Vaginal Davis

 My Pussy is Still in Los Angeles(I Only Live in Berlin)

 

On January 29, 2012, West of Rome Public Art (WoR), as part of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, is proud to present a very special afternoon with performance artist Vaginal Davis. The performance is one in a series curated by Emi Fontana of new works inspired by the influential Los Angeles-based Woman’s Building. The curatorial aim of the series is to highlight the tremendous impact of the Woman’s Building and feminist practices on contemporary art production. Davis’ piece, entitled My Pussy Is Still in Los Angeles (I Only Live in Berlin), loosely based on the book Insurgent Muse-Life and Art at the Woman’s Building by Terry Wolverton. Davis will combine spoken-word narrative, as well as live performance, to explore the utopian promise of Los Angeles and the dystopia of late 1970s through the lens of the Woman’s Building, gender issues, and her own career as an underclass performance artist. The event will feature a Lesbian ‘Separatist’ high tea reception and the publication of a special ‘zine’—as one of a kind signed artist’s book that supplements Ms. Davis’ performance.

 

In the unique setting of the Louis XVI Bullocks Department Store on Wilshire—a setting that hosted the first West Coast couture boutique of Coco Chanel, where Marlene Dietrich would show up for fashion shows wearing men suits and high heels, revealing her breasts—Ms. Davis’ tea party and live art event will unfold. This performance piece reflects upon the history of Los Angeles in relation to the counterculture performance scene, especially gay and transgender performers and the activities of the Woman’s Building. Designing her performance as an homage paying tribute to and reminding us about the important pioneering work of such culture workers, LA native Davis seeks, in part, to fill the gaps in the performance history of her city by creating narratives for figures that are frequently overlooked or left out of the popular record. Using a strong biographical element in her work, Davis started her career as a performer in L.A at the end of the 1970s. This piece is an attempt to reconcile her own work in the context of the punk scene, gay and transgender performance in films and other entertainment industries. It also examines the activities of the Feminist artistic output that emerged from the Woman’s Building.

By examining the utopian prospects of time, the dystopian reality, and the accomplishments of these alternative performance scenes, Davis wants to highlight the important contribution of the LA underground movement and its persistent relevance today.

Vaginal Davis is an American performance artist, experimental filmmaker, painter, independent curator, composer, and writer. Her career began in Los Angeles in the 1970s, where she performed with and alongside punk and conceptual art bands that were seminal to the L.A. underground of the time. Davis has worked continuously since the 1970s, producing a diverse range of work that absolutely defies categorization. Davis has recently relocated from L.A. to Berlin and her performance for the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival marks a timely homecoming for the artist, whose performance work is a necessary addition to this celebration of the visual arts in Southern California.

WoR is a leading organization in Los Angeles dedicated to the realization of artists’ projects, exhibitions, and public interventions outside of the frame of galleries and museums. Founded in 2005, WoR has produced many notable exhibitions including Women in The City, featuring Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and Jenny Holzer, Mike Kelley and Michael Smith’s A Voyage of Growth and Discovery, Marnie Weber’s Eternity Forever, Jennifer Bolande’s Plywood Curtain, and, recently, Trespass Parade with Arto Lindsay, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and over 200 artists, performers, thinkers, and political activists, including My Barbarian, Ann Magnuson, Dawn Kaspar, Kenny Sharf, Milena Muzquitz, Scott Benzel, Killsonic, Chris Krauss, Sylvere Lortringer, Occupy L.A. and many others… 

 

Vaginal Davis
My Pussy Is Still in Los Angeles (I Only Live in Berlin)
Sunday, January 29, 1:00-3:30 pm
Bullocks Wilshire, at the Southwestern Law School, 3050 Wilshire Blvd, 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tickets are $50 (Limited edition, handmade artist book signed. High Tea Party with finger foods, pink bubbles…) Purchase tickets at www.westofrome.org/future or by calling (626) 793-1504  Limited Capacity, Reserve Your Ticket Now!

 

The Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival will transform Southern California over eleven days from January 19-29. Featuring more than 30 major performances and large-scale outdoor projects, the festival will include new commissions, reinventions, and restagings inspired by works created by artists during the Pacific Standard Time era. The festival is organized by the Getty Research Institute and LA><ART; support is provided by the Getty Foundation.

 

Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

 

 

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