Kim Gordon, Gang Gang Dance & faUST Set to Perform at LA's Broad Museum Summer Happenings Series
The four-part cultural series will showcase more than 35 artists and performers and kicks off June 30, running through September.
Since opening in 2015, Los Angeles' Broad Museum has become an important cultural landmark for the city and last week it announced the lineup for the third edition of its Summer Happenings event, combining the museum's collection with performance art and pairings from 35 musical acts curated by prominent taste-makers.
Among those selecting talent are Afro-Punk documentary creator James Spooner; former Pitchfork director Brandon Stosuy, who now serves as editor-in-chief at The Creative Independent; and Ryu Takahashi, an independent curator, producer and artist manager based in New York and Tokyo. The Broad's director of audience engagement Ed Patuto tells Billboard the four-part series, which runs June 30 through September, utilizes the entire downtown campus.
"Outside on the plaza we built the East West Bank stage that holds upwards to 1,500 people and still has a really intimate feel," Patuto explains. "We also utilize the lobby of the museum, our Oculus Hall on the second floor which is a flexible space that we transform into different things -- in August we're going to turn it into an underground Beijing punk club -- and then we use the galleries on the third floor as well. Things happen all throughout the museum and we really like to give people an experience of going from performance or music into visual art in a somewhat seamless way."
The first performance in the series "A Journey That Wasn't -- Part 1" explores artists representations of time and includes performances by experimental synth-rock band Gang Gang Dance, as well as DJ Stretch Armstrong, minimalist composer Terry Riley and tapper-turned-ordained minister Jean Grae, who will deliver a sermon on time, interspersed with her choir’s themed cover songs and special musical guests. Former Sonic Youth front-woman Kim Gordon leads "A Journey That Wasn’t -- Part 2" on Sept. 29, joining drummer YoshimiO from Japanese rock band Boredoms for a collaborative and fully improvised instrumental set. They'll be joined in the evening by curators of Banjee Ball, L.A.'s monthly celebration of voguing, dancing and catwalk strutting, as well as Swisha House label founder Michael “5000” Watts and Rio-based artist and no wave legend Arto Lindsay.
Rounding out the four-part series is a July 28 celebration of German artist and Fluxus movement founder Joseph Beuys, featuring Krautrock group faUSt and Baltimore duo Matmos, and a celebration of contemporary Chinese art set for Aug. 25 featuring pioneering Beijing post-punk band Re-TROS and Chinese-Canadian techno artist MIIIA. The event, titled "The Greater Body (Shi-Dati)," also features Daniel Collás and Juliet Swanbo from the Phenomenal Handclap Band and Jie Ma who will perform Collás’ original score for the pipa, a traditional four-stringed Chinese musical instrument, in accompaniment to director Zhou Hongbo’s documentary film Lotus Ferry about the eponymous district of Shanghai.
"We have conversations with the artist about the theme of the evening, why we think that they would work with this evening, and for some artists that means creating something specifically that will only be performed that night," Patuto tells Billboard. And while patrons may come for a specific concert, Patuto explains, they will typically wind up roaming through the museum's various exhibits and performances, exploring the Broad's 120,000-square-foot building that features two floors of gallery space and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library with loaned art from its vast collection to museums around the world since 1984.
"We've developed a reputation for showcasing the unknown while celebrating L.A.'s vast cultural and artistic diversity," explains Patuto, who says the goal of the series is to combine art and performance in new ways. He points to "The Greater Body" evening, which looks at the Chinese culture through a more contemporary lens.
"We purposely said we want to bring artists from China who are doing good work right now and this is a very different kind of gathering of both performance art and various kinds of music that covers a much broader scope," he says. "The focus is not on traditional forms but instead, is very contemporary and addresses what is happening now.
Tickets are $95 for all four performances or $30 for a single event. For additional information and a full schedule of events, visit thebroad.org/happenings.