TBA:12 Notes

PICA’s 10th Annual Time Based Art Festival | 6-16 September

16 Sep 7:30pm Laurie Anderson – Dirtday!

A nearly universal rule of art which almost never fails and was right on the money here: If the name has an exclamation mark in it, watch out. I remember being thrilled by a Laurie Anderson show on a dark winter night in Budapest in 1991. Maybe it was all those unfiltered cigarettes and Trabant fumes. But 20 some years later the schtick feels very, very dated. And perhaps a little embarrassing? If listening to rambling pseudo profundities delivered at about 30% the speed of normal conversation while colored lights flash is your thing, and you have $75, the Schnitz was heaven on earth last night. I lasted about 35 minutes. I dare say anyone in the audience could have given the – er – performance Anderson did. The whole thing seemed to hinge on your being aware you were in the presence of pure genius. Without that…

10 Sep 8:30pm Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol – Asalto al Agua Transparente

The music was good, but otherwise the drawbacks of spoken history were apparent.

8 Sep 6:30pm Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol – El Rumor del Incendio

Loved it. A genuine cultural artifact. Ending a little slow.

7 Sep 8:30pm Nora Chipaumire – Miriam

Hard to get at it. Views of the human body, when possible, were the highlight for me.

7 Sep 6:30pm Miguel Gutierrez – My Heavens What Have I Done

Tried, and failed, to make it through the “intro” to the actual piece. Audience was herded uncomfortably onto the stage, which wasn’t quite big enough. Somewhat interesting. Though performance is what I/we came for.

6 Sep 8:30pm Big Art Group – The People-Portland

Watching a live projection on the exterior wall of a building of a story unfolding within, which you can also partly see through an open window, is a compelling setup. And Big Art Group made the most of their opening night performance beneath a perfect September sky at Washington High School.

Show was a little late, but once it started, all were closely focused on the retold story of THE ORESTEIA. Ketchup bottle blood, psycho stabbings, and bewildered audience members trying out for roles (but never being able to pry them out of cast member Heather’s high-powered hands: “Here, I’ll show you”) were all in the mix. Interviews conveyed better than this type of material often does that the war is not far away – it is right here at home.

This format has huge potential for open air crossover.