Archive for the noteworthy Category

Open Letter to MOCA Re: Carl Andre Exhibition

Posted in noteworthy with tags on April 3, 2017 by Carol Cheh
Ana Mendieta protest at MOCA

Scene from the protest outside of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Saturday evening, April 1, 2017. Photo courtesy of Mary Anna Pomonis.

The Association of Hysteric Curators is circulating the below open letter addressing the recent opening of a major Carl Andre retrospective at MOCA. Signatures are still in progress; the below represents signatures at time of publication. To add your name, visit this link.

Dear Philippe Vergne,

We, The Association of Hysteric Curators, are extremely disappointed with your decision to bring the Carl Andre retrospective to the Geffen Contemporary. We feel the decision to show Andre at MOCA Geffen, after the election of president Trump, is tasteless. The choice of the museum to bring an Andre show to Los Angeles in this context communicates to us, as feminists, that the museum has no allegiance to women or victims of domestic abuse. We would like to remind you that symbols of power emanate from institutions and reverberate through society. As the director of a nationally recognized institution as powerful as MOCA, you have an obligation to symbolically stem the tide of increasingly violent, racist, and misogynistic attitudes throughout the United States.

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“Performance Now” KCHUNG Radio Archives Now Accessible on ART!

Posted in about this blog, noteworthy on December 1, 2014 by Carol Cheh

studio cover photo

It’s been a little over a year since John Tain and I began hosting a monthly show on KCHUNG Radio called Performance Now. The show was conceived in response to popular demand, after a special two-hour Community Debrief performance discussion in August 2013 generated an enormous amount of interest.

Broadcast live every third Sunday of the month at 5 p.m. and also archived at, Performance Now is an hour-long show in which John and I host in-studio performances as well as in-depth interviews and discussions with artists, curators, writers, and scholars. After more than a year of programming, I must say we’ve amassed a pretty great archive of recorded material, all of which can be accessed via pinned posts on our Facebook page.

I’ve also compiled a convenient page of embedded mp3s here at ART! called KCHUNG Radio Archives, accessible on the sidebar to your right. This is a great page to bookmark for those long days in the studio. Among my personal favorites are a great interview with Rafa Esparza, a lively discussion with Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst at their home, a live radio play with Dorothy Hoover, an invocation of the power of ritual with the Oracle of Los Angeles, and of course, our inaugural episode, in which Mutant Salon cuts my hair in the studio while we play Xina Xurner tracks.

Like us on Facebook to get notified about new shows. The page here on ART! will also be updated whenever a new recording becomes available. Enjoy!

W.A.G.E. Launches W.A.G.E. Certification—an important step forward in the fight for fair compensation in the arts

Posted in noteworthy with tags , , on October 30, 2014 by Carol Cheh

W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) is a research and advocacy group dedicated to correcting the common assumption that it’s okay for nonprofit institutions to not pay exhibiting artists for their labor because their work will be rewarded with “exposure” and/or “prestige.” Founded in 2008 and incorporated as a nonprofit in 2012, W.A.G.E. has sought to educate and raise consciousness around economic inequity in the arts through giving speeches, making videos, holding open teach-ins and workshops, and “W.A.G.E. RAGING” in panel discussions and symposia around the world.

After several years of intensive research and dialogue, W.A.G.E. has now launched W.A.G.E. Certification, the first program to publicly recognize nonprofit arts organizations that demonstrate a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees. With its clearly defined, sector-wide, minimum payment standards, calculated according to an institution’s annual budget, W.A.G.E. Certification is designed to be a tool for systematically creating a more equitable playing field for all cultural producers.

There is a lot of work ahead, as the W.A.G.E. team prepares to move forward with their goal of negotiating with and subsequently certifying the thousands of nonprofit art institutions throughout the country. For that reason, they’ve launched a funding campaign to pay for their direct overhead costs and their own labor, which up until this point has largely been done on a volunteer basis. Their goal of $75,000 is modest when you consider the amount of work that has already gone into this project, and the extensive and real impact it could have on American artists’ income for a long time to come.

Donate today and show your support for the cause. Every little bit helps!

KISSME LO MAXIMO!, Corazon del Sol, Thea Boya, Colectivo KissMe and friends, Human Resources, July 3–6, 2014

Posted in noteworthy, photo essays, reviews and commentary, upcoming events on July 4, 2014 by Carol Cheh
Corazon del Sol and Margot Walsh welcome you to KISSME LO MAXIMO!

Corazon del Sol and Margot Walsh welcome you to KISSME LO MAXIMO!

If you’re around this Fourth of July weekend, you should stop by Human Resources and check out KISSME LO MAXIMO!, a groovalicious installation by LA artists Corazon del Sol, Thea Boya, and several very helpful friends, in collaboration with a group of Colombian artists calling themselves Colectivo KissMe. The installation is part of an ongoing project that examines and critiques the culture and politics surrounding the infamous KissMe Cali, a Colombian sex hotel. (Think amped-up Madonna Inn with rooms rentable by the hour.)

The Human Resources installation looks like a very glamorous South American rave. At the opening last night, people roamed around amidst video, sound and light installations; outrageous sculptures, wall hangings and found objects; a slide that dumps people onto a bed and a pile of giant cushions; pornos by Margie Schnibbe that you can’t see; and even a sex room (which as of 10:30 last night had not yet been utliized). There was also a live feed from the artists in Colombia. Fabulous hostesses del Sol, Boya and Margot Walsh got dolled up almost beyond recognition in what I was told was approved Colombian hostess regalia (tons of makeup, huge false eyelashes and revealing outfits) and gladly offered tours of the show.

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Allison Wyper launches La Zanja Madre Performances

Posted in noteworthy, upcoming events with tags , , on June 5, 2014 by Carol Cheh

Zanja Madre 006a

So… due to irreconcilable differences that emerged between Team CheLores and the de facto organizers of the Perform Chinatown event, Chloë and I will not be curating the event on July 26. Something will happen on that date, but it will have nothing to do with us.

Not to worry, this development is definitely a blessing, not a curse. We are currently in talks to partner with other entities to present a major performance event, on a timetable that works for us, with like-minded collaborators and with the resources we need in place. Please stay tuned for announcements on that front as things develop.

In the meantime, I want to present to you an excellent project from Allison Wyper, which we were originally going to feature in our proposed version of Perform Chinatown. La Zanja Madre Performances is emblematic of the thoughtfulness and deep intellectual and bodily engagement that we admire in performance work. Due to her own timing and collaboration needs, Allison is moving forward with the project this summer as she originally planned, and both Chloë and I are in full support. Please check it out!

Dorothy Hoover, The Hits Just Keep On Coming, PAM, March 14, 2014

Posted in noteworthy, reviews and commentary on March 18, 2014 by Carol Cheh

Dorothy Hoover at PAM 006a

Brian Getnick, artist and organizer extraordinaire, has opened an important new space for performance and it’s called PAM. From Getnick’s own announcement:

PAM is the name of a small modular blue theater in Highland Park.
PAM performances are the result of 2-week long residencies in which artists have unlimited access to the theater space.
This year PAM is showing artists who migrate between theater and performance art, who evoke the theater in their work as a fictive territory to both explore and abandon and who treat its elements (lights, architecture, curtains, actors…) as resonant objects to be examined and played with.
For each artist we are making a unique object that becomes a part of PAM (a curtain, chairs, an architectural detail here or there…). At the end of the residency artists are invited to take the curtain with them to use in subsequent performances, bringing PAM‘s portals out into the world.

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A series of exciting announcements

Posted in about this blog, noteworthy, upcoming events with tags , , , on February 23, 2014 by Carol Cheh

Big things are about to transpire at ART! Following two years of neglecting this blog while I pursued other interests, I am returning to it this year with passion and renewed commitment. Over the next few weeks I’ll be rolling out a series of exciting announcements related to the blog’s growth. ART! will soon be expanding to accommodate a greater variety of voices, coverage and material than ever before — which is how it was always meant to be.

For today, I’m just going to drop one teaser announcement that is tangentially related to this blog. Perform Chinatown, LA’s scrappy annual festival of performance art that’s been happening (and covered by this blog) since 2009, will be curated this year by none other than yours truly in partnership with the awesome Chloë Flores. I am super excited to take on this challenge with a friend whose work and vision I totally respect. We’ve already got a bunch of ideas brewing and look forward to conducting an epic series of studio visits as we attempt to put together one of the best Perform Chinatowns ever. Stay tuned for more details!!

And finally, don’t forget that the Performance Now radio show, hosted by myself and John Tain, is still going strong on KCHUNG Radio every third Sunday at 5pm. Check out our most recent show here, an in-depth interview with Rafa Esparza, who we think is one of the most important artists working in LA today.

Announcing “Performance Now” monthly show on KCHUNG Radio

Posted in noteworthy, upcoming events on August 19, 2013 by Carol Cheh
Mutant Salon comes to KCHUNG. Photo by Young Joon Kwak.

Mutant Salon comes to KCHUNG. Photo by Young Joon Kwak.

The two-hour performance discussion that I organized for KCHUNG Radio about a week ago generated a ton of energy and discussion in our local community. So much so that it became clear to me that regular forums are needed for people to talk about performance art in Los Angeles.

As an initial effort in that direction, I am very pleased to announce the launch of Performance Now, a new hourlong radio show that takes place every third Sunday of the month from 5 to 6pm PT on KCHUNG. The title is a bit of a nod to Perform! Now!, which was the original, and much better, name for Perform Chinatown. Hosted by myself and John Tain, the show will include a mix of discussions, interviews, and on-air performances.

Performance Now had a soft launch yesterday when we welcomed our first guests, Young Joon Kwak and Marvin Estorga, who together make up the musical/performance sensation Xina Xurner. The two also run the Mutant Salon, a site for beauty and miscellaneous convergences, out of Young Joon’s studio at USC. You can listen to the archive of our show, in which we spin some Xina Xurner tracks and talk about the two artists’ practices and the origins of the band, all while Marvin cuts my hair on the air—and does an amazing job of it, I might add.

Performance : Community Debrief

Posted in noteworthy on August 12, 2013 by Carol Cheh
Jamie McMurry and kids at Perform Chinatown. Photo: Christy Roberts.

Jamie McMurry and kids at Perform Chinatown. Photo: Christy Roberts.

Yesterday, I organized a panel discussion on recent performance art events for KCHUNG Radio. The participants were John Burtle, Dino Dinco, Jennifer Doyle, Dawn Kasper, Jamie McMurry, Oscar Santos, and John Tain, comprising a mix of artists, event organizers, writers, and scholars, all with a special interest in performance art. It was a dream team of performance commentators and our discussion ranged across a spectrum of topics, including the recent Perform Chinatown and Confusion Is Sex #3 events, the challenge of organizing large-scale site-specific performance events, who the audience is, the distinction between theater and performance art, masking and anonymity, how money changes things, and individual performance experiences both near and far.

You can now listen to an archive of the lively 2-hour discussion at the KCHUNG website. (The opening tracks, which we totally forgot to ID, are performance works by Renée van Trier, made especially for KCHUNG Radio.) I’m happy to say we got lots of highly engaged audience participation via text, chatwing, and Facebook. It’s clear that there is a strong interest in the community for these shared “debriefings,” and I am currently at work on making this a regular thing, so stay tuned!

2012 CCF Fellows in Visual Art Announced

Posted in noteworthy on July 26, 2012 by Carol Cheh

L to R: Nike Irvin (CCF VP of Programs); 2012 CCF Fellows Nick Kramer, Micol Hebron, Jody Zellen, Pascual Sisto, Emily Mast, Amitis Motevalli, Sherin Guirguis, Alan Nakagawa, Mark Steven Greenfield, Adam Overton, Heather Cassils, Fabian Debora, Shirley Tse, Olga Koumoundouros, and Yoshie Sakai; Michelle Moreno (CCF) and Leslie Ito (CCF Program Director of Arts & Health Care). Photo: Stephanie Keenan.

The 2012 California Community Foundation Fellowships for Visual Artists were announced on Tuesday night at a reception and ceremony hosted by Creative Artists Agency in Century City. Twelve mid-career and eight emerging artists were awarded cash grants of $20,000 and $15,000, respectively, plus opportunities for networking and professional development. The complete roster of fellows can be seen on the CCF website.

I did a write-up for this event which was originally going to appear in the LA Weekly. Unfortunately, the exhibition of the fellows’ work that was supposed to accompany the announcement got cancelled at the last minute due to unforeseen complications, and that also killed the LA Weekly’s interest in the story. CCF doesn’t know if it will mount an exhibition next year; they are weighing various options, including funding a catalog instead of a show.

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