PICA's TBA Fest 2012 Schedule Released
September 6–16 At the New Location
September marks the exciting tenth anniversary of Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival, and the first curated by Artistic Director Angela Mattox. Happening September 6–16, 2012, TBA is a convergence of contemporary performance and visual art in Portland, Oregon. The Festival presents dozens of emerging talents and legacy a 2000 rtists from around the world, and particularly champions those individuals who challenge traditional forms and work across mediums. TBA activates the city landscape with projects that bring artists and audiences into close proximity. Itinerant programs fill warehouses, theaters, and city streets with exhibits and performances, while a full schedule of workshops, talks, and late-night socializing offers outlets for the crowds to cross and mingle.
“As a curator, I love when mediums and styles collide,” says Mattox, “and the projects in this year’s Festival are firmly interdisciplinary, often moving between theater, video, movement, and music in a single piece. It is a reflection of current artist practices and of our own desire to have audiences move fluidly between these experiences.” But it is not just the profusion of forms that makes TBA such a uniquely contemporary platform; the Festival also focuses on presenting work that directly addresses the complexity of our current moment. TBA reflects on what it means to be human in today’s times, while also celebrating the creativity and imagination with which artists respond to our circumstances.
The performances this fall reflect both epic themes of democracy, community, and freedom of speech, as well as deeply personal issues around identity, home, and exile. Among the many ideas carried between works in the Festival, there is a strong through-line that looks at art as a mode for social and political activism. Keith Hennessy, Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, and Laurie Anderson all present bold new projects that are informed by historical legacy and significant contemporary events. Mattox affirms that, “Art has an important role in advancing culture and reflecting our aspirations for society; TBA supports those artists making an impact in their communities with their work.”
“Given that TBA:12 is our tenth anniversary, I thought deeply about which artists PICA should present,” Mattox remarks. “I wanted to support a few alumni artists, whose work continues to challenge and inspire new audiences, but I also wanted to make sure to introduce new practitioners to Portland and build audiences for a new generation of artists.” PICA is committed to supporting artists over the arc of their professional trajectories by inviting audiences to deeply engage with their work and follow their careers as they develop. To that end, TBA welcomes back legacy artists including Laurie Anderson, Faustin Linyekula, Gob Squad, and Miguel Gutierrez, while presenting the first local engagements by Big Art Group, chelftisch, Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, and Nora Chipaumire.
Between these and other artists, the projects in this year’s Festival hail from Mexico, Japan, Croatia and Serbia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, Zimbabwe, and across the US. “TBA is a unique platform for a diversity of practices and perspectives to thrive,” explains Mattox, “and I want to place Portland in a larger international cultural conversation.” These projects all introduce our local community to the richness of work being created around the globe, while also speaking to local concerns and realities. According to Mattox: “We like to say that TBA is a globally minded festival that is firmly grounded in Portland—the artists may live around the world, but their projects are only realized through the participation of Portland’s artists and audiences.”
Embodying this approach, TBA:12 features several projects that directly connect with locals in the very process of their creation. Big Art Group’s The People—Portland and Keith Hennessy’s Turbulence (a dance about the economy) will both be developed through residencies here in town this spring, and Ant Hampton & Tim Etchell’s The Quiet Volume—a site-specific performance in a public library—is only realized through the direct involvement of its two-person audience. These artists have thoughtfully re-considered the relationships between their art and its audiences; their works are emblematic of TBA as a Festival that reframes our daily experiences through the lens of today’s boldest artistic talents.
BIG ART GROUP, THE PEOPLE—PORTLAND THEATER/VIDEO, US (SEPT 6–8)
With their unmistakable brand of transgressive internet-age aesthetics, Big Art Group broaches themes of democracy, justice, and community in an outdoor spectacle of theater and large-scale video projection. Blending real-time film, live actors, and a video “chorus” of interviews with a cross-section of Portlanders, The People—Portland forms a census of the city at this moment and pushes the formal boundaries of theater and film.
ANT HAMPTON & TIM ETCHELLS, THE QUIET VOLUME
THEATER, UK [US PREMIER] (SEPT 6–16)
A self-generated 'automatic' performance for two at a time, exploring the strange magic at the heart of reading. Taking cues from words both written and whispered through headphones, the two audience members/participants follow an unlikely path through a pile of books, as outlined by “autoteatro” pioneer Ant Hampton, and artist/writer Tim Etchells.
LAGARTIJAS TIRADAS AL SOL, EL RUMOR DEL INCENDIO (SEPT 7-9)
ASALTO AL AGUA TRANSPARENTE (SEPT 10–12)
THEATER, MEXICO [US PREMIER]
The young Mexican theater collective presents two politically-charged performances at TBA, blending documentary and drama. In El Rumor del Incendio, the company explores the history of their radical revolutionary forebears in 60s Mexico, reigniting the social critiques of an earlier generation. Asalto al Agua Transparente goes back even further in history, exploring the stark water issues of Lake Texcoco from the Aztec founding of Tenochitlan to the modern day Meixco-city.
MIGUEL GUTIERREZ, HEAVENS WHAT HAVE I DONE
DANCE, US (SEPT 7–9)
One of the most provocative choreographers of the New York scene, Gutierrez weaves a rambling and comic monologue that unspools into a bold and ferocious dance. Set to music sung by renowned soprano Cecilia Bartoli, HEAVENS WHAT HAVE I DONE exposes the high personal stakes of artistic practice.
NORA CHIPAUMIRE, MIRIAM
DANCE, ZIMBABWE/US [WORLD PREMIER] (SEPT 7–8)
In MIRIAM, Zimbabwe-born, New York-based choreographer Nora Chipaumire creates a deeply personal dance featuring herself and dancer Okwui Okpokwasili. Taking her name from the mother of Jesus; the sister of Aaron and Moses; and the South African singer, activist, and icon Miriam Makeba, MIRIAM explores the tensions that women face between public expectations and private desires and the perfection and sacrifice of the feminine ideal.
ANDREW DICKSON, LIFE COACH
PERFORMANCE, US (SEPT 8–9, 15–16)
After sharing his secrets to eBay success and “selling out,” Andrew Dickson returns to TBA to offer hour-long life coaching sessions to select festival-goers. In a break from traditional coaching, an audience will 2000 be invited to observe, offer support, and reflect on their own journey while the one-on-one dialogue happens on stage.
KOTA YAMAZAKI/FLUID HUG-HUG, (GLOWING)
DANCE, JAPAN (SEPT 9)
Famed butoh choreographer Kota Yamazaki has collaborated with six dancers from Japan, Senegal, Ethiopia, and the US on a new performance that blends traditional and avant-garde forms from across cultures. The work evokes classical Japanese aesthetics and the subtle interplay of light and shadow, as inspired by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki's famous essay "In Praise of Shadows.”
PERFORATIONS: NEW PERFORMANCE FROM THE BALKANS
PERFORMANCE, CROATIA/SERBIA (SEPT 10–11)
Zvonimir Dubrović, founder of Perforacije and Queer Zagreb Festivals, has selected an evening of site-speciﬁc performance art from some Croatia and Serbia’s most provocative young artists. Writer and multimedia artist Biljana Kosmogina, performer Petra, and experimental music duo East Rodeo explore the contemporary issues of Balkan life and reveal the latest generation of artists from the region.
KEITH HENNESSY, TURBULENCE (A DANCE ABOUT THE ECONOMY)
DANCE, US [WORLD PREMIER] (SEPT 12–15)
Bay Area choreographer Keith Hennessy gathers an international ensemble cast to respond to the global economic crisis at the level of the dancing body. The work evolves through improvisation and collaboration; in Portland, a group of guest artists will join and de-stabilize the performance, offering new movements, images, and strategies that explore failure as practice, crisis as movement, and queer as tactic.
SAM GREEN & YO LA TENGO, THE LOVE SONG OF R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER
FILM/MUSIC, US (SEPT 12)
A “live documentary” from filmmaker Sam Green exploring futurist, architect, engineer, and inventor Buckminster Fuller’s utopian vision of radical social change through a design revolution. With a live score from experimental indie band Yo La Tengo, the film draws inspiration equally from old travelogues, the Benshi tradition, and internet TEDtalks.
GOB SQUAD, GOB’S SQUAD’S KITCHEN — YOU’VE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD
THEATER/FILM, GERMANY/UK (SEPT 13–15)
Gob Squad takes a trip back to the underground cinemas of New York to re-create Andy Warhol’s Kitchen (along with Eat, Sleep, and Screen Test), a film that somehow encapsulated all of the hedonistic experimental energy of the swinging sixties. Live actors cross in and out of the films and audience.
FAUSTIN LINYEKULA, LE CARGO
DANCE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO [US PREMIER] (SEPT 13–15)
Legacy, forgetting, and memory form a confluence of forces in the work of choreographer Faustin Linyekula, whose performances are indelibly etched by the experiences of his home in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Linyekula bears witness through his dance to decades of war, terror, and fear, while also subverting the dominant image of contemporary Congo with one of resourcefulness and hope.
CHELFITSCH, HOT PEPPER, AIR CONDITIONER, AND THE FAREWELL SPEECH
THEATER, JAPAN (SEPT 14–15)
Three vignettes track the absurd and mundane stories of a group of office employees in this stylized performance from the renowned Japanese theater company chelfitsch. With a unique choreography derived from everyday gestures, the company references the social and cultural characteristics of today's Japan, not least of Tokyo, making distinctive mark on contemporary Japanese performance.
CLAUDIA MEZA, LISTENING TO SPACE: SONIC CITY PDX
MUSIC, US (AUDIO TOUR: SEPT 6–16; PERFORMANCE: SEPT 15)
Over thirty local musicians, composers, and sound artists have mapped out their favorite sonic spaces in Portland, creating an "audio tour" of the most interesting naturally occurring acoustic landscapes. With QR codes and online maps, audiences are directed to sites and sounds around the city, culminating in a live, outdoor concert featuring Daniel Menche, Luke Wyland (AU), Matt Carlson (Golden Retriever), Mary Sutton, Eric Mast (E*Rock), Holland Andrews (Like a Villain), Thomas Thorson (Interiors X), and Meza.
VOICES AND ECHOES FROM JAPAN
MUSIC, JAPAN (SEPT 16)
Acclaimed artist and musician Aki Onda has organized a rare concert from some of the pioneering forces of Japan’s avant-garde sound and music scene. Sound artist Akio Suzuki, experimental poet Gôzô Yoshimasu, and improvisatory guitarist/turntablist Otomo Yoshihide present a range of performances that cross between literature, sound art, music, and improvisation. Together, these ground-breaking artists will invite the audience to reconsider their relationship to sound and the act of listening.
LAURIE ANDERSON, DIRTDAY!
MUSIC/THEATER, US (SEPT 16)
In honor of the tenth anniversary of the TBA Festival, legendary musician and artist Laurie Anderson performs Dirtday!, the third and final of her groundbreaking solo story works. With signature wit and candor, Anderson engages with the politics of the Occupy movement, theories of evolution, families, history, and animals in this riotous and soulful collection of songs and stories.
VISUAL ART AT THE TBA FESTIVAL: End Things
Visual Art Curator Kristan Kennedy has gathered together a group of international artists for End Things, a series of projects and residencies that reflect on “things”—why we make them, why we keep them, and their place in our lives. With an irreverent attitude toward the delineations between mediums, the participating artists shift easily between forms and exist in multiple states at the same time. As our lives move increasingly into a digital no-space of online interactions, these artists maintain a sensitivity to the magic life of inanimate objects, inspiring us to reconnect with the things around us. End Things is work made for the End Times, for an auspicious year such as 2012 when we ask, “But what does it all mean?”
ALEX CECCHETTI, SUMMER IS NOT THE PRIZE OF WINTER, ITALY
Working across performance, literature, painting, video, sculpture, and choreography, Cecchetti constructs narratives as much through chance and accident as through pre-considered rules and guides. In this “performance relay,” the artist delivers a poetic discourse through words, objects, and drawings over three consecutive days, which is then taken up by another performer in his place, changing the course of the story.
ISABELLE CORNARO, FRANCE
Isabelle Cornaro comfortably carries her content between mediums, representing the same ideas through different forms and setting up a body of work that reflects on the acts of artistic production and consumption. For this site-specific installation, Cornaro will create a series of painted 2000 murals based on her film-work, which were derived from past paintings.
CLAUDIA MEZA, US
Inspired by the composition theories of John Cage, Meza will devise an interactive sound installation at the White Box at the University of Oregon in Portland. Visitors can start and stop audiotapes on a series of hanging cassette players, looping and layering the myriad soundscapes within the room. With frequent collaborator Chris Hackett, Meza will also premiere a new video work.
MO RITTER, US
Ritter boldly resists the anti-object impulse of our digital age, instead making sculptural objects that highlight the tensions between stillness/animation. Pulling clay directly from the earth from sites around the state of Oregon, these sculptures serve as “constructed” relics displayed within the gallery space.
ERIKA VOGT, US
Casting objects from both found industrial molds and forms of her own making, Vogt will construct an interactive installation of sculptures suspended and manipulated by ceiling-mounted pulleys. Vogt’s diverse body of videos, sculptures, and drawings layer complex allusions, obfuscating their meaning and source material.
VAN BRUMMELEN & DE HAAN, MONUMENT TO ANOTHER MAN’S FATHERLAND, NETHERLANDS
CO-PRESENTED WITH CINEMA PROJECT
Dutch duo Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan pursue the complex work of artistic restoration and repatriation in Monument to Another Man's Fatherland (I), a 35mm black and white film that slowly tracks the entire length of the famous Turkish Pergamon frieze in Berlin. Denied access to actual sculpture, the artists reconstructed the frieze through images in academic books and guides, filming a “stolen” artwork through the remove of art historical memory.
TBA’s all-access, no-holds-barred, late-night social club returns for another year of exciting performance and music. From drag rap artists to toy-theater shows to a blacklight cooking demonstration, THE WORKS is a fertile stage for experimentation and raucous fun. Over beers and snacks from local food carts, it is the place to meet artists and other audiences and to debate and discuss all the art of the day.
MUSIC, US (SEPT 6)
The force behind New York City’s epic GHE20G0TH1K parties, DJ Venus X will mash-up a global mix of chopped and screwed pop songs, club mixes, political newscasts, and big dance beats. Her legendary sets blend the diverse poles of young America—the hood, the Internet, the Downtown, the Uptown, the immigrant, the eccentric, the nerd, the dancer.
MUSIC, US (SEPT 7)
Created by performance artist Paul Soileau, CHRISTEENE is a shameless and sexually infused sewer of live rap and RnB, who challenges the American obsession with charm and grace. CHRISTEENE is a new, dangerous breed of entertainer and “Drag Terrorist.”
TEN TINY DANCES
DANCE, INTERNATIONAL (SEPT 8)
The audience favorite returns with a lineup of 10 performers that have never before graced the small stage. Confined to a 4x4 foot stage, the dancers and artists of Ten Tiny Dances devise new material within tight constraints. Featuring Miguel Gutierrez, Okwui Okpokwasili, Keith Hennessy, Carlos Gonzalez, Taka Yamamoto, Linda K Johnson, Renee Sills, and Nicole Olson.
LAURA HEIT AND DAVID COMMANDER
TOY THEATER, US (SEPT 9)
Two clever puppeteers play out small-scale dramas live and projected on-screen. Laura Heit performs matchbox micro-plays with hand-cranked action and pop-up engineering. David Commander will present In Flight, a satiric performance questioning two of our taken-for-granted modern comforts: airplanes and news media.
MUSIC, INTERNATIONAL (SEPT 10)
Art-pop group BRAINSTORM and music label Sahel Sounds have curated a multimedia night of musical performances, Skype video concerts from western Africa, YouTube remixes, and live cellphone feeds. Featuring performances by local musicians Jason Urick, and Iftin Band, along with international acts playing to American audiences through Internet streams.
HOLLYWOOD THEATRE PRESENTS: FUTURE CINEMA
FILM/MUSIC/PERFORMANCE, US (SEPT 11)
The Hollywood Theatre brings together a mind-melting array of expanded films. Terrifying Women (“The Vagina Monologues on nitrous oxide”) will present videos and performances by artists including Alicia McDaid, Kathleen Keogh, Tanya Smith, Diana Joy; Director Weston Currie premieres a new film with a live score by Liz Harris (Grouper); and Wolf Choir leads a raucous round of B Movie Bingo with Gary Busey’s BULLETPROOF.
PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, ET AL.
MUSIC/DANCE, US (SEPT 12)
The idiosyncratic music concern Parenthetical Girls presents an evening of performances by collaborators past and present, concluding in a grand-scale, multi-disciplinary concert. Featuring musical guests Golden Retriever, Classical Revolution PDX performing compositions by Jherek Bischoff, and a solo dance by choreographer Allie Hankins.
ALEXIS BLAIR PENNEY
MUSIC, US (SEPT 13)
New York-based singer, performer, DJ, and personality Alexis Blair Penney will travel an emotional journey in song, from childhood to first love to romantic dissolution to ecstatic hope and empowerment. Wielding the dark humor of the ultra-ego hostess, Penney is the indisputable star of the show, equal parts self-deprecating, fourth-wall-shattering Alex and lightning wielding, world-weary, diva-goddess Alexis.
THU TRAN, THE YES AND NO OF BLACK LIGHT FOOD
PERFORMANCE/FOOD, US (SEPT 14)
The host and creator of the beloved, 4:20-friendly TV show FOOD PARTY, Thu Tran will present her own bizarro take on the classic cooking show. For nearly two months, Tran recorded the effects of black light on almost everything she ate; she’ll illustrate her findings for TBA audiences with an otherworldly cooking demonstration.
FADE TO MIND
MUSIC, US (SEPT 15)
A record label and a movement, a series of club nights and cooperative projects in music, visual art, video, and apparel, Fade to Mind is an LA-based DJ collective changing the global bass music scene. DJ/Producers Kingdom, Total Freedom, and Massacooramaan will throw a closing night TBA party of surreal visions, sideways club trax, and darksided RnB dubs.
About Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art acknowledges and advances new developments in contemporary art, fostering the explorations of artists 179a and audiences. Since 1995, PICA has championed the practice of contemporary artists from around the world, driving vital conversations about the art and issues of today. PICA presents artists from visual and performance backgrounds and embraces those individuals who exist at the borders of genres and ideas. Through artist residencies and exhibitions, lectures and workshops, and the annual Time-Based Art Festival, PICA constructs a broad platform for contemporary art.