(Carol Cheh’s article appeared in LA Weekly, 7/23.)
Perform Chinatown, a one-night festival of performance art, took over the Chinatown arts district on Saturday night. More than 40 artists occupied various nooks and crannies of Chung King Road and beyond with performances that were short or long, dour or humorous, heavy or light. While there were some excellent artists in the mix and several pieces that were worthy of extended consideration, the event as a whole failed to add up to a strong, cohesive presentation.
This is the fourth year that a performance art festival has been organized in Chinatown. The event began its life in 2009 as Perform! Now! and that iteration remains the strongest and most memorable. Organized by a small coalition of local artists and gallerists, that event featured, among other works, a now-legendary performance in which Dawn Kasper roared up in a pickup truck, blasted death metal and screamed about nihilism for five minutes, then roared back down the street again, hitting a parked car in the process. Kasper has since gone on to fame and glory via this year's Whitney Biennial. There also was a lovely recital of Yvonne Rainer's iconic Trio A dance by artist Simon Leung