Our Top 5 Picks for Pacific Standard Time's Performance and Public Art Festival

For the past six months, L.A. has been inundated with great art as it celebrates its place in American art history with the multi-institution, months-long Pacific Standard Time. While last year saw the debut of some great museum and gallery shows, today marks the beginning of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, which goes from Jan. 19-29. The purpose of the 11-day festival is to show new adaptations, commissions and revivals of installation and performance art by artists in L.A. between 1945 and 1980. The celebration includes new performances, outdoor public art, experimental theater and sound art, social and political interventions, and media art. Here are some of our top picks this week:1. Disappearing Environments by Judy Chicago and Materials & ApplicationsTonight at 5:45 in Barker Hanger in Santa Monica is the debut of a public art installation re-created by art behemoth Judy Chicago, from a piece she first performed in 1968. The kickoff event installs 25 tons of dry ice into formations that will shroud the environment in fog with road flares illuminating the installation at dusk. Over the next few days, the piece disintegrates as the ice sublimates. The event is free, but parking is $10.

Pomona College

2.Burning Bridges by James TurrellOn Saturday at 6:45 out at Pomona College, this event recreates Light and Space artist James Turrell's 1971 flare performance, utilizing highway flares in and around the façade of Bridges Auditorium, the central building on Marston Quad. Judy Chicago also has an event at Pomona that evening involving pyrotechnics.

Dance Here, Here Dance, 2011, Anita Pace Photo: Warren Neidich

3. Art in the Parking Space, by Warren Neidich and Elena BajoOn Tuesday, Jan 24th at 7pm at the Standard Hotel in West Hollywood, artists Warren Neidich and Elena Bajo have invited artists such as Ron Cooper, Lindsay Lawson,  Georgia Sagri, and Société Réaliste to create temporary and ephemeral artworks in parking spaces across Los Angeles. According to the description, "each work reflects different environments and sets of cultural parameters that define the Los Angeles basin." The event at the Standard kicks off the festivities.4. Portable Parks IV: Past, Present, Future = A.L.L., by Bonnie Ora Sherk in collaboratio with Consuming NatureArt in a mall! Over at Santa Monica Place Shopping Center, there is a recreation of Bonnie Ora Sherk's performance installations from the 1970s, where she imported turf, straw, farm animals and picnic tables to San Francisco streets and freeways. Now forty years later, Sherk and the Otis Public Practice Graduate program students are re-thinking what a "portable park" means today. At Santa Monica Place, their installations include California Native Zones, mini-gardens of drought-tolerant plants and The Flower Unfolding, a monumental-scale, organic edible landscape consisting of fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. According to the artist, the exhibit "will temporarily transform the mall site in a highly aesthetic and multi-sensory way; raise awareness of ecological sustainability, urban agriculture and A Living Library, as well as to unveil different aspects of consumer culture to the diverse visitors to Santa Monica Place."

Myths of Rape , by Leslie Labowitz-Starus, Performed for Three Weeks in May, Suzanne Lacy, 1977

5. Three Weeks in January by Suzanne LacyOngoing over the month of January, visitors to downtown's LAPD headquarters will see a re-enactment of Suzanne Lacy’s 1977 project Three Weeks in May -  a politically-infused project that brought rape into greater public awareness. The LACE-organized project includes the Los Angeles Rape Map, visually marking locations of reported rapes, as well as a series of conversations and a closing candlelight reception. 

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