Strange Democracies

Guillermo Gómez-Peña,
Strange Democracy
Photo: Zach Gross, 2007

This week, LA gets hit with a slew of important performance events. If you’re an über-art nerd like myself, you’re already doing some homework in order to be fully prepared and fully psyched…

For Tuesday night’s sure-to-be-epic Guillermo Gómez-Peña performance at the Hammer, review the man’s amazing, groundbreaking history of performance works here. You can also check out his more current projects, disseminated through La Pocha Nostra, a nonprofit performance collaborative founded in 1993. Gómez-Peña’s web network, which is chock full of fascinating info and useful downloads, is one of the most comprehensive and beautifully designed artist websites I’ve ever seen.

On Thursday night, also at the Hammer, Kerry Tribe will undertake the ambitious project of presenting a live performance of Hollis Frampton’s classic 1971 structuralist film, Critical Mass. The film is an irritating yet utterly mesmerizing sense breakdown of a banal argument between a couple. Luckily for us, it’s viewable in three parts on YouTube. I’ve always loved Kerry Tribe’s cerebral and slow-burning work, and I can’t wait to see the choices she makes in this live production—her first!

Who works harder than Dawn Kasper? Beginning today, the fearless artist is engaging in a 10-day residency and durational performance at Monte Vista Projects. In this new work, part of her On… series, she will continue to explore her “relentless fascination with the exposure of process.” There will be a reception this Friday, April 8, 7 to 10pm.

Finally, if you missed Dutch whirlwind Renée van Trier’s performance at Pieter PASD last Saturday night, you can still catch her at the Cal State Long Beach art galleries this Sunday, 5 to 7:30pm. She will be performing with Eamonn Fox as part of her residency at Fox’s NEON Gallery; the event will also cap off a day of MFA Open Studios on campus. The performance, van Trier’s last before returning to the Netherlands, is titled A LITTLE BIT OF TASTY CHINA, OH MY GOSH!!!; I’m already scared and excited at the same time.

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