The Broad Museum, downtown Los Angeles’ contemporary art museum, today announced the line-up for its second annual Summer Happenings performance series which this year will include performances by Jenny Hval, Vaginal Davis, Kembra Pfahler, Xiu Xiu, Devendra Banhart, Afrirampo, Miho Hatori, A Place to Bury Strangers, Geneva Jacuzzi, Zebra Katz, DJ Rashida, Downtown Boys and Mecca Vazie Andrews among others.
This year’s Summer Happenings will again include an inter-disciplinary stew of musicians, artists, authors and others who will perform inside and outside of the contemporary art palace during its extended Saturday hours once a month throughout the summer.
This year’s events are co-curated by performance artist Ron Athey; artist and Afropunk Festival co-founder James Spooner; curator Ryu Takahashi; and the 2016 inaugural curation crew of Bradford Nordeen, independent curator and writer, and Brandon Stosuy, editor-in-chief at Kickstarter’s artist inspiration platform The Creative Independent.
“It was great to come back and do a second year at the museum, after basically learning on the job last time” Stosuy told Billboard. “It’s a new museum, and they’d never done events like this before we started, so 2016 was an interesting experiment—we took that experience from last time, and were really able to maximize what the space offers for year two.”
Summer Happenings are inspired by the Broad’s vast contemporary art collection and current installations and curated around a thematic organizing principle. The first installment, for example, is called “Warhol Icon” (June 24) and is inspired by Andy Warhol muse and Velvet Underground collaborator Nico.
The evening will feature musical performances by Jenny Hval, Kembra Pfahler, Rose McDowall, Tiny Vipers and Geneva Jacuzzi who, according to the release, will “evoke Nico’s experimental approaches toward music, while forging new frontiers within each artist’s respective practices.” Vaginal Davis’ performance will also feature a rare screening of The Inner Scar, Philippe Garrel’s collaborative film starring Nico and Pierre Clementi.
“Bradford and I figured going directly for Warhol at this point wasn’t all that interesting, so we focused on Nico,” Stosuy said. “Some of it’s literal homage, and some of it’s more about an overall feel or approach or sense of space, or whatever.
“Strange Forrest” on July 29 takes its title from contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami who “found inspiration in the collaged cultures that merged in Japan at the end of the Tokugawa period of isolation.”
“I worked with the curator Ryu Takahashi for the second event,” Stosuy explained. “He splits his time between New York and Tokyo, and has a really good sense of what’s happening in underground music in Japan—we tried to go deep, bringing unexpected Japanese artists to L.A. to collaborate, create new work, or just present live sets people haven’t seen before.”
Subsequent Summer Happenings include “The Oracle” (Aug. 26), which plays off a current exhibition examining themes of globalization and surveillance; and the artist “Jean-Michel Basquiat” (Sept 23) which is described as “punk meets hip hop, gay meets straight, black meets white, and downtown party”—which sounds like the most fun of all.