Native Strategies and So Funny It Hurts
Many of you have probably heard about this new project by now, but I’m happy to chime in and throw my support behind it, as eminently worthy of support and publicity that it is. The super-motivated Brian Getnick, in partnership with Zemula Barr and Molly Sullivan, is putting together a biannual LA performance journal titled Native Strategies. The journal will evolve out of a series of thematic, curated performance events, each one examining a particular “native strategy” amongst practitioners of performance in LA. Published after the culmination of each event, each issue of the journal will include curatorial essays, interviews with participating artists, and visual documentation of the performances. The organizers see the journal continuing for at least five years, after which there is a possibility of publishing a book that will serve as a snapshot of LA performance in this time period.
Native Strategies is a promising development for our scene, and I am really excited to see how it unfolds. LA has not had a publication devoted to performance since the unfortunate demise of High Performance in 1997. Blogging may be awesome and timely, but I for one still believe in the value of hard copy held in one’s hands and placed in a cherished spot on one’s bookshelf, to be referenced for years to come. Hopefully this is the beginning of some kind of domino effect and we’ll soon see more efforts to document and examine LA’s vibrant, ever-growing performance scene.
This Thursday night at LACE, Native Strategies will launch its first cycle of performances, titled So Funny It Hurts. Over the course of four evenings spread out over the next month or so, the series will look at artists who use humor or satire “as a means of exploring complex notions of self often contained within the oppositional force they seek to dismantle.” The first evening, which starts at 7pm, features performances by Alice Cunt and Kale Likover. Subsequent evenings will feature Lauren Weedman and Nathan Bockelman, Asher Hartman with Curt Lemieux, and Paul Outlaw.