Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival Launches Tonight!

Niki de Saint Phalle

The art world has gotten off to an uncharacteristically early and eager start this year. I’ve barely had time to catch my breath since getting off the plane from my vacation—and that was on New Year’s Eve.

As I write this, we’re only a couple of hours away from the official launch of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival. Like all things PST, the festival, which runs through January 29 (with a few events continuing past that date), seeks to overwhelm. During a preview event at SoHo House last month, organizers Glenn Phillips and Lauri Firstenberg even said that they purposely overloaded the program so that people would have to choose between amazing events that conflict with each other. Evil, I tell you! Luckily the hardworking folks at ForYourArt have thoughtfully organized a team of correspondents, including yours truly, to report on the festival as it happens. This will include blog posts, reviews, live tweets, and so on.

I’ve already done a practice run of live tweeting to make sure I can actually use my new smartphone (yes I know, I was really late to that table). Check out my coverage of Tuesday night’s Kim Jones / Barbara Smith talk at LAXART, complete with photos, on my Twitter page. Last night I even downloaded Twitvid so that I can post videos of some events as they happen, woo!

There are a lot of great events coming up, but probably the one I’m most excited about is Tirs: Reloaded, a recreation of Niki de Saint Phalle’s shooting paintings organized by Yael Lipschutz. In 1962, Virginia Dwan invited de Saint Phalle to Los Angeles to create the first Tirs series outside of Europe. Enacted in Malibu and the Sunset Strip, the LA Tirs performances, which involved many artists and even Jane Fonda, were popular and emphasized the social and communal aspects of the piece.

Set design for William Leavitt's The Particles (of White Naugahyde)

Tirs: Reloaded will also be a very communal affair, assembling a terrific group of LA artists to reinterpret de Saint Phalle’s shooting paintings. How cool will it be to see Lara Schnitger, Matthew Monahan, Liz Craft and others shoot stuff up?? The event will also have nice elements of family lineage—Noah Kienholz, whose father Ed was de Saint Phalle’s gun handler, will handle the guns for this event, and Lipschutz’s own father Jeff, who is a terrific painter about to move back to his native Southern California, will be one of the shooters.

Due to the risky nature of this event, admittance is by invitation only. But don’t worry, I’m going and I will document the hell out of it. There will also be lots of “official” documentation that will be posted through PST. Other events I’m especially looking forward to: Brody Condon’s group therapy continued, William Leavitt’s NASA play, Liz Glynn’s nightly speakeasy, Richard Jackson’s plane crash, and a whole bunch of shit getting blown up at Pomona on Saturday. Follow me on Twitter for photos, videos, and commentary on stuff as it happens!

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