This Saturday, L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art kicks off Step and Repeat, a month of Saturday evenings full of “performance art, music, comedy, and poetry that marks MOCA’s return to live arts programming,” as their Tumblr states. Performers will come from all over the country, with a special attention paid to “the burgeoning performance communities in Los Angeles.”
This first weekend has something for everyone, from poets Rae Armantrout and Vanessa Place, the first poet to perform at a Whitney Biennial in 2012, to musicians including artist/DJ Ashland Mines, R&B revivalists Rare Times, Ille, founder of magazine and record label Pop Manifesto, producer and performer P. Morris, and SFV Acid, whose sound Pitchfork described as “acid house, boogie funk, and electro” and who recently wrote and recorded an album entirely at a San Fernando Valley Starbucks. Video and performance artist Ann Hirsch will be presenting “a staged reading of her censored e-book set in a late 1990s AOL chatroom,” while Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist Jacolby Satterwhite will bring his energetic and expansive performance to the stage. (You may remember him busting serious moves in Jay Z’s face while Lawrence Weiner looked on in the Picasso Baby video.) Rounding out the list is Dynasty Handbag, the stage name of musician, performance artist and hilarious crazy-face maker Jibz Cameron.
Upcoming performers include artist and film-maker Wu Tsang, comic Kate Berlant, TV Carnage creator Derrick Beckles, legendary performance artist Barbara T. Smith, and indie rock god Steven Malkmus and the Jicks.
If you’re not from L.A. (or from the Westside) you may not be familiar with what “Step and Repeat” means. We asked MOCAtv creative director Emma Reeves who co-organized the program to explain: “Step and Repeat is a play on celebrity culture, as it refers to the process of stars parading in front of a wall of logos on a red carpet, being photographed and doing interviews one after another. The title also works well in conjunction with different types of performance, such as the rhythm of language of the poets, the movement-based performance of Jacolby Satterwhite and the DJs. It can be thought of as a ‘beat’ and this series is listening and responding to the beat of vital creative performers in LA and beyond.”
Under former director Jeffrey Deitch’s tenure, MOCA had been criticized by some for prioritizing entertainment over art. However, Step and Repeat seems like it just might be able to combine the best of both worlds – highlighting the role of performance in contemporary art, while acknowledging the potential for convergence between various modes of performance.
Step and Repeat runs from 6-11pm Saturdays through October 4th. Get tickets here.