Check Out Alissa Walker’s Guide to the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival
We’re halfway there, folks! This is the midway mark in your Pacific Standard Time marathon. Some shows are closing, others have been graciously extended, and a whole new crop of exhibitions are about to open. Why not take a breather and hit the art outside gallery walls? Starting today, thePacific Standard Time Festival will stage public and performance art across the city. Your host, Alissa Walker, has surveyed the lineup near and far. Here’s what to see (and experience) from January 19 to January 29.
Watch Art Disappear: In 1968, Judy Chicago mounted a mysterious public art installation with the help of Lloyd Hamrol and Eric Orr that used blocks of dry ice to shroud the Joseph Magnin department store in a diaphanous fog. On Thursday January 19, Disappearing Environments will be recreated and reinterpreted at the Barker Hanger. And there’s no L.A. organization better suited to assist Chicago than the design laboratory Materials & Applications, who will oversee the installation of 25 tons of dry ice, as well as the illumination of the piece using road flares on Thursday night at 5:45pm. Then, over the next few days, watch the piece evaporate into thin air.
Rock the Black Box: Because the festival doesn’t stop at sundown, head to Liz Glynn’s Black Box each night from 8:00pm to 2:00 am. Like a speakeasy custom-designed for the PST set, here you’ll be able to recap the day’s performances with fellow art goers, and witness exclusive surprise programming curated by Glynn each night. With a cocktail in your hand, of course. Stop by 830 North Highland Avenue, in Hollywood, any night from January 19 to 29. It’s free, with no RSVP required.
Mark the Passage of Time: On Friday night, January 20 at 7:00pm, the festival kicks off at The Getty, with a performance installation by Hirokazu Kosaka on the museum’s plaza. Kalpa, or “period of time” in Sanskrit, is based on the belief that every 100 years, an angel alights on a earth-bound stone and rubs the surface with her sleeves until the rock disappears. Kosaka will be using hundreds of spools of thread, a collective of dancers and musicians including composer Yuval Ron and harmonica player Tetsuya Nakamura, plus an installation designed by architect Michael Rotundi to illustrate the way time weaves through our memories. Free, but RSVPs are required.
Protest with Artists: Long before Occupy LA took up residence on City Hall, the Artists’ Tower of Protest established a new way for artists to express their opposition to the country’s policies. First erected in 1966 as a six-story installation at the corner of Sunset and La Cienega, the “peace tower,” as it was known, was the first large-scale artist-led protest of the Vietnam War. This week, the tower will rise again, curated by LAXART’s Cesar Garcia in cooperation with Mark di Suvero, the original sculptor. Visit the empty lot at Sunset and Hilldale in West Hollywood anytime to check on the installation’s progress.
See an Homage to Asco: If you caught Asco: Elite of the Obscure at LACMA, you know about the vibrant, radical performance art that the Chicano collective paraded through the East L.A. streets during the 1970s and ’80s. To commemorate one of Asco’s earliest performances, Walking Mural, Asco artist Willie F. Herrón has returned the “mural” to the wall with the artwork East of No-West in an alley behind a bakery in City Terrace. See it, and other murals, as part of the Mural Remix Tour II on Saturday, January 21.
Build the Spine of the Earth: In 1980, Lita Albuquerque’s Spine of the Earth created a massive land art installation in a dry lake bed in the Mojave Desert. In the original installation, participants drew sweeping red, yellow and black forms over 600 feet wide on the desert floor, in a work that could only be seen from a helicopter or plane. On Sunday, January 22, Albuquerque is re-imagining her work at the Baldwin Scenic Overlook but she needs your help—those geometric forms can’t draw themselves! Over 500 people are needed to create the piece. Arrive by 11:30am and prepare yourself for breathtaking views and a new way of seeing of L.A.
Find Art Where You Park: As if to prove that art is truly everywhere, a group of artists has occupied some of the most valuable rectangles of real estate in Los Angeles. Art in the Parking Space, a year-long project by Warren Neidich and Elena Bajo, transforms parking space into performance space, with temporary installations staged everywhere from parking lots to driveways. On Tuesday, January 24, the Standard Hotel in West Hollywood hosts a series of parking space installations starting at 7:00pm. I couldn’t think of an event where it would be more appropriate to take the bus—one less car means one more artwork, right?
Stand Up for the Silenced: Each morning for three weeks in 1977, a map at L.A.’s City Hall was marked with the location of a rape which had occurred the day before. This was Suzanne Lacy’s Three Weeks in May, a groundbreaking installation for 1977—a time when rape was still not publicly discussed, and women reporting sexual assaults were subject to character defamation. Much has changed over the last 34 years, but sadly, violence against women remains a pervasive and vastly underreported crime. Last week, Lacy re-installed her map, this time outside the LAPD Headquarters facing City Hall, as Three Weeks in January. Throughout the three weeks, the map will bear witness to reported sexual assaults, and events will be held throughout the city to raise awareness for the movement to end rape. On Friday, January 27, be part of a special candlelight vigil at the map from 5:00 to 8:00pm that will bring together activists and lawmakers in a united voice for change.
Join the Tea Party (not that kind): When the provocatively named Vaginal Davis hosts a tea party, you know you’re not in for the standard sandwiches-with-the-crusts-cut-off affair. Davis’s new site-specific piece My Pussy is Still in Los Angeles (I Only Live in Berlin) will feature readings and reflections on the gay and and transgender contributions to the performance art scene. Set in the gorgeous Art Deco environs of the original Bullocks Department Store on Wilshire, the afternoon will include a tea reception and a numbered artist’s book. That’s Sunday, January 29 from 1:00 to 3:30pm, and I’d venture to say you should wear your finest.
Liz Glynn, Black Box, 2012, courtesy of the artist