Posts tagged performance
Artists at Work: Wadada Leo Smith by Anthony Elms
Trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith describes what he makes as creative music, an expansive description of the process, rather than jazz, a limiting and genre-specific term; the at-times chamber feel of his music alongside the broad range of tonal coloration in his compositions, and the instrumental complexity of his ensembles, clearly evidence why. Ankhrasmation is Smith’s solution for merging improvisation and composing. The word is a combination of “Ankh,” the Egyptian symbol for life, “Ras,” the Ethiopian word for leader, and “Ma,” a term for mother.
Constellations Are Totally Imaginary Things by Claudia La Rocco
When you type “Chris Burden” into Google Images there are no pictures of him smiling. When you type “Chris Burden smiling,” nothing much changes. I mean, there are a few shots. The mechanical gesture doesn’t ever, as far as I can tell, reach past half-face to the eyes. Of course, nobody except a writer doing weird things with Google cares if a man doesn’t smile. It is, as they say, a non-starter.
Mike Kelley’s Multiplicity by David Mather
Mike Kelley took the 19th-century German notion of Gesamtkuntswerk and made it flourish in the Rust Belt soil of late 20th-century America. His phantasmagorical performances and multifarious installations were subversive, scholarly, and ingenious, deploying a set of compositional strategies that can be understood as an epic iteration of Kelley's reliance on multiple authorial voices.
Artists at Work: Gerard & Kelly by Natilee Harren
Since 2003, Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly (as Gerard & Kelly) have worked at the juncture of dance, text, and visual art. Their conceptually-based “choreographic scores" nimbly engage topics such as collective and individual memory, time, gender and sexuality, queer subjectivity, and dyadic relationships.
Artists at Work: Wu Tsang by Carol Cheh
Born in Massachusetts in 1982, Wu Tsang graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was involved with the local underground scenes in that city before moving to Los Angeles in 2005. Two years later, he moved to the MacArthur Park neighborhood just west of downtown and lived near the Silver Platter, a historic Latino bar for the LGBT community. Inspired by the thriving scene there, Tsang and his friends (Ashland Mines [aka Total Freedom] and NGUZUNGUZU [Daniel Pineda and Asma Maroof]) organized a weekly party at the bar featuring dancing and performances and called it Wildness. The intersection of subcultures that ensued became the subject of a fanciful documentary film of the same name, released in 2012, which is now his best-known work.
Ceremony of Us by Robby Herbst
In 1969, the Mark Taper Forum was the location for the Los Angeles Festival of Performing Arts's most unique offering: a movement experiment between Studio Watts and celebrated choreographer Anna Halprin's San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop. The piece they created, Ceremony of Us, set itself the goal of making a dance happening of a healing encounter between conflicting races.
In the Valley with Jeffrey Vallance by Damon Willick
Jeffrey Vallance lives in Canoga Park, not far from where he grew up. He has spent much of his life in these parts and has been described by Dave Hickey as the Valley’s Herodotus and its Candide. As Hickey writes: “For him, the Valley, and the Valley world that spreads beyond it, is the domain of real fakes and fake realities, with no center, no edges, no top, no bottom, and no direction—a tattered sphere of overlapping neighborhoods and floating islands, where everything is interconnected, always interconnected, everywhere."