I figured I would post a link to the wiki entry for Performance Art.

Not that you, dear reader, have some kind of writing assignment. I’m, certainly, not voluntelling (a word invented at my office) you. You don’t have to read anything but I thought you might like to take a peek at what has been defined as performance art to gain a better understanding of my forthcoming piece involving Guillermo GómezPeña‘s performance troupe, La Posta Nostra.

Also, please consider, the documentation (i.e., photography, recordings, etc.) of performance art becomes a part of the artwork itself. The photographs I took (over 280+ of the performance) play a part in showcasing the art. Although you may not have been present, your interest and distance from the experience can still prompt a dialogue. I have yet to go through all the photographs and wanting to select those that best capture the essence of the performances but it’s rather difficult to choose.

In any case, I’m hoping I can do the show justice in my piece. I will try to describe it as best as I can. In the interim, I wanted to give you a visual preview. These are a couple shots I took during the show. Pretty intense stuff. More to follow…

La Postra Nostra - Corpo Ilicito / Photo by: Dorothy Santos
La Postra Nostra - Corpo Ilicito / Photo by: Dorothy Santos

Art Review's 'The Power 100'

Okay, I’m just going to get on my soap box so please feel free to move on if you’re not interested, I totally understand and won’t be offended. To forewarn you, this is a rant. At least I’m my own number one fan, eh?

Here it goes…

Having committed myself to writing everyday, I’m finding the Bay Area art world rife with events and happenings worth writing about. There’s so much going on and all types of genres within the arts and so many different venues. I’d like to think the West Coast knows how to take a space the size of a modest one bedroom apartment bathroom and turn that into a gallery AND have performance art in the space. Or, turning a garage into a space that becomes fertile ground for cultures and sub-cultures to interface and question art – together. Only in San Francisco. There, I said it AND we’re (I’m talking about the Bay Area) is great at establishing a sense of community in the arts. I may feel differently if San Francisco suddenly became the prima ballerina on the world stage (yes, I watched Black Swan and it was wonderfully intense, thank you for humoring my metaphor) but here’s when I start to get a bit disheartened.  I start looking outside my environment…

Los Angeles. Chicago. New York. France. England. Italy. China (yes, they’ve got some crazy amazing art AND they make almost everything we wear or use – shouldn’t be much of a surprise that they are creating a lot of art).

Sigh. Big huge defeated sigh.

Aspiring to be a professor in the arts? Talk about swimming upstream! All the meditation in the world doesn’t ease the fact I have so far to go with my aspirations especially since I counted about 6 people of color in Art Review’s The Power 100. Also, the #1 spot, typically, doesn’t even go to an artist, historically, it has gone to a gallerist! Larry Gagosian was #1 for 2010 (I know he’s been #1 quite a few times). I need to do a bit more research but the Power 100 solidifies that art really has to be part of a market, a trade, and survive as a business. Joking aside, someone who grew up poor and struggling isn’t exactly going to go out of their way to find out who Marina Abramovic (#35 – love her work, by the way) or Okwui Enwezor (#42 – was a Dean at the San Francisco Art Institute) are. I guess that’s where I want to do my part. Somehow. As much as I hate going through that list, I have to do it. I have to. I wonder how many of those individuals did NOT come from affluent families or didn’t have much opposition to pursue their passions? I know, I know. In the arts, you can’t compare yourself and you just have to work hard (like anything else).

Art takes time. Being a part of that larger dialogue takes time. I’m starting to understand and be patient. 

My point: As much as I have a passion for the arts and would love to affect change through teaching it, I feel that I have to encourage people to go looking for the art that resonates with them. Engage people (friends, family, strangers, bloggers, artists, whoever) in the conversation. Most importantly, to not be afraid to write what’s on my mind and from the gut even if someone is offended, dismayed, disturbed, or in direct opposition with what I say. The conversation is what ends up being the most imperative part. 

After getting this off my chest, I’m feeling a lot better. I mean, Art Forum did start out in San Francisco! Many great things do come from this little (but mighty) City by the Bay. 🙂