This weekend, the actor, writer, and performance artist Roger Guenveur Smith and singer and composer Marc Anthony Thompson will present PORTRAIT OF CHARLES WHITE at LACMA.
Smith and Thompson will “navigate White’s career as an artist, educator, and political activist, as well as his compelling personal profile, to devise an intimate meditation on a man of immense complexity and enduring influence.”*
“Songs are like tattoos,” wrote Joni Mitchell, echoing the pain of their creation. For the composer, songs often outlive the love that inspired them. For the rest of us, they’re emblems of the faces and places they evoke and the times they define.
John Kelly—visual and performance artist, writer, choreographer, and Mitchell interpreter nonpareil—brings his new, highly subjective work TIME NO LINE to Los Angeles for a three-night stand at Redcat.
Based on journal entries spanning forty years, TIME NO LINE bridges the decades with movement, music, and art. As an on-the-ground witness to the initial devastation of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and the culture wars of the 1990s, Kelly is an artist-activist of rare insight and experience, and this engagement is not to be missed.
“The spoken word was the last thing I cared to add to my arsenal as a performer… [Journal writing is a] habit that has accumulated and become a significant body of work, a source of both insanely good raw material and embarrassment and remorse. It’s tough to read back through this stuff.” — John Kelly
On opening night, Kelly will join writer and professor David Román for a post-performance talk.*
John Kelly, Time No Line performance photographs, from top: Paula Court; John Kelly‘s Instagram; Theo Cote; Court. Images courtesy of John Kelly and the photographers.
John Kelly (above) at Sideways into the Shadows, his portrait series of lovers, friends, and colleagues lost to the AIDS epidemic, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 2018. Photograph by Susan Rand Brown, courtesy of John Kelly and the photographer.
“To describe a life is to paraphrase it; and to paraphrase is to set the original aside. Removed from immediate consciousness, a described life is not merely past, not merely an article of memory. It becomes the occasion of a narrative that closes on a heinous injustice, or several; it sacrifices on the altar of abstraction those moments of the living person that were singular and unrepeatable, irreducibly human.” — Darby English*
On our college campuses and in THE NICETIES—the textually rich new play by Eleanor Burgess—the groves of academe are riven with theoretical landmines. At issue onstage at the GeffenPlayhouse is the subject of history—how it should be taught and who should do the teaching.
Janine Bosko (Lisa Banes) is a highly regarded professor at an Ivy League university. Convinced that good intentions and steadfast devotion to primary sources shield her from criticism, she meets with one of her students—Zoe (Jordan Boatman)—to discuss her thesis on the American Revolution. Professor Bosko finds the paper intelligently written but fundamentally flawed, too reliant on the subjectivity of its author. For her part, Zoe has determined that, in the hands of her professor, history is an insidious instrument blocking social change.**
This brilliantly performed discourse on representation, identity, and justice versus revenge was directed by Kimberly Senior in a production transferred intact from the Manhattan Theatre Club. Burgess does not insult her audience with easy resolutions, and the debate continued long after the curtain went down.
The paintings of Ben Shahn, Antonio Berni, Raquel Forner, Honoré Sharrer, and PavelTchelitchew, the photography of WalkerEvans and GeorgePlattLynes, the sculpture of ElieNadelman and GastonLachaise, the ballet costumes of Kurt Seligmann, Paul Cadmus, and JaredFrench, the music of VirgilThomson, and the philosophy of GeorgeGurdjieff …
… all come together in LINCOLNKIRSTEIN’SMODERN, the Museum of Modern Art exhibition devoted to the writer, critic, curator, patron, and impresario who set the aesthetic template for MOMA and brought GeorgeBalanchine to America to establish the New York City Ballet.