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Museum Life: What Are They Doing in That Gallery?

Lately the museum stories catching my eye are about galleries being opened to performance art of all types. Last month the Laguna Art Museum in southern California hosted roller derby girls who helped artist Jocelyn Foye create clay pieces by throwing each other into the walls. A DJ, beer and popcorn rounded out the night.

An Orange County roller girl at Laguna Art Museum

Last week the Guggenheim in New York sold out two performances by band Animal Collective in collaboration with artist Danny Perez. As described on the museum website, they set out to create a site-specific performance piece that will transform the museum’s rotunda into a kinetic, psychedelic environment. Transverse Temporal Gyrus will feature original recorded music composed specifically for the event along with video projections, costumes, and props, rendering the band members and performers into intense, visual abstractions. Visitors were invited to interact in the gallery as part of the piece. 

Animal Collective with Perez

 The Berkeley Art Museum at the University of California has a new Friday night L@TE series with performances, music and drinks which this week will include, according to BAM, a live video feed of physically challenging “actions” performed by professional dominatrix, champion submission wrestler, and local artist Jennifer Locke…. wondering if I should ask why actions is in quotations or just go see for myself?!

 Artists making art in museums and using visitors to participate in the creation is in my opinion one of the best uses of public space. While parameters are broadly designed, the experience is not directed by curators, educators or docents. It allows museum professionals to hand over galleries and get out of the way to see what happens when a unique group of people in a specific timeframe interact with whatever is around them… preferably wearing roller skates.

Find Out More! 

Laguna Art Museum http://www.lagunaartmuseum.org/ 

Guggenheim New York http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york 

BAM L@TE Friday Nights http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/about/late

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