materials for the show, a fake library of source books, and a suite of stunning, posed, black-and-white party/revelry photographs. This little oasis of reflection and documentation seemed to give the whole project a tranquil heart.

Following an odd conversation with an evasive man who was “not in the art world,” I suddenly found myself alone in this room, which for a few minutes became the proverbial eye of the hurricane for me. In the stillness, I caught something that I wouldn’t have caught otherwise—the sound of a woman talking in the next room, her voice recorded and instantaneously played back with a slight delay. According to the texts I read, every sound made that night was recorded and ultimately incorporated into the Bright White Underground.

Enjoy the party pics below….

One Response to “Bright White Underground party, Country Club, Los Angeles, October 7, 2010”

  1. Thanks for making the distinction between theater & performance! I cringe every time I hear Franco & Gaga referred to as performance artists!

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