Yes, Stumptown and Bridgetown just ended. Yes, we are already talking about 2010's Time-Based Art Festival.
First of all, PICA just signed another lease on Washington High School—the old Southeast high school will once again house performances, most of TBA's visual art programming, and TBA's late-night happenings, the Works. And in true back-to-school spirit, the festival itself is later this year than it was last—goodbye, Labor Day weekend, hello September 9-19.
PICA is still hammering out the final details of the Works schedule, but otherwise things are rolling along. Not only did PICA recently receive $105,000 in NEA grants for TBA programming, but at their annual benefit last weekend, TADA!, there was a surprise donation of $50,000, if the crowd could match it, which... they did. I just met with TBA's Guest Artist Director, Cathy Edwards, as well as Visual Arts Program Director Kristan Kennedy and Communications Director Patrick Leonard, and they were unusually (for an arts organization!) sanguine about their financial situation. Also, apparently there was a bidding war over Lady Gaga tickets at the TADA! auction, which is sorta awesome.
As we went over this year's lineup, Edwards obliged me with some thematic talking points, describing TBA:10 as particularly characterized by contemporary artists exploring themes of love and war, as well as tackling "signature genius identities in the arts," specifically Beckett, dancer/choregrapher Merce Cunningham, and Shakespeare.
Here is a very cursory list of things that jumped out at me:
This year's opening night performer—hearkening back to the Antony and the Johnsons show a couple years ago—is Rufus Wainwright, performing excerpts from his opera Prima Donna, along with "pop songs, Berlioz selections, and Shakespearean sonnets."
The Wooster Group makes what I believe is their first Portland appearance (anyone?), with a show called There Is Still Time...Brother, a "360-degree interactive war film." No shit. As Guest Artistic Director Cathy Edwards put it, "every theater artist in TBA's history has been influenced by the Wooster Group."
Nature Theater of Oklahoma returns to Portland with their version of Romeo and Juliet, which was developed by asking people to recall as much as they could of the original story off the tops of their heads. (So, basically exactly like this.)
One of my all-time favorite performers, Mike Daisey is back as well (hooray!), with a monologue entitled The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.
Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger are going to dig graves for themselves, and then tunnel between their respective holes to reach one another. (So, basically exactly like this, but with hand-holding.)
And lots, lots more. When I asked Edwards what she learned from last year—her first curating the festival—and what she'd be doing differently this year, she responded that, after last year's dense, heady, pessimistic programming (oh, hello, Meg Stuart), this year she'd be "adjusting the pacing so that there's more fun stuff scattered throughout." (She was quick to note that last year's festival reflected what artists were making at the time—"but I did feel at the end, like, oh my god, I've exhausted these people.")
And on a more prosaic level, they're hoping that Lincoln Hall will be open in time to use it again (I hope so too—I enjoy seeing dance there), and the Newmark Theatre won't be used as a venue this year at all. ("The stage size is perfect, but that's where the Oregon ballet performs," said Edwards. "We don't want a venue that's just business as usual.")
I'm putting the press release after the jump—note that the Works lineup isn't finalized yet. Oh, and congrats to Sarah Gottesdiener and Jenny Hoyston, whose Art Party made the cut. Not bad, for an event that started three months ago.
TBA ON STAGE presents performances by artists from across the country and around the globe, colliding the genres of dance, music, theatre, film and new media to propel new ideas and new forms. This year, PICA is very pleased to announce a special Opening Night Performance by Rufus Wainwright, in concert with the Oregon Symphony.
Rufus Wainwright, in concert with the Portland Symphony
In this symphonic collaboration, Wainwright will perform his pop songs, Berlioz selections, Shakespearean sonnets and excerpts from his first opera, Prima Donna.
The Wooster Group: THERE IS STILL TIME..BROTHER
Controlled by the audience, this 360-degree interactive war film blends political bloggers, lascivious YouTube videos, oversized toys, and a battle between France and Britain. With each choice of the viewer to look or turn away, the work takes on a new narrative scope
Gare St. Lazare Players: First Love
Conor Lovett embodies the dark comedy of Samuel Beckett’s early short story about a man’s first, and perhaps only, love.
Jérôme Bel: Cédric Andrieux
Continuing Bel’s suite of staged dancer portraits, the piece recounts Andrieux’ life in dance and his work with world-renowned choreographers including the late Merce Cunningham.
Mike Daisey: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs
Daisey returns to TBA with the story of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, a real-life Willy Wonka whose obsessions have shaped our age. In this darkly hilarious tale of pride, beauty, lust, and industrial design, Daisey explores the human price we are willing to pay for our technology.
Maria Hassabi: SoloShow
With controlled and acrobatic grace, Hassabi physically collages thousands of iconic images of women, questioning our ideas of femininity.
Dayna Hanson: Gloria’s Cause
Iconic and not-so-iconic moments of the American Revolution in a dance-driven rock musical equally inspired by Schoolhouse Rock and Soul Train.
Danielle Kelly + Noelle Stiles: BLANKET
A soft-sculpture environment provides the set for a dance performance exploring human engagement and synthetic experience.
Gare St. Lazare Players: Beckett Trilogy
A 3-hour tour de force performance by Conor Lovett of Samuel Beckett’s trio of novels: Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable.
Nature Theater of Oklahoma: Romeo and Juliet
Fabricated and piecemeal personal memories of Romeo and Juliet collide to form the script for this Shakespearean adaptation.
Teatr Zeromskiego: In the Solitude of Cotton Fields
Based on the play by the late Bernard-Marie Koltès, an encounter between a Dealer and a Client is staged with a live band and all the swagger of a punk concert.
Emily Johnson/Catalyst: The Thank-you Bar
Dance, storytelling, live multi-layered music and visual image merge to explore displacement, personal history and igloo myth.
John Jasperse Company: Truth, Revised History, Wishful Thinking and Flat Out Lies
The fluid boundaries of theatrical reality are exposed in a sexy, humorous and mesmerizing dance that bounces between the sincere and ironic, the seductive and violent.
Mike Daisey: NOTES TOWARD ALL THE HOURS IN THE DAY
For three years Daisey has been working on a live twenty-four hour monologue. This one night-event unpacks the themes of exhaustion, euphoria and madness that are intimately woven into such an undertaking.
Offsite Dance Project: On Thirteenth
New Japanese choreographers explore and illuminate the hidden subtext of the overlooked urban landscape.
TBA ON SIGHT is a collection of installations, exhibitions, projections and gatherings by visual artists, curated and
organized by Kristan Kennedy, Visual Art Program Director for PICA.
Charles Atlas: Tornado Warning
A five-channel video installation based on Atlas’ early memories of tornado alerts in his childhood home of St Louis, Missouri.
Ronnie Bass: The Astronomer Part 1: Departure from Shed and 2012
Synth-based soundtracks underscore two videos that dream of an escape to a better place, and the start of a new world.
Dan Gilsdorf: Diabolus in Musica
Rumored to have been banned by the Catholic Church, a single uninterrupted chord will call to mind the evocative scores of horror films, and test the endurance of both performer and audience.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Children of the Sunshine
Transformed from a worn instrument to a body of art, Hutchins’ family piano inspires new prints, sculpture and video work.
Anissa Mack: My Heart Wants More
In her residency project, Mack will explore the unique cycles of ownership and memory that Portlanders have with their objects.
Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger: Untitled (Graves)
The artists will dig two holes deep and large enough for each man to lie in, and then tunnel between them to hold hands.
Christopher Miner: The Safest Place
Lost in contemplation, a lone man rotates endlessly in an undefined, space ship-like environment, chanting a reinvented prayer.
Ruby Sky Stiler, Borrowed and Inherited Forms
Stiler’s sculptural forms reference and reconstruct classical iconography from out of artist-constructed “rubble.”
John Smith: The Girl Chewing Gum
A commanding voiceover appears to direct the action in a busy street, until the audience realizes that the director may not be all he seems.
Storm Tharp: High House
“The placement of things, the breeze from an open window, a clear day, a still life, the re-assurance of what is joyful.” For TBA, Tharp will develop a new body of work in a “reverse” residency.
Yemenwed: Episode 3 and Bedroom w TV and Woman Lays w Aide
Taking queues from ritual, dance, cinema and video games, these two videos from the artist collective explore architectural space and spiritual transcendence.
The People’s Biennial, Curated by Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann
In response to the growing exclusivity of the art world, the exhibit will present the work of 25 artists from outside of mainstream art centers.
Nina Katchadourian: Sorted Books, Curated by Mack McFarland
After sifting through a library, the artist selects particular books, stacking them so their titles can be read in sequence.
HARD EDGE, HARD WORK, Curated by Stephanie Snyder
A group of film and video works by women artists that explore the physical, spiritual and social properties of abstraction.
TBA ON SCREEN is a collection of films and time-based media projects, informed by visual art and performance practices.
Short Films of Dayna Hanson
This program of dance films, experimental shorts and kinesthetic music videos spans film, music, dance and theater.
Zachary Oberzan: Flooding With Love for the Kid
A one-man remake of First Blood, directed, filmed, acted, edited, and designed for $96 in a New York studio apartment.
This is Displacement, Curated by Carolyn Anderson and Emily Johnson
Native film and video artists consider the relationship between land and identity.
OntheBoards.tv presents THE SHIPMENT
TBA:09 favorite Young Jean Lee Theater Company returns in one of OtB.tv’s full-length performance videos, exploring the experience of live vs. recorded theater.
TBA INSTITUTE Go behind the scenes to discover the inspirations, ideas and techniques of Festival artists. Through a daily program of chats, workshops, and lectures, TBA INSTITUTE provides a platform for connection and exchange between festival artists and audiences.
An intimate look at the late choreographer Merce Cunningham, through 8mm films and video collaborations with Charles Atlas.
The Wooster Group’s acclaimed founder and director, in conversation with Kathleen Forde, Curator of Time-Based Arts at EMPAC.
Real-time collaborations with TBA artists and performers,
producing and binding new books on-demand in an on-site shop.
THE WORKS rounds out the Festival with nightly performances, an outdoor beer garden, spinning DJs, theater, video, and art installations. THE WORKS invites you to steer your TBA experience toward midnight. Below are just a few confirmat
Charles Atlas and Christian Fennesz
Fennesz’ lush and luminous electric guitar and laptop compositions blend with Atlas’ innovative live video mixing.
Ten Tiny Dances
Inventive new dance and performance art from a rotating lineup, all confined to a 4x4 stage. A TBA audience favorite returns!
The new-New Romantic sounds of Light Asylum, Weed Wolf’s costumed concert, hip-pop from Matrimony, and women’s choir Yesbians!
Jennifer Reeves and Skúli Sverrisson
With a haunting score by Sverrisson, Reeves’ hand-painted film is an ode to nature and 16mm film as they both rapidly vanish.
Woolly Mammoth Comes to Dinner: SHE IS OURSELVES
An evening of aesthetically-inclined dance performance and music from Woolly, White Rainbow, The Slaves, Tunnels and The Miracle Club.
Eric Fredericksen and Weekend Leisure
A riotous and tender evening of artist-made karaoke videos for your favorite power ballads, with a hidden lecture inside.