ForYourArt at 6020 Wilshire Blvd.: Paul Pescador Performance

Posted on: June 6th, 2012

Paul Pescador’s Situating

ForYourArt at 6020 Wilshire Blvd.
Saturday, June 9 | 12-10pm

On Saturday June 9th from 12-10pm at ForYourArt at 6020 Wilshire Blvd., Paul Pescador will perform Situating, a solo, ten hour performance in which he alone will reenact moments from four previous events–re-staging each of them in chronological order using previous performances as a basis. During the event, Pescador will also screen his four-part film Situating; each part will screen once during the event:

Part 1: Situating Ourselves with Them- 2pm
Part 2: Crying over Spilled Milk- 4pm
Part 3: My body Lies over the Ocean- 6pm
Part 4: What Have I Done to Deserve This- 8pm

At the present moment: In anticipation of Paul Pescador’s Situating

by Melinda Guillen

It is a morning like many others and a setting that is all but too familiar. Over the last three years I’ve spent living in Los Angeles, Paul Pescador and I have met frequently over coffee for a casual exchange of graduate school stories, gossip, and discussion of our current projects. During this time, I have come to know the performance aspect of Paul’s practice (which also includes filmmaking, installation, photography, and arts organizing) as an exploration of the banal or perhaps more accurately, a recontextualization of small, social gestures, often employing methods of endurance and collaboration. On this particular morning, Pescador describes to me the conceptual and logistical elements of Situating, his upcoming Saturday, June 10th performance at the new ForYourArt space on Wilshire Boulevard. As he delves into specifics of the performance while flipping through hundreds of images on his computer screen, I become slightly distracted by a small flicker in my mind’s eye from a past conversation, a low light buried deep in my memory from a moment long since passed. Fragments come to mind. Summer. Maybe late spring? It must have been summer. I think Paul was beginning his thesis research prior to the start of his third year as an MFA candidate at the University of California, Irvine. He was throwing around some rough ideas about how to incorporate elements of his previous work and his organizing endeavors as one of the directors of the Lincoln Heights project space, Workspace, into a new series of work for his thesis show. I remember that he expressed the desire to involve, in some capacity, all of his recent collaborators and friends from a pool of emerging artists, writers and curators. “Like a sum of all my parts,” he stated. The simple poetic signified his then-near obsession with attempting to account for all the influence of his community of friends, colleagues and collaborators on his work has remained with me, despite the gradual fading of all other details from that particular exchange.

But back to the present moment. He continues describing the work explaining that the 10-hour duration of Situating is the total combined amount of time of all four previous projects that will be materially and conceptually referenced: Situating Ourselves with Them (May 2010), Crying Over Spilled Milk (October 2010), My body lies over the ocean. My lies over the sea (January 2011), and What have I done to deserve this (October 2011). But I also begin to think about the time in which this project comes along in his life. Situating is at a significant reflective moment, synchronous with Pescador’s recent completion of his MFA and just a few months after closing the doors of Workspace for an indefinite hiatus period. In this sense, the project will be both a capstone of performances from the last two years and also, an entirely new work with notable differentiations from the material and performative oeuvre that many have come to know from Pescador. Participants will experience the space filled with objects – ephemera, performance material and documentation of previous work- reconfigured periodically throughout the entire duration of the piece. Additionally, at two-hour intervals, Pescador, in an unprecedented active performative mode, will present films that reflect on his subjective recollection of performances passed. This will inevitably evoke memories for those in attendance of the referenced works while also creating new mediated experiences for those that are being exposed to them for the first time.

Conceptually, Situating will employ the use of time in relation to memory, complicated by Pescador’s attempt to create recitations of his previous projects while simultaneously drawing attention to the dynamics of the space as the performance occurs. This multifarious collapsing of time will demonstrate the fragmentation of the artist’s memory, the problematic process of retelling and the authoritative assertion of foregrounding his subjectivity in representing work. As a friend and attendee of three of the four revisited performances, I look forward to the possibility of an alignment in our recollections of past work but am intrigued by the inevitability of gaps and variation from my experience, his and from those in attendance. It appears to me that Paul Pescador no longer feels compelled to present a complete sum of all of his parts and is instead; ready to work with fragmentation and reconfigure what he can remember. The rest is up to us.