Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
Athco Logo, 2011 © Courtesy of the Artist and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibits (LACE)
Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983
Curated by: Ellina Kevorkian

6522 Hollywood Blvd.
90028 Los Angeles
September 27th, 2011 - January 29th, 2012
Opening: September 27th, 2011 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

santa monica/venice
Wed-Sun 12-6


“Performance’s potency comes from its temporariness, its ‘one time only’ life.”  –Peggy Phelan

Los Angeles Goes Live is an exhibition, performance series and publication project that explores the histories and legacies of performance art in Southern California in the 1970s and early 80s. It will include a broad range of materials that represent the varied material record of performance: from photographic and video documentation to scores, scripts, costumes, posters and artist books. The Los Angeles Goes Live performance series will feature re-inventions of historical performances and new performative actions staged throughout the city. 

Los Angeles Goes Live is part of Pacific Standard Time. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. LACE’s exhibition, performances and publication are supported by a generous grant from the Getty Foundation. For more information on each commissioned artist and a full description of the Los Angeles Goes Live exhibition, visit

LACE invites its audiences to interrogate a central issue at the core of performance art practice and scholarship: 

How can one revisit performance art after the fact? Through documentation? Through restaging the work by the original artist? Through a contemporary reinvention by another?


The exhibition will feature performance art documentation and ephemera that has gone unseen for generations and will feature a range of artists and approaches to performance. Artist and guest curator Ellina Kevorkian has organized Recollecting Performance. This collection of clothing and objects suggests that the clothing or objects used in a performance are not remnants but a sculptural void holding an inherent performance to be fulfilled. Building upon the dominant history created by the actions of Eleanor Antin, Chris Burden, Suzanne Lacy, Allan Kaprow, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, and Barbara T. Smith, the exhibition features artists and collectives that were also pushing the boundaries of convention and shaping the broader creative community with their work such as Jerri Allyn, Asco, Bob & Bob, Dorit Cypis, Dreva, Gronk, Ulysses Jenkins, Kim Jones, the Kipper Kids, Richard Newton and Johanna Went, to name just a few. 

Join us for a grand opening reception on Tuesday, 27 September 2011, 8-10PM.


LACE is commissioning re-stagings and re-inventions of historic performances in Los Angeles from the 1970’s. The series will serve as a platform to spark dialog and creative actions that span the generations of Los Angeles’ performance art history. Commissioned artists include: Ulysses Jenkins, Cheri Gaulke, Jerri Allyn, Liz Glynn, Heather Cassils, Dorian Wood, Denise Uyehara, James Luna and the OJO collective. LACE is also working with Suzanne Lacy to produce Three Weeks in January. Lacy will re-stage her seminal interventionist art project entitled Three Weeks in May, a political art performance that took place in Los Angeles in May 1977 and sponsored by Studio Watts Workshop, The Woman’s Building and The City of Los Angeles. 


LACE’s Los Angeles Goes Live publication, published by Routledge, features scholarly essays by Peggy Phelan, Amelia Jones, and Michael Ned Holte and a piece by Suzanne Lacy and Jennifer Flores Sternad that connects the personal reflections of 50 artists working in performance art and public practices in Southern California during the 70’s and early 80’s.


Jerri Allyn
Debating Through the Arts: A Performance Art Event is based on a Model United Nations paradigm. During this interactive daylong event, artists and interested others will choose an issue about performance art today and a team, debate their point of view for an audience. Through a structure of debate, caucus and collaboration, artists are provided with an outlet to create and express their collective point of view on issues of import in performance today.

Heather Cassils
Cuts: A Traditional Sculpture is a durational performance resulting in an installation, two-channel video, and zine. The work is structured as a dialogue with two seminal performance works, Eleanor Antin’s Carving: A Traditional Sculpture and Lynda Benglis’ 1974 Advertisement. Rather than crash diet, over five months Cassils built her body by taking male hormones, adhering to a strict bodybuilding regime and controlled diet. She documented her body as it changed, taking 4 photos a day, from 4 vantage points inspired by Antin’s photographic grid. She then collapsed 23 weeks of training into 23 seconds of time-lapsed video juxtaposed against highly stylized scenes which play in painful slow motion Cassils' training process. Finally, with her body in its peak condition she staged a photographic homage to Benglis, placing these two important works in dialogue with each other via her exaggerated physique. 

More on Heather Cassils at and

Cheri Gaulke
Peep Totter Fly is a new interactive video installation and performance that revisits the artist's 1970-80s critique of high heels. The installation will include an evocative video of high heels juxtaposed within natural environments. Viewers will have an opportunity to try on red high-heeled shoes for every size. The gallery installation will "kick-off" with a performance during the opening reception on the streets of Hollywood on Tuesday, 27 September at 8:30PM, starting at LACE.

Liz Glynn
Spirit Resurrected is a platform and performance structure that brings invites artists to recreate Public Spirit / Live Art LA, a performance festival of live art that took place October 1–31, 1980. The basis of the project is a web-based platform that will 1) serve as an archive for historical documents from and about Public Spirit to give people access to this history and 2) serve as an organizing tool and catalyst for the recreations of the original performances by serving as a space for people to meet up and make practical connections. Browse past performances and propose a new one at

Suzanne Lacy 
For the project Three Weeks in January, Lacy will re-stage her seminal interventionist art project entitled Three Weeks in May, a political art performance that took place in Los Angeles in May 1977 and sponsored by Studio Watts Workshop, The Woman’s Building and The City of Los Angeles.

Cave-Out  (In Three Parts, All At Once) will begin as a media intervention in X-TRA magazine and telephone performance designed to encourage public participation, a collaborative performance and soundtrack for Los Angeles. OJO partnered with 323 Projects to provide the phone number (323) 776-4448 that participants will call and leave their message as a performance by following the instructions found in the magazine. The recordings will be compiled and released as a 45rpm single. Finally, OJO will perform at LACE along with the audience in January 2012. More at

Denise Uyehara and James Luna
Transitions: Survival Skills in a Suburban Landscape. James Luna and Denise Uyehara will revisit Transitions, one of Luna's performances from the 70's in which he unpacked a burlap bag full of “Indian” objects and created new rituals with them.  The two artists, both born and raised in Orange County, will conduct a series of rituals that recount surviving life behind the “Orange Curtain,” incorporating a call-and-response, video, music, and hundreds of bones.

Dorian Wood
Athco, Or The Renaissance of Faggot Tree sets out to both explicate and re-interpret the historical trajectories and connections made by, and involving, the East L.A.-based Asco collective, cross-dressing performance artist Cyclona, artist Ron Athey, musician Rozz Williams and the underground club performance scene of the early 80's. This installation/performance consists of 200 people, each representing crucial figures in the history of Los Angeles performance art from the late 70’s to early 80’s. This project will take place outdoors in a Los Angeles park in October 2011. Visit to learn more and sign up as a volunteer.

Thurs 13 Oct 2011, 7-9PM:
Ulysses Jenkins, Black Gold Fever, performance

Sat 29 Oct 2011, 10 - 6PM: Jerri Allyn, Debating Through the Arts: A Performance Art Event, daylong convening

9 Oct 2011: Dorian Wood, Athco, Or The Renaissance of Faggot Tree, large-scale public performance.  

Thurs 10 Nov 2011, 7-9PM: Denise Uyehara and James Luna, Transitions: Survival Skills in a Suburban Landscape, performance

Throughout Jan 2012:
Liz Glynn Spirit Resurrected, participant-initiated performance festival
Suzanne Lacy Three Weeks in January, citywide performance series 

23 – 27 Jan 2012Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival featuring Three Weeks in JanuarySpirit Resurrected, and OJO's Cave Out (In Three Parts, All at Once) record launch party

Thurs 26 Jan 2012: OJO, Cave Out (In Three Parts, All at Once), evening performance and record launch party as part of the PST Performance and Public Art Festival.

For more information on each performance, visit


Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983 has been made possible by my major grants from the Getty Foundation.

Additional support for LACE and its programs is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Getty Foundation, Jerry and Terri Kohl Family Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The Mohn Family Foundation, Morris Family Foundation, the Audrey & Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation, National Performance Network, the C. Christine Nichols Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Abilene, Stone Brewing Co., and the members of LACE.


ArtSlant has shutdown. The website is currently running in a view-only mode to allow archiving of the content.

The website will be permanently closed shortly, so please retrieve any content you wish to save.