Posts tagged theater
Reports from a Strange Democracy: Guillermo Gómez-Peña by Audrey Chan
Guillermo Gómez-Peña's performances—audacious spectacles inspired by religious ritual, S&M culture, experimental theater, and pop culture—release buried racist thoughts and investigate psychic wounds. In a career that has spanned NAFTA, 9/11, and the emergence of post-9/11 America, he continues to steadfastly mine the incendiary arena of confrontation and catharsis.
Not a Condition But a Process by Thomas Lawson
The phenomenon of contemporary art seems to be thriving, on a global scale unimaginable 20 years ago. But under that veneer of success there lurks a suspicion that something is missing, a vital connection to the everyday matters of life and death. It is very apparent that, despite widespread anger that we are waging war in Iraq, we are not reliving 1968, when artists sought to express their outrage at the war in Vietnam by claiming the role of conscience. That moment itself may be ridiculed as a period of neo-avant-gardism, a pale reflection of the genuine article, the heroic revulsion from the very idea of art expressed by the Dadaists in 1917. But the generation of '68 clearly sought to lay out new conditions for the meaning and reception of art. Boundaries were tested. The idea of relevance was given urgency. Today, in this seemingly a-historical moment in which nakedly expressed will is seen to trump process and persuasion, the practice of art seems strangely un-moored and artists randomly ransack the past for pieces of formal gold to entice what seems to be an ever expanding market.
Kalifornienträumen: Bertolt Brecht’s Los Angeles Poems and Other Sunstruck Germanic Specters by Quinn Latimer
Los Angeles has long been an urban dialectic par excellence, with its discordant melodies and apparent contradictions; its extreme polarities of nature, of culture, of economics, of politics. The metaphors come easily—the tropical flower abloom in a desert basin, the city of illusions, etc.—and Bertolt Brecht employed them acidly and exactingly in the poems he wrote during his LA exile in the 1940s.
Play Anything You Want: Mark Allen and George Herms in Conversation
George Herms has been making art and theater in California for over five decades. He was a founder of the West Coast assemblage movement and traveled in the circles of Beatnik poets and Wallace Berman’s Semina group. Mark Allen founded Machine Project, a nonprofit storefront in Los Angeles's Echo Park neighborhood, in 2003. Machine Project operates as a classroom, laboratory, performance venue and gallery, blurring distinctions between learning and teaching, amateur and expert, and various forms of artistic and scientific creativity. East of Borneo brought Allen and Herms together because of their impact in shaping the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, and their shared interest in questioning what it means to be an artist.