Cooking Oil Sparks Conversation on East Africa’s Women
Art can often be the most striking medium for inspiring change and sparking dialogue, and artists in the developing world are harnessing this power to see that their stories are told on a global scale. One recent dialogue-sparker is the play Cooking Oil, written by award-winning Ugandan playwright Deborah Asiimwe, which makes its U.S. premiere this June under the direction of Fulbright Fellow Emily Mendelsohn.
The play, a product of a six-year collaboration between artists at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, the Ishyo Art Center in Kigali, Rwanda and Uganda’s National Theater in Kampala, features cast members from Uganda, Rwanda and the United States. After each performance, public discussion of topics brought up in the play is encouraged. Read More.
Ingelwood's Director Aaron White One-Man Show: 'The Blood they Shed'
The Blood they Shed is a semi-autobiographical one-man poetic journey that combines the art of story telling narrative, poetry and comedy. The story is told from the perspective of a young man raised in South Central LA. The journey through his upbringing takes the audience on an emotional ride leading them to laugh, cry and reflect on some of the truths facing people in every corner of today's world. The show invites you into his childhood home of old school soulful tunes, hilarious family members, Charlie Brown re-runs, growing up without a father, media’s pop-culture influence and gangster movies being filmed in his backyard. This powerful tale illuminates our issues of today while reminding us of the power that can be used from the wisdom found in our past.
The dramedy unfolds as the show cleverly addresses issues of violence and value systems, discrimination and the dissemination of the family as well as social relationships. By harnessing the power of music, media and ingenious story telling, The Blood they Shed tackles troublesome issues fearlessly all-the-while maintaining its heartfelt candor and humor.
The Blood they Shed has gained momentum and exposure in Southern California and has plans for a national college tour and a feature length documentary. White grew up in the heart of Inglewood in the 1980s. As a curious child growing up in an area that wasn’t your typical tourist attraction, Aaron would discover in his adolescence that the area he lived was a place people feared. Like many of his African American peers, he began listening to popular hip hop artists of the day as well as found himself spending countless hours being entertained by MTV. Read More.
The ODC Walking Distance Dance Festival brings together contemporary dance companies from across the nation in three programs spread over two days at the ODC Dance Commons and the ODC Theater. New York-based choreographers Kate Weare and Brian Brooks and San Francisco's Rachael Lincoln meditate on the state of contemporary dance on their respective coasts.
How do you define contemporary dance?
Kate Weare: I think contemporary dance tends to emphasize a very individual vision. My work is trying to hook into the psychological undercurrents of our current moment. It's in relation to the human world, bearing witness to it, but, unlike pop culture, which operates as a sheer reflection of it, contemporary dance is also commenting on it, attempting to make an analysis of it. Pop culture attracts audiences with visceral, feeling, sense-oriented pleasure. This doesn't mean that one is more important than the other, it's just a different way of approaching the present, its concerns, and our relationship to it.
The day before L.A.'s run-off election, the Da Vinci Gallery at L.A. City College (LACC) hosted "Feminism Today," a conversation initiated by three CalArts graduate students, made possible by the LACC undergraduates who run the art space, and led by multi-disciplinary artist Faith Wilding.
Rooted in the history of Feminism, and using Feminist tools for deep talking and listening, the conversation articulated many questions. Among them: What will bring about solidarity and change? What do we need to unlearn? What do you do with political disappointment?"
The timing was coincidental, and Wendy Greuel went unmentioned, but the conversation nonetheless put the local election into historic and ideological context. For while Feminism made Greuel's mayoral bid possible, Faith Wilding's "political disappointment" had little to do with electoral failure; her "political" rejects tinkering in favor of transformation.
The radical transformation that seemed to be "just around the corner" in 1972, when Faith and her cohort in the newly established CalArts Feminist Art Program made Womanhouse in Hollywood, has failed to materialize. Undeniable gains have been made, but the structural oppressions of patriarchy remain in place. And perhaps -- given that the number of American women in prison is now increasing at nearly double the rate of men -- they are grown stronger.
Great Pet Portraits Capture Goofy and Gorgeous: Furtographs
May 27, 2013 If It's Hip It's Here
There's no shortage of adorable images of dogs and cats on the internet these days. Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook are loaded with them. But not all of them are as well composed or attractive as those done by photographer/artist Andy Stolarek of Los Angeles. His in-home and on-location shots of people's dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, pigs and more other capture beast and beauty in one image. Read more
When Hollywood Wants Good, Clean Fun, It Goes to Mormon Country
By JON MOOALLEM
May 23, 2013 New York Times
Allen Ostergar stood at the front of the lecture hall with a stiff and bashful smile, or maybe it was just stage fright, and started his pitch. Open on a deadly pirate ship, he said— “the deadliest of all the pirate ships to, like, sail the seas.” B.Y.U. Student Films.
It was a Tuesday evening at Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah, and the school’s computer-animation program had assembled its 70-odd students to choose their next project — the one film they would be producing over the next three semesters. Ostergar, a junior from Southern California, was up first.
There’s a certain anxiety in composer Julia Holter’s electronic experimentations — the feeling that, at any turn, a pop song could break out. And, probably, ruin the vibe. Holter, the Cal Arts product who came on the radar two years ago with the Euripides-inspired “Tragedy” and last year followed it with the mystical, devastating (in a good way) “Ekstasis,” this summer will release her third album in as many years. On “Loud City Song” (due Aug. 20 on Domino), Holter graduates from bedroom artist to a proper studio, where she made the album with co-producer Cole Marsden Grief-Neill and an ensemble of L.A. players. The minimalist qualities of the glacial lead track “World” conspire with her understated, sometimes-incantational vocals to make it seem as if Holter is merely waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.
Battle Bears' creator finds inspiration in family journey
By David Martin
May 24, 2013 CNN
Ben Vu's parents and older brother fled South Vietnam by boat in 1975 -- in the chaotic and violent final days before Saigon fell to communist forces from the north.
The family emigrated to a small town in Nebraska, where Ben was born, but the story of how the family escaped 38 years ago this month became part of the family lore -- real-life bedtime stories of daring and danger young Ben never tired of hearing.
Three decades later, Ben started his own company, SkyVu (pronounced sky-voo) Entertainment, and used these stories as his inspiration for a mobile game called "Battle Bears."
Julia Holter Previews Literary New Album With Delicate 'World'
by Kyle McGovern
'Loud City Song' to be toured extensively in North America and Europe
May 23, 2013 Spin
Julia Holter has a busy summer ahead of her. On August 20, the Los Angeles singer-songwriter will release Loud City Song, her third album in as many years. But before Domino Records issues the upcoming full-length, Holter will begin an international tour that will take her across North America and Europe.
The CalArts alumna will kick off her two-month trek on July 11 in Washington, D.C. She'll make stops in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, and Chicago before heading overseas in support of Loud City Song. The excursion wraps in London on August 20, the same day the LP is officially released in the U.S.
Jack Goldstein x 10,000′ at the Jewish Museum By Maika Pollack
May 21, 2013 Gallerist New York
If you’re turned off by the bombast of infinitely escalating auction prices and big-tent contemporary fairs, take refuge in the elegant first American retrospective of Jack Goldstein. Organized by Orange County Museum of Art guest curator Philipp Kaiser, and in New York by Jewish Museum Assistant curator Joanna Montoya, the show is the gloomy B-side to the relentless pop staccato of blockbuster contemporary art. Yet artists today owe much to this cult figure.
“I can’t stand to look at anything that my hand does,” Goldstein once griped. For his 1975 MFA graduation show as part of the first class at Cal Arts, he buried himself alive. His work would follow this trajectory towards total disappearance.