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Pacific Standard Time announces eleven-day performance and Public Art Festival
Spine of the Earth, 1980, Lita Albuquerque. Powdered pigment, rock, wooden rings. Ephemeral installation at El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, CA. Photo by Lita Albuquerque. © Lita Albuquerque Studio.
LOS ANGELES, CA.- The art of Pacific Standard Time heads into the streets, clubs and public spaces of Southern California from January 19 through 29, 2012, during a special Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival. This 11-day celebration will feature more than 30 extraordinary performances—including contemporary re-enactments of iconic works by artists such as Judy Chicago, Suzanne Lacy, Robert Wilhite and James Turrell—and interventions both large and small in the public sphere. Organized by the Getty Research Institute and LAXART, and supported by grants from the Getty Foundation in conjunction with the ongoing Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 initiative, the Performance and Public Art Festival will reexamine, reinvent, reinterpret and renew an epochal movement in contemporary art for which Los Angeles has been an epicenter.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Los Angeles became one of the birthplaces of international performance art, with artists such as Eleanor Antin, Chris Burden, Suzanne Lacy, Allan Kaprow, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy and Barbara T. Smith creating pioneering work. The younger generation of Los Angeles artists taking part in the festival is living proof that this legacy continues to be a major source of inspiration in Los Angeles. In keeping with the inclusive vision of Pacific Standard Time, the festival features works by well-known and emerging artists in several different categories that reflect Los Angeles’s artistic diversity—experimental music and theater, social and political interventions, outdoor visual spectacles, media art, and underground performances.

Organized by Glenn Phillips of the Getty Research Institute and Lauri Firstenberg of LAXART, the festival complements the rich historical survey of Los Angeles performance art currently showing in numerous Pacific Standard Time exhibitions such as Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983 at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and Collaboration Labs: Southern California Artists and the Artist Space Movement at 18th Street Arts Center.

“Diverse audiences will be able to experience an amazing array of performances and public art works, all condensed into one very intense 11-day festival,” explained Glenn Phillips. “By revisiting works of art that loom large in our memory but existed only briefly in fleeting moments of performance and installation, the Performance and Public Art Festival is a perfect complement to the larger effort of Pacific Standard Time, which chronicles and explores Los Angeles art in all its dimensions.”

“The festival offers people an amazing opportunity to discover and experience art in new ways, from outdoor spectacles to intimate performances,” said Lauri Firstenberg. “Many of the artists represented in the festival also have works on the walls and in the galleries at participating Pacific Standard Time museum exhibitions, further enriching people’s understanding of art during this period and how it relates to us in the present.”

Adding a daily element of surprise to the festival, Los Angeles artist Liz Glynn will organize Black Box, a nightly series of festival after-parties in Hollywood, where visitors will be able to socialize and witness unannounced performances by artists both famous and emerging.

A complete festival schedule and detailed event descriptions are available on the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival website (pacificstandardtimefestival.org). Below are a few examples from the diverse festival program of performances by artists whose works are also included in ongoing Pacific Standard Time exhibitions:

• On January 20 at 7pm at the Getty Center, Hirokazu Kosaka will transform the Getty’s Arrival Plaza into a major sculptural and performative installation entitled Kalpa, a new site-specific commission that completely immerses visitors in a theatrical experience. Named after the Sanskrit word for eon, Kosaka builds a symbolic parallel between Kalpa and the inevitable long passage of time that slowly transforms our lives, our histories and our memories.

• On January 21, Pomona College Museum of Art will stage three performances keyed to It Happened at Pomona, a Pacific Standard Time exhibition in three parts surveying pivotal moments in the art college’s history. In Preparation F, John White will restage his 1971 performance piece exploring issues of masculinity and gender. In a staged setting, a football team enters, changes from street clothes to football uniforms and scrimmages in the gallery. In the second performance, Judy Chicago will perform A Butterfly for Pomona, a new pyrotechnic performance inspired by her 1970 Atmosphere environmental performance at Pomona College, in which she used flares and commercial fireworks to soften and feminize the environment. And finally, James Turrell will recreate his 1971 performance Burning Bridges, a visual spectacle utilizing highway flares. Turrell, famous for his experiments with Light and Space art, will light flares to bring an immediate and brilliant orange glow to the surroundings and envelop the scene in smoke.

• On January 22, Pasadena-based artist Richard Jackson will mount Accidents in Abstract Painting, his previously unfulfilled dream performance in which he crashes a remote-controlled, large-scale model airplane filled with paint into a wall that reads “Accidents in Abstract Painting.” For Jackson, this act makes an ironic comment on Action Painting and the concept of chance so prominent in abstract painting.

• Suzanne Lacy’s Three Weeks in January marks a reconceptualization of Lacy’s important work from 1977, Three Weeks in May, which raised public awareness of violence against women and is included in Doin’ It in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building at the Otis College of Art and Design. Working with scores of collaborators and including a number of related events, Lacy revisits her original work to consider where Los Angeles is 30 years into the anti-rape movement and how we can end violence against women.

• The artist William Leavitt will premiere his never-before produced play from 1979 titled, The Particles (Of White Naugahyde), with multiple performances at The Annex (January 26, 27 and February 2, 3). The play is framed as a sit-com, in which a family auditions for a place in a NASA program that would send them to a planned space colony. The family is then instructed to live in a security-free community at the edge of the desert with other aspiring applicants for a two-week period, resulting in anxiety and anti-social behavior among the participants.

• On January 27, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA will present Special Members Concert: Punk Rock, an exclusive concert with three seminal punk rock bands — X, The Dead Kennedys and The Avengers — that continue to shape California’s music scene. California’s punk culture is represented in MOCA’s exhibition Under the Big Black Sun through the photography of Bruce Conner, concert flyers for Black Flag by Raymond Pettibon, and other works that reference the relationship between art and music of the period.

• The Ball of Artists, a private event at the historic Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills on January 28, turns the attention back to Los Angeles’ present cultural dynamics through 30 commissioned art projects, including site-specific installations and individual performances by Drew Heitzler, Mungo Thomson, Shana Lutker, Justin Beal, David Lamelas, Charles Gaines, and other contemporary artists.

• The festival will culminate in two closing events on January 29. At the Hammer Museum, Eleanor Antin will direct a restaging of her historic piece Before the Revolution, which raises controversial issues of racial and gender politics. The performance will put on display Antin’s alter-ego, the black Russian ballerina Eleanora Antinova. Also on the closing day, the Eagle Rock’s Welcome Inn will be transformed into a venue for Welcome Inn Time Machine, a free, six-hour event featuring experimental music originating in Southern California. Organized by the Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound, the “micro concerts” will take place in individual motel rooms, allowing key moments in sound and music history to be experienced simultaneously and sequentially. Among the 11 works presented will be Bruce Nauman’s Violin Tuned D.E.A.D., Pauline Oliveros’s Sonic Meditations, LAFMS’s Pyramid Headphones, and James Tenney’s Postal Pieces.



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