"In this presentation I will begin by tracing the recurring image of the theater within my artistic and curatorial trajectory. This orientation will set the stage for a broader look at contemporary Los Angeleno performance makers who differently assemble what they need from theater within their respective practices (Asher Hartman, Grand Lady Dance House, Patrick Ballard and more) as well as contemporaries in the transnational performance scene (Teatro Praga, Ligia Lewis, Will Rawls, Mel Brimfield) In our discussion we will compare theatrical infrastructure, production and economies here in LA and in Europe and New York, parse rich materiality from kitsch representations of "theatricality" perpetuated by film, an existent conservative civic theater, and arts funding foundations which draw an unfortunate binary between theater and performance made within visual arts contexts. We will look at theater as an uncanny disruption to the notion of blank space, wonder if theater is the "dirty ass" of Mike Kelly's paintings (an affront to the frontal), introduce ourselves to theater's animistic architecture and instruments, notice Marina Abramovic's bloody knife and compare its powers to the fake-bloody-fake-knives of the actors, explore lost theaters, reconstruct audience riots and hunt within the history of staged plays for those skills and methodologies that point towards total presence and authentically synthetic states."
Brian Getnick has been a participating artist in LA's performance scenes since 2007. Since 2011 he has been researching and staging shows for Los Angeleno performers through Native Strategies, the journal and showcase he founded and co-directs with Tanya Rubbak. In 2013 he began building and hosting performance residencies at PAM: a blue theater in a second floor studio in Highland Park.