T:BA:10 Interim Report


PICA's Time Based Art Festival 2010.

Interim Report

Sean Ongley

4 Days now in to the onslaught of contemporary art and performance, I hit the wall. I took Sunday #1 off. Of course, there is always Sunday #2, the final day, but really, its Saturday that brings it. I look at the performance schedule and realize, shoot, I've almost covered this! Ok, so, what have I seen? Lets do this chronologically.

Thursday: Opening Night at The Works. Japanther, plus all the exhibitions at Washington High School. I pretty much only scoped out The People's Biennial (I interviewed the curators on the air, click here) and enough of Japanther to feel good to go home. All of those galleries will be open through October 17th, and Kristan Kennedy will personally tour you at the very end of the exhibition period. Japanther V.S. Night Shade... fun...

Friday: Mike Daisey, "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs". Eye opening piece he presented, and if you're familiar with him, this doesn't surprise you. Most likely you're going for that experience. He doesn't disappoint. Mike Daisey is a shaman. He entrances you with storytelling, recounting bravado adventures in his self-mocking way, he constructs subtle perspectives in to concise statements often presented in crude language, relatable to every-man, sending you on your way with a new sense of belonging to the tragedy of man.

The Works, Charles Atlas/William Basinski, The Extreme Animals Sit Down. After the fascinating images of Atlas and Basinski projected against the wall and presented with beautiful sonic landscapes of the same folk, I wasn't too stoked on The Extreme Animals... so I skipped out. Bumped in to Ethan Rose. Check out his new choir in December, you might hear me in it...

Saturday: "Blanket", Noelle Stiles and Danielle Kelly. (I also interviewed them, which you can find here) This is a lovely piece. Just beautifully. Innocent, heartwarming, and Stiles does as she said she would do. Her contortion of form, innocent face, and playful steps imply a sort of psychic space-time, an awareness of the physics of being. Danielle's hanging quilt like pillows creating bizarre dreamy shapes are fun, and you can touch them! No staunch gallery setting here. Look for the tilt sensor pillows!

"Women Without Men", Shirin Neshat. So beautiful, so emotional, just fantastic. Visual artist turns film director. Its intensity comes without grotesqueness, but the tragedy of belief, social and religious ideology, the abuse of women, very beautifully laid out in a kind of mysterious anti-narrative. Must see...

"Cedric Andrieux", Jerome Bel. Okay, so I only went to this because I didn't have time to go anywhere else. The movie let out and the closest venue was Winningstad. But what a pleasant surprise! I thought it would be dance geek city, but actually it was quite entertaining for anyone. Cedric is the dancer who takes you on a 20 year period of learning contemporary dance. In a funny narrative, you learn about the development of contemporary dance and observe some wonderful pieces, isolated in his personal way. I'm glad I went.

The Works, "Ten Tiny Dances" curated by Mike Barber. This is always a sell-out performance. There is something about this event that draws everyone to The Works, every time. Its so accessible, so clever, so fun, so dynamic. This one in particular was the most true to the form. If you don't know, every choreographer is asked to prepare a piece to be performed on a 4' x 4' stage. They can utilize multimedia and play with bordering space aisles. Its a gas, man. 

Sunday: Took the day off. Stuff to do in St. Johns.

Well, I'm looking forward to The Wooster Group, Gare St. Lazare Players' Samuel Beckett trilogy, the next Mike Daisey, catching more installations at The Works, Woolly Mammoth Comes to Dinner, Maria Hassabi, and much more. Check out pica.org for program information. 




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