“Par Course A”

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Sea and Space Explorations
“Par Course A”

4755 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042
January 2nd, 2010 - January 3rd, 2010
Opening: December 20th, 2009 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

eagle rock/highland park
Sundays 1-5pm, for special events and performances & by appointment
installation, performance


As part of the ongoing performance series, Instruments of Risk, Sea and Space Explorations is pleased to present:

Par Course A”, Art Exhibition by Taisha Paggett and Ashley Hunt

DATES: January 2nd and 3rd 12-6 pm
RECEPTION: January 2nd, 6-8pm
TIMES: Performance begins at 6pm
COST: Free
WHERE: Sea and Space Explorations4755 York BlvdLA, CA 90042
TEL: 323-982-0854

Artists Taisha Paggett and Ashley Hunt will introduce their research into “On movement, thought, and politics” through a series of conceptual exercises that borrow from the philosophy of self-improvement and the structure of public park “fitness trails,” known as Par Courses, in order to complicate ideas of self. In this two-day performance, viewers will lead themselves through exercise stations designed to work in the areas of kinesthetic, cognitive, and political development, including the ways in which these areas are addressed within contemporary art and dance.

“Etre fort pour utile” (“Being strong to be useful”) was a motto of Georges Hébert, the French physical educator who invented the Par Course, a motto that calls up the varying ideological underpinnings that notions of physical and mental fitness invariably carry. It is against the backdrop of such ideological training that Par Course A offers its experiments, acknowledging that the powers that shape us also limit our conceptions of self-improvement, self-knowledge and agency. By directing viewers to consider such limits, the installation encourages new critical relationships to the concepts and patterns that move and shape us. A key tension within the work arises around the traditional dichotomy of body and mind, a cultural presumption that, according to Paggett and Hunt, diminishes both the intelligence of the body and the physicality of thought, as such a separation between the two is never so simple.

Par Course A is the latest realization of Paggett and Hunt’s effort to bring their respective disciplines of dance and art together and, at the same time, see them fall away so that their specificity becomes irrelevant. The exercises of Par Course A are drawn from a workshop titled, “On Movement, Thought and Politics,” which was developed originally during a residency at the BAK center for contemporary art in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Somewhere between a movement class, a lecture and a conversation on political agency, this workshop allowed Paggett and Hunt to lead participants through their research into concepts at the heart of their disciplines, drawn from various somatic practices, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, radical pedagogy, activism and political philosophy. The workshop was also recently employed in the building of a performance and video project with members of the Los Angeles based Garment Worker Center (2009). Taisha Paggett and Ashley Hunt have been working together for five years, bringing together their respective backgrounds in dance, visual art, teaching and activism. Their works include the 2005 exhibition and booklet, Undeliverable Address: 54 Questions that will not be Answered by the White House, and a workshop they developed in 2007 titled, On Movement, Thought and Politics, which was also used to generate a video installation with the Los Angeles Based Garment Worker Center in 2009. For more information:  

Curated by Asher Hartman and Carol McDowell
October 2009 - February 2010
at Sea and Space Explorations

Performance is up and out of the margins again lately as a hybrid of practices that highlight the collective exchange between performer, gesture, spectator, and space, whose lineage can be traced back to performance constructions of the 1970s. Beginning the first weekend of October and continuing through February 2010, INSTRUMENTS OF RISK will present a new performance work each month at Sea and Space Explorations. In this series of events, we see artists performing the social choreographies of our personal and cultural lives. What moves our bodies today? This is physical conceptual performance with an unabashed theatricality and rigorous abstraction, steering through the unresolved complexities of our world.  Focusing on the body as a compass, the artists in this series grapple with multiple means through which we understand history, speech, location, culture, force, and self in relation to the world around them and within.