Thursday, September 23, 2010

Your Social Life - Waiting For The Man

Hello, beloved readers, Your Social Life is getting out of semi-hibernation/strike/doing something else to first of all remind you that Thursday next week, September 30th, is the day of John Cale's event at Royce Hall/UCLA "When Past And Future Collide" where he will, along with his band and the UCLA  Philharmonic Orchestra, play his masterpiece Paris 1919 in its entirety. If by now you don't know it, I suppose it means you're desensitized to my relentless pounding and promotion of the Welsh genius.

There are still tickets available, and if you decided to go to the Hollywood Bowl see Pavement/Sonic Youth/No Age instead, it just means you have a very bad sense of priorities.
You can see any of these bands regularly, whereas Cale hasn't played in Los Angeles since 2005, even though he lives here. And LA is the only North American stop for "When Past And Future Collide", your next/last chance to see it will be in Melbourne, Australia, next month. So, go honor a living legend while you still can.

Now that this is taken care of, onto the art stuff. Easy this week: You can either go with the great unwashed in Santa Monica to see GLOW, where the crowd control and budget issues have taken care of the pesky problem of showing too much art (fear not, there's less of it); OR go to Glendale to see the Jan Tumlir-curated Jerry/Jury Rigged at the Glendale College Gallery.

Full disclosure: the idea for GLOW come from the French series of art manifestations called Nuit Blanche in Paris, which started when I still lived there, 7 or 8 years ago.
Thanks to its State support of the arts, France has gone through about 2 decades of public art as entertainment, with not that much of an intellectual investment, so as not to shock viewers and cause funding problems in the future. The premises were noble (bring contemporary art to a wide audience) but the results point to what's about to happen here in the US with all our shiny new public art programs and structures: art with less and less challenging or interesting content, sanitized for an undemanding, if large audience.

So, been there, done that, and yes you get a gazillion people going out at night (good for caf├ęs, bars and restaurants business) but that doesn't translate in a better, more educated, smarter, audience. But it sure prepares people for performers such as Lady Gaga: visual fireworks, spectacular sets,  not much valuable content. 

Which is not to say the art at GLOW will be bad (for example, there's the excellent Celeste Boursier-Mougenot or LA own's Steve Roden), just that it doesn't feel like a satisfying venue for me. I don't really relish the crowd experience, that's all.

Meanwhile, in Glendale... on Saturday evening, you're guarantied a peaceful and smart art experience with such luminaries as Chris Burden, Jorge Pardo, Amanda Ross-Ho, Skip Arnold and the excellent Jennifer Moon, who will be showing for the first time in 10 years her masterpiece, the Facility/the Motherfucker (the Motherfucker is its unofficial name, you need to understand). Don't miss it because you may have to wait another decade to see it again after this.

Before all this exhausting art experiences, should you feel inclined to actually mingle with regular folks, you can attend the Watts House Project volunteer gardening weekend, for which I couldn't find any link on their website, dammit (you can find all the info if you search Facebook, but because of today's FB issues I can't link to the event, sorry).
It's on Saturday at 10 AM, and then on Sunday at 4 PM, 1726-1750 East 107 Street, Los Angeles CA 90002, at the same time as the Watts Jazz And Drums Festival Weekend. The Sunday gardening session will be followed by a BBQ, and if you want to join/help during either (or both) day you need to RSVP to trinidadwhp AT gmail DOT com.
So, not only you will have a nice communal experience like at, say, GLOW,  but you will have had the satisfaction to help a community that needs it,  and you will get to see Simon Rodia's Watts towers.

Have a nice, art-filled weekend folks, and see you next week at Royce Hall!

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