It was another fairly packed night at THE WORKS last night which I'm sure TBA organizers were happy to see. Part of me was wondering if the good turn out for opening night might have had mostly to do with the free price tag, but night number dos had a similarly good number of kiddos despite the $8 cover.
One imagines that this was largely due to the night's programming (curated by Gossip guitarist Nathan Howdeshell and Fast Weapons) which featured a wide array of talent exploring various forms and crafts. With so much going on, there was bound to be something to keep even the most snobby PNCA student happy.
There was an arts publication exhibition in the co-ed bathrooms by Nudity in Groups, that spoke to what Sarah Mirk has previously blogged about: the questioning of what makes art and what makes defacement while standing in a public restroom. There was also plenty of music: The Dangerous Boys Club filled the auditorium with ambient washes and distorted guitar edges. And later on in the evening the L.A. steady shredders No Age took the stage, which I believe was a last minute addition to the night's programming.
Probably the most intriguing piece of the evening though was Harry K's Love is Blind, Lingerie is Braille, a play that focused on a strange, quiet, and silly office romance. I really won't be able to do it justice, but I was pleasantly surprised by the performance's humor, pace, vision, and it's ability to keep the attention of an auditorium full of already drunken TBA goers.
This last feat being probably the hardest thing for any of the performers that sign on to doing an evening at THE WORKS have to deal with. Keeping the attention of drunk people, especially drunk people who also have other things that could be stimulating them (an art show in the bathroom, music in the auditorium, beer in the beer garden) is not easy and I sometimes wonder why TBA likes to pack so much programming into one night. I know for me, as an audience member, it is also a challenge to know what to go do and what to fucking look at. At times last night, in some of this confusion, I got frustrated and even felt alienated.
But maybe that is just me. What do you think? Is THE WORKS' programming a little too multifaceted for its own good? Rr do you like the causal -engage in art if you feel like it- way that it is working now?