Tori Wrånes at Human Resources, March 24, 2011
A few weeks ago, at Night Gallery’s one-year anniversary party, I was crushed when I learned that I had missed a brief but stunning performance by Tori Wrånes, a very cool Norwegian artist who was visiting LA on a residency at Skylar Haskard’s studio. She had gotten into costume and performed a song, and the people who saw it raved about it, though they had a hard time describing it exactly. Even though I knew nothing about Wrånes’ work at the time, my brief chats with her told me that she was an awesome and unique human being whose work was most likely commensurately awesome.
Luckily, life does throw you second chances once in a while, and so it was that I went to Human Resources (now luxuriously appointed at the former Cottage Home space) last Thursday night to check out an evening of experimental music, and was treated to an impromptu performance by Wrånes. The artist did a recital of an avant-garde work by a Norwegian composer; this consisted of passages of song punctuated by expressive noises, sighs, and motions. Wrånes’ clear, soaring, and eccentric delivery was breathtaking, and the four-minute song brought the house down when it was over. The next day, Wrånes was scheduled to fly back to her native Scandinavia, much to my sorrow; if she had been here longer, I would’ve put her on a double bill at Human Resources with Renée van Trier, who is in the LA area for another two weeks, and whose practice also utilizes costume, song, and a wild, go-for-broke quality.
Wrånes told me that her practice mostly consists of performance, and that originally, her background had been in acting. Thursday night’s recital was quite a departure from her own work, which tends to be more “mystical and Surrealistic.” I’m hoping that she’ll find her way back to LA someday. In the meantime, please check out her website—the performance stills alone will blow you away (playing a piano on the side of a mountain and then setting it on fire?? wtf???). There are also several videos of her performances on YouTube.