Archive for the noteworthy Category

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.

Continue reading

Places to Check Out, Things to Do

Posted in noteworthy, upcoming events with tags , , , on May 3, 2012 by Carol Cheh

Hot off the presses today is my long LA Weekly feature article, 25 Alternative Art Spaces to Check Out Now. (The Weekly has even helpfully provided a Google map.) This is a list of the more “underground” spaces that I like to frequent to see current work. Even though there are 25 spaces listed, it is still by no means comprehensive, and of course subject to my own personal tastes, preferences, and ability to remember the dozens and dozens of places I tend to visit. I await the volumes of hate mail complaints from places that I left out. Such is the writing life!

This coming weekend is also a really big one for performance. Starting tonight, two Paris-based artists will present Felix Goes to Hollywood at Human Resources, a lecture/performance inspired by the work of theorist Felix Guattari.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons, you can pop in on Emily Lacy’s Corpor, one of the final events to be held in Machine Project’s Transdimensional Hallway. Also spanning the weekend with performances is Andrew Berardini and Dave Muller’s Three Day Weekend at Public Fiction, capped by She’s Not There, the opening reception on Friday night. Also on Friday night, be sure to stop in and support Signify Sanctify Believe’s Spiritual Fundrager, a massive festival of enlightened activities held to finance a planned holy pilgrimage.

Image courtesy of Danielle Adair

On Saturday night, I’m excited to see one of my favorite artists, Danielle Adair, presenting new work at Monte Vista Projects, which has been truly jammin’ lately with awesome events.

Sunday you can recover from it all but still get an IV feed of good art/performance, and at the same time support an organization that really needs your help right now, by tuning in to the Art21 Telethon. Two New York artists that I’ve recently been super impressed by, Debo Eilers and Georgia Sagri, will be hosting.

Peace out Los Angeles!

Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival Launches Tonight!

Posted in noteworthy, upcoming events with tags , , , on January 19, 2012 by Carol Cheh

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.

Continue reading

An Artist Speaks Out About the MOCA Gala

Posted in noteworthy on November 21, 2011 by Carol Cheh

This morning I decided to take down my post on the recent MOCA Gala. Basically, I concluded that commenting on Twitpics and gossip rag accounts was bullshit and a waste of space. I’ll never know how I would have felt if I had actually attended the gala – whether I would have been moved by Abramović’s actions, or thought they were stupid, or something in between – and that’s just the way it is.

I am happy, however, to see that Carrie McIlwain, one of the artists who participated in the gala, has stepped forward and provided a thoughtful, detailed account of her experiences, via Geoff Tuck’s Notes on Looking blog. This is a huge breath of fresh air after the deluge of shallow, celebrity-oriented coverage from the mainstream media. McIlwain is also brave enough to cut through a lot of the bullshit behind Yvonne Rainer’s protest.

Some highlights:

“Having experienced sexual harassment and emotional and physical abuse in more than one art studio work place, I took Rainer’s allegations very seriously, wondering if my history of abuse from employers made it impossible for me to recognize the conditions that foster abuse. Ultimately I concluded that a group of educated, willing performers do not need to be spoken for; we need to be spoken with.”

“Though I did not recognize any of the people dining at my table, I commend them now for the respectful and intelligent art patrons they revealed themselves to be. Callousness can come from any class, but I truly believe it is important to offer people the opportunity to reveal their nature.”

“If the aim of Rainer’s critique sought to discredit the museum system of funding it was sloppy and hollow. In the end it was an attack on the proposed work of a single artist.”

Although McIlwain had a positive experience at her table, she does not discount the fact that others did not have such a great time with their guests, and gives substantial air time to their stories as well. Throughout, her commentary is clear, well-reasoned, and most important, free of the hysteria and sometimes ungrounded rhetoric that was generated by the pre-gala “scandal.”

ADDENDUM: I’ve now been made aware of this very earnest tale from E.J.Hill, this deliciously bitchy account from Dorian Wood, and this full-blown Facebook pow-wow started by Macklin Kowal.

Sprechen Sie Hi Fashion?

Posted in noteworthy, video footage on August 22, 2011 by Carol Cheh

I’m on a writing deadline but I can’t stop watching these videos. The latest uploads are footage from Hi Fashion’s EP release party, which happened at Mustache Mondays nearly a month ago (and that I missed due to the fact that my friends and I are officially too old for shows that begin at midnight).

I can’t get over how AH-MAZ-ING these guys are—and continue to be, in spite of the tragic loss of the brilliant “$9.99” price tag from their name (boo!). You can download their new EP on iTunes.