The Week in TBA 

The Mercury's Quick Picks for TBA's First Week


LAST WEEK, the Mercury published a complete guide to the 10th annual Time-Based Art Festival—an immersive look at the 11-day contemporary art festival that's about to invade performance venues all over Portland. The festival starts this weekend, so here's a quick recap of this week's most exciting offerings—from a Mexican theater company and dancers from Zimbabwe and New York to DJ nights at Washington High School, the festival's de facto home base. For more on TBA:12, see ALISON HALLETT


Big Art Group, The People—Portland

The tech-savvy Big Art Group is all about mixing the high and low, the digital and the analog. For The People—Portland, members of the New York-based experimental performance ensemble came out to Portland for a week and interviewed dozens of regular citizens, asking lofty questions like, "What is terrorism?" Projected on a giant wall outside, the combined, edited interviews will serve as a sort of Greek chorus to the art group's performance of a piece of theater based on ancient social-justice play the Oresteia. Expect a spectacle. SARAH MIRK Washington High School, 531 SE 14th, Thurs Sept 6-Sat Sept 8, 8:30 pm, $15-20


Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, El Rumor del Incendio (The Sound of Fire)

Mexico's revolutionary history is brought to life in El Rumor del Incendio, a "documentary play" that uses film, scale models, and witness accounts to investigate the recent past. The show—by young Mexican company Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol—begins in the 1960s, when young Mexicans took up arms for societal change, and proceeds to chart the historic and contemporary resonance of those actions. The show will be presented in Spanish, with English-language supertitles for the monolingual dummies in the audience. AH Winningstad Theatre at PCPA, 1111 SW Broadway, Fri Sept 7-Sun Sept 9, 6:30 pm, $20-25


Venus X

One of NYC's most sought-after DJs, Venus X (Jazmin Venus Soto) creates an intelligent storm of sound on her turntables. Mixing an insane mélange of musical styles—including such disparate genres as Dominican dembow, underground rap, salsa, pop hits, dubstep, and Turkish techno that's cut and mixed with spoken samples from the web, Al Jazeera reports, and more—Venus X practically brings her sweaty, demographically diverse crowds to an ecstatic riot. She was the hit of New York Fashion Week, and her regular GHE20GOTH1K dance nights have, according to multiple sources, brought new life and energy to a flagging NYC nightlife. But most of all, she's bringing a new, thoughtful narrative to the art of DJing. If you believe your ass is connected to your brain, don't miss Venus X—she'll shake it all. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Thurs Sept 6, 10:30 pm, free



Called "the filthy future of drag," a "drag terrorist," and a "sexually infused sewer of live rap," queer performance artist Christeene (Paul Soileau) takes rapping to a new... I was going to say "level," but let's go with "alternate universe." Dressed in a filthy wig, and sporting broken teeth and a penis barely disguised by nude pantyhose, Christeene writes and performs incontrovertibly grotesque dirty South-style raps such as "Fix My Dick," "Bustin' Brown," "African Mayonnaise," and the subtly titled, "Tears from My Pussy." And as dirty (and catchy!) as her songs may be, expect even more hilariously filthy onstage shenanigans. (Eating pudding out of a backup dancer's butt is not unheard of.) You'll be pleased to note that beneath the insanely nymphomaniacal persona, there beats the heart of a sweet and canny performer who knows how the media and superficiality of the world can create monsters. WSH Washington High School, 531 SE 14th, Fri Sept 7, 10:30 pm, $5-7


Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells,The Quiet Volume

The silence of a library is a very particular thing: No one is talking, but everyone is thinking, reading, and turning pages. (Unless you're at the Central Library... then, possibly, someone is shouting about how it's their turn to use the internet.) Libraries are unique spaces, public but focused, and performance artists Tim Etchells and Ant Hampton take advantage of that peculiarity in their introspective piece The Quiet Volume, which invites two audience members at a time to don headsets and follow whispered cues that lead them through the library's stacks. The piece—which examines the nature of the reading experience—has been performed in libraries worldwide. ALISON HALLETT Multnomah County Central Library, 801 SW 10th, Thurs Sept 6-Sun Sept 16 (no Mon Sept 10 show), see for showtimes, $8-10


Miguel Gutierrez, Heavens What Have I Done

New York choreographer Miguel Gutierrez mashes up the disciplines of dance, humor, drama, and vocalization in his epic, ramblingly original pieces. A smidgeon of good-natured hipster irony sneaks in now and again (his infamous Deep Aerobics dance party/workout/freakouts come to mind), or perhaps a dash of impropriety when he appears in his underwear and/or high heels. With an emotional terrain that spans the minutia of relationship feelings to the state of an unjust world, Gutierrez is, literally, all over the place. In Heavens What Have I Done he dons the rainbows and makeup of a clown for a solo monologue and dance that deals with the theatrical process, travel, injustice, teaching, and his own personal hopes and dreams—so, all of life, essentially. As per usual. MARJORIE SKINNER Washington High School, 531 SE 14th, Fri Sept 7-Sun Sept 9, 6:30 pm, $15-20


Nora Chipaumire, Miriam

A native of Zimbabwe, Nora Chipaumire is a Bessie Award-winning choreographer whose work concentrates on current politics in Africa. In her artist's statement, in fact, she straight up refers to it as "total propaganda." The piece she will be performing at TBA:12, Miriam, deals specifically with issues of womanhood and rebellion against societal expectations. It is in part named for Miriam Makeba, the South African singer known as Mama Africa who basically popularized African music in the US singlehandedly, and was exiled for her anti-apartheid activism. Look for an aggressive, physically demanding performance with dramatic costuming and a healthy dose of attitude. MS Lincoln Hall at PSU, 1620 SW Park, Fri Sept 7-Sat Sept 8, 8:30 pm, $20-25


Andrew Dickson, Life Coach

Despite my ex-girlfriend's nagging insistence that I should see "a psychologist, a therapist, a career counselor... anyone, really," I have yet to give her the satisfaction that would come from me improving myself. Andrew Dickson, however, might change my mind. The dude behind TBA classics like 2004's AC Dickson: eBay PowerSeller and 2007's Sell Out, the successful Dickson (he works at Wieden+Kennedy!) has decided to help you with your crappy life. With Life Coach, he'll take selected TBAers on a journey of self-discovery—and, onstage, in front of an audience, he'll help them figure out what to do next in order to make their lives better. Whether you're getting coached or watching someone else, it's a win-win—not only is it free for both the coachees and the audience, but everyone should be able to benefit somehow from Dickson's advice, should they so choose. And let's face it, he'll probably be right about whatever he says. Righter than you, anyway. I don't see TBA inviting you to do any life coaching. ERIK HENRIKSEN Mark Spencer Hotel Ballroom, 409 SW 11th, Sat-Sun 1:30 & 3:30 pm, Sat Sept 8-Sun Sept 16


Perforations, curated by Zvonimir Dobrovic

There's a lot more to the Balkans than... well, all the terrible shit that usually comes to mind when someone says "Serbia." In one of the most intriguing international showcases on the TBA schedule this year, Zvonimir Dobrovic—founder of Central and Eastern Europe's largest performance festival—curates a night with three Serbian and Croatian artists, who will present site-specific music and performance speaking to politics, national identity, and whatever else artists from the Balkans are worrying about these days. AH Washington High School, 531 SE 14th, Mon Sept 10-Tues Sept 11, 8:30 pm, $15-20


Sam Green and Yo La Tengo, The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller

Filmmaker Sam Green co-directed 2002's fascinating The Weather Underground. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary, the film dug into the weird, dangerous world of the wannabe hippie revolutionaries who decided to overthrow the government. Now Green's found a subject just as interesting in the bizarre, brilliant R. Buckminster Fuller, the inventor, architect, and professional weirdo who attempted to change the world through re-imagining the way we can and should live, from the mass utilization of geodesic domes to living in autonomous buildings. (Fuller called his version of a futuristic, self-contained home the "Dymaxion House," and I am furious I am not sitting in one right now.) For the "live documentary" The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, Green will pull from images, TEDTalks-inspired narration, and—hot damn!—a live score performed by Yo La Tengo. Prediction: This is going to rule, and it is going to make all of us feel like tiny imbeciles who should be doing far more with our flimsy little lives, and I cannot wait. EH Washington High School, 531 SE 14th, Wed Sept 12, 6:30 & 8:30 pm, $20-25

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