Archive for Niki de Saint Phalle

Distant Lands, Blowups, Quiet Whispers: the First Five Days of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival

Posted in reviews and commentary, video footage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2012 by Carol Cheh

The first five days of the jam-packed Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival have passed, and I’ve survived, albeit barely. Since Thursday, it seems like I’ve spent a lot of time driving to the farthest reaches of Greater Los Angeles to watch stuff get blown up, lit up, and shot at. Crowd-pleasing spectacles have definitely dominated the game.

On Saturday, hundreds of people came out to Pomona College to see a trio of “performances” (the pieces by Judy Chicago and James Turrell would be more accurately described as temporary public art installations) that took place at strategic locations on campus. They were all nice, although not exactly mind-blowing. I didn’t quite see what was so nifty about John White’s Preparation F, which made a spectacle out of college football players getting dressed and scrimmaging; modern dance works have done this sort of thing better. Chicago’s ejaculatory fireworks in A Butterfly for Pomona were certainly entertaining, and Turrell’s Burning Bridges was a nostalgic and humorous evocation of his then-developing interest in light and the framing of environments. The most remarkable thing about the whole event, however, was seeing so many people turn out for performance—the most I’ve ever seen in one sitting.

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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.

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