Archive for Peformance in Pomona

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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