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CHANGES: WORKS AT UNION STATION

08.26.2018

PRESS RELEASE

CHANGES: Works at UNION STATION

SUNDAY, AUG 26, 2018: 1-6 PM

Works by:

Zeina Baltagi - Jessica Ceballos y Campbell - Artemisa Clark - Akina Cox - Edgar Fabián Frías - Jonathan Gómez - Vikramadithya Ikshvivek - Alexia Lewis - Todd Moellenberg - Thinh Nguyen - Albert Ortega - Paul Outlaw - Paul Pescador - Faith Purvey - Elliot Reed - Michael Rippens - Sepand Shahab - Christopher Velasco - Christopher Wawrinofsky

Changes presents an afternoon of 20 site-specific performances and interactive works from Los Angeles artists in and around Union Station. The projects, which take advantage of the many unique spaces at Union Station, will ask the public to consider the station as a metaphor for all kinds of changes both personally and societally.

Union Station is that rare place in LA that feels like a public space, and yet it's often not a destination so much as a space for switching trains/buses, and it's frequently experienced in solitude. Changes hopes to give transit riders and station visitors an opportunity to get personal, connect with others, and reflect on their own lives, on the city and its people, in the type of space that can sometimes feel disconnected, impersonal and stressful.

Metro Art Presents showcases an exciting array of arts and cultural programs at historic Union Station. All events are free and open to the public. More information: metro.net/art or unionstationla.com. Union Station is accessible via Metro Rail, Metro Bus and several municipal bus lines. Use the Trip Planner for routes and connections. Car and bicycle parking are also available on site.

Curated by Stephen van Dyck

FREE


PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

Roving and at the piano - 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Historic Ticketing Counter - 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Where would you like to go? Choose your destination. Or rather, let a representative from Dis-Placement Travel Agency choose your destination for you.

South Arcade - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Teveo

Lie down with me. Rest. See me. Let me see you.

Te veo/Me ves is third in a series of works about two fallen soldiers who keep each other alive through their gazes in the moments before their deaths. Once they hit the floor and begin to bleed out, they become objects, lifeless bodies, from the perspective of those standing above them. They do not expend energy attempting to stand again, performing subjecthood in a way that is legible by those who would destroy them; instead, they refuse death for and through those who are and have always been next to them.

For this piece, I ask the audience to stand in for the performer who has held my gaze in previous iterations. In doing so, we will help keep each other alive; we will see each other. By lying down, making our bodies horizontal, we will extract ourselves from the pressure to constantly work and push forward. We will rest and resist together and for each other.

This act is additionally a small gesture in solidarity with the prisoners currently on strike, especially those at the Men’s Central Jail, Twin Towers Correctional Facility, and Metropolitan Detention Center, all within a half mile of Union Station. It is for those being held by ICE at the Metropolitan Detention Center. It is for those who are under attack, who have been under attack, and yet remain.

Artemisa Clark is an interdisciplinary visual artist and performance studies scholar from Los Angeles. She received a MA in performance studies from Northwestern University in 2016 and a MFA in visual arts from the University of California, San Diego in 2015. Clark’s work uses historical and personal archives to highlight the mundane and continual nature of violence against the Chicanx, female body. Often working in performance, Clark embodies and celebrates abjection as a site of survival, creation, and subject formation. She has exhibited and presented research in spaces such as MOCA, The Hammer, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the Vincent Price Art Museum, Commonwealth & Council, and the Mexican Center for Culture and Cinematic Arts, all in Los Angeles; California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA; Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA; the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics Encuentro X, Santiago, Chile; and Biquini Wax and SOMA, both in Mexico City.

Information kiosk - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
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Get your fortune read

The Ruthless Sister explores the human desire to look for life’s answers by ascribing significance to meaningless phenomena, and the people entrusted to do so. For millennia, people have developed methods of looking for signs among the chaotic and mundane. Weather, skin, dust, rocks, smoke, and bones are just a few of the tools used to decipher the future. The god of the Old Testament is portrayed as shouting instructions down a mountain, but priests received their sacred communications by casting lots.

Marbling is another ancient divination technique. Originating in the Middle East and Central Asia, it relies on the natural separation of oil and water to create random designs on paper. The resulting composition is used to reveal heavenly intentions, much like the reading of tea leaves.

Women have long played the role of intermediaries between worlds. As oracles, priestesses, and witches, they’ve occupied a precarious position between reverence and danger, depending on their society’s reception of them. Often existing as solitary creatures, they also sometimes band together to consolidate their powers. Examples in history abound, from Catholic convents and pagan covens to the Black Mares, Demeter’s priestesses in Ionic Greece.

During the performance of The Ruthless Sister, Cox and an assistant will marble paper with the audience. Cox will give readings based on the resulting work. The Ruthless Sister also marks the release of Cox’s new artist book, which investigates how our beliefs affect our most intimate decisions.

Akina Cox lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Commonwealth and Council, Monte Vista Projects, and LACE. Her collaborative projects have been exhibited at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Her artist books can be purchased at Otherwild in Los Angeles, Art Metropole in Toronto, and Printed Matter in New York City.

near Traxx Restaurant - 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Artist Edgar Fabián Frías will be providing brief moments of mindful awareness to individuals who want to have a moment's break from the every day. Utilizing a varied use of techniques from somatic awareness to guided visualization, Frías will incorporate the natural sounds, sights, and smells of the Union Station into their work and provide a moment of respite for individuals moving through the space.

Edgar Fabián Frías, MFT is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, educator, and psychotherapist. Their work traverses across academic, social, historical, and relational planes, building bridges and weaving webs. Their practice is amorphous and expansive and rooted in both connection and in the magic that emerges from it.

Edgar Fabián Frías, LMFT
www.edgarfabianfrias.org

Roving - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

A sound tour using familiar sounds of transit stations and unfamiliar sounds of rave music

Trance Transit House aims to immerse the listener in a soundscape that brings attention to sonorous objects and activity in the transit station to consider the aesthetic qualities of their experience. Through an ostinato of musical gestures, the ambient sounds in the transit station and interaction from the people there will be distilled and deconstructed. The recording is a kind of rhythmic and synthesized soundscape juxtaposed to the natural soundscape as a kind of unfamiliar spectacle to consider changes. In its current state, the continuous music track conveys the kind of things that are probable to happen at a transit station: people running to their next train; people figuring out where to go; announcements being made; excitement of finding who you’re looking for; experiencing the architecture; signs and screens displaying information; and anything and everything that could turn into a synthesized musical gesture.

What does a train sounds like? What does needing to make it on time sound like? What do thoughts sound like when people are people watching each other? Could we consider change when we interpret all the situational phenomena in a distilled form? Potentially, we could become more efficient travelers by considering aesthetic ways of get to where we lack understanding. Could we end up taking our time more in this mindset? How do we change in this kind of journey? When a journey changes meaning, do we take note of how our relationship to the place and those around us changed for us?

Information kiosk - all damn day, honey
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Vik will be providing short intuitive readings less than 5 minutes

Working as an "avishkara," or spirit-possessor in Sanskrit, Vik will be providing short intuitive readings with his spirit-guide lasting 3 to 5 minutes in duration, preferably in response to the querent's specific questions. Functioning as a public oracle at the station's information kiosk, for the willing participants Vik will give them a short "akashic download," beforehand to open up their energy and establish an intuitive connection, and then proceed into the question-and-answer session. This will serve as a willing demonstration of what may be possible with the intuitive faculty between complete strangers even in a materialist culture that frequently regards with disdain any act of metaphysical expression outside conventional Western religion.

Growing up in a traditional Hindu household, Vikramadithya Ikshvivek began meditating early; as a teen he endured out-of-body experiences via the otherworldly rush of Kundalini arousal. To deal with his peculiar relationship with reality, he chose to study its simulation, cinema. While in the Master's of Fine Arts program at the prestigious American Film Institute at the age of 26 he fell into a mysterious trance while ill, and began hearing a powerful, female ethereal voice. Following graduation, in addition to launching his production company Valkyrie Media in 2009, on the side he started practicing divination and working as a clairaudient, all with the aid of the same voice. In 2010 while producing a documentary shoot in Calcutta on yoga celebrity Psalm Isadora, he had an illuminating near-death experience after visiting a Goddess Kali temple. The following year he was approved as a subject for his cousin Vikas Malhotra's PhD study at UC Santa Barbara on spirit-possession in South Asian religion, and began writing a memoir on his mystical experiences. Appropriately enough he lives in Los Angeles, perennially the City of Angels and various assorted spirits.

City of Dreams/River of History installation near Patsaouras Plaza - 2:30, 3:30, 4:30 PM
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As the Oracle to the Spirit of Gloria Jean Boddie (RIP), Alexia Lewis will invoke the histories of the land that Union Station sits on. She encourages all who care about the future of Los Angeles to attend one or all Prophecies.

Alexia Lewis is a Los Angeles-based performance and visual artist and art writer. In the past decade, she began to use performance to explore the sacred and the absurd, using the principles of conceptualism to tell uncomfortable truths in her first videos. Her approach to art making continues to be heavily influenced by her education in photography and animation at the University of Southern California's art and cinema schools, respectively. In recent years, she has sought to infuse her performance work with more emotion, and subsequently began to study improvisation and the Meisner acting technique. Her interests lie in creating a "visual body language" that is imbued with spirituality, and infusing her artistic practice with the mission to serve fine artists the truth that they need.

The Amtrak and Metrolink Passageway - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
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Todd is performing a walking meditation with a sensory-deprivation mask.

In this third iteration from his series of “trust walks,” Todd will perform a walking meditation with his sensory-deprivation mask along the passageway to the Amtrak and Metrolink tracks.

Todd is a poet and performance artist based in Los Angeles. His work encompasses durational performance, public intervention, and automatic writing, and has been featured by the LA Road Concerts, Shoot the Lobster, Space Time Art, the Bijou Gallery, Parkeology, and Perform Chinatown. Recent projects include cut-up readings of the day’s news, a drive from LA to San Diego streamed live by FaceTime and accompanied by an improvising cellist, and a nine-day performance in which he took a vow of silence and lived in a black box theater. Along with collaborator Curt Miller, Todd has recently launched botobiography, a Twitter bot which posts automatically generated cut-up texts from his daily journal.

Ticketing Hall Fountain - 4:00 PM
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Live vocal endurance performance

Don’t Take My Love is a pleading mantra-song against the cruelty of US immigration policies that tear families apart. Long Long achingly sings, “have your borders, have your walls, make your racist calls, imprison us all, but don’t you please take my love ones away from me!”

Long Long is a cohesive multimedia project emerges out of the realization that my assigned gender is not my identity, and my identity is not the product of my cultural values. Long Long is my reclaimed feminine superego from childhood memories growing up as a girl. She is my performance in power weaponized to disorient the cis-hetero-normative gaze and systems in power.

BIOGRAPHY:

Thinh Nguyen is a multidisciplinary artist who investigates the intersections of cultural values. Utilizing various media, xe explores and exposes oppressive social conditioning around race, gender, sexuality, and belief systems. Nguyen exhibited most recently at The Hammer Museum, REDCAT, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and Human Resources. Xe work has been written in Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, LA Weekly, Hyperallergic, Artillery and numerous online forums. Nguyen holds a BFA in drawing and painting from Cal State Fullerton and an MFA in interdisciplinary studies from Claremont Graduate University. Xe is a first-generation immigrant from Viet Nam, currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Roving - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

This work explores a more classic form of interactive art similar to spectacles shown at the American Expositions of the 1900's where attractions were often collectively experienced in a much deeper way than any smart phone can provide.

Albert Ortega is a time-based artist born in Los Angeles often working with sound and materials that recontextualize everyday spaces.

Shoe Shine Stand - 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
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A(n im)practical guide to cleaning leather shoes and other apparel.

Paul Outlaw will use the Union Station shoe shine stand as stage, gallery, confessional and workshop in an intimate public performance. Outlaw will teach “customers" how to care for his (and their own) leather items, confronting issues surrounding privilege, service, boundaries, eros and entertainment.

Shine was a derogatory term of contempt, first coined in 1908 and used to refer to a black person. It may have referred either to glossiness of skin or to the frequent employment and stereotypical image of African American men and youths as bootblacks, or “shoe shine boys.” These workers were seen as servants rather than as persons who needed to make a living or as skilled craftspeople. As a result, shoe shining was one of the few lines of business where blacks held a monopoly for many years.

Bootblacking is a term that originated in the 19th century to describe the practice of caring for boots, shoes, and other leather apparel. In recent years, the practice has achieved new prominence in Leather/ BDSM subcultures. A bootblack (male or female) will polish and/or spit-shine a pair of boots, sometimes as a gesture of submission, sometimes as a part of military-style uniform play, sometimes as part of boot worship. (This show of respect for the Dominant’s footwear can involve ritual components and kissing/ licking/sucking or cleaning/polishing.)

Paul Outlaw (www.outlawplay.com) is a Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary performing artist. His work’s recurring themes are racial, sexual and national identity in America’s past, present and future. Paul is the recipient of a 2012 COLA (City of Los Angeles) Individual Artist Fellowship, which honor mid-career artists who “dedicate themselves to an ongoing body of excellent work, garner respect from their peers, and serve as role models for other artists.”

Outlaw trained as an actor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has portrayed an eclectic spectrum of roles that includes historical figures like James Baldwin, Jeffrey Dahmer, Nat Turner, Sigmund Freud, Ira Aldridge and Jesse Owens, as well as iconic fictional characters like Tom Sawyer, Wonderland’s Mad Hatter, Oz’s Scarecrow, Shakespeare’s Mercutio and Beckett’s Vladimir. He played the title role in Schwarzfahrer (Black Rider), winner of the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film at the 66th Academy Awards.

Outlaw is the creator of six solo performance projects, with which he has travelled across the US and beyond since the mid-‘90s. The 2016 anthology Blacktino Queer Performance features a chapter on Outlaw’s award-winning solo play Berserker, including the script, a critical essay and interview with the artist. In addition to the COLA fellowship, Outlaw has received grants from the Durfee Foundation and the Center for Cultural Innovation.

Paul was the lyricist and lead vocalist for the Berliner bands Snow Blind Twilight Ferries and Fortified Static and guest vocalist and lyricist for the legendary post-punk constellation Die Haut. He is a featured vocalist on Splendor and Misery (2016), clipping.'s second full-length album release on Sub Pop Records.

Outlaw is proud of his longtime collaborations with Asher Hartman’s Gawdafful National Theater and dance theater company Rosanna Gamson/World Wide. He has performed all over the Los Angeles area, at venues including REDCAT, Bootleg Theater, Grand Performances, the Smell, the Skirball, the Luckman, Electric Lodge, Highways Performance Space, Human Resources, Machine Project, LACE, LACMA, the Hammer, the Broad and in Grand Park. Earlier this year, he sang and acted in the acclaimed revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire at Boston Court Pasadena.

Roving - 3:00 PM
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Wandering through out Union Station

Looking at a recent film I finished I will use as a study where I dressed in a Bart Simpson costume while people shared their experience in the different neighborhoods I visited, the figure of the costume became a stand in for myself but abstracted.

During the period of the performance I will wear an absurd costume and wander through Union Station and ask people to share stories about visiting the Union Station or their thoughts of the history of the site. The ability to collect audio stories about personal history and experience of a site, while complicating the relationship as I come in as a character of humor and oddity, which one would expect attention towards me, but I want something from my viewer instead. A collector of the past and archive for the future.

Waiting Room near the art walls - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Participants may choose one interaction per 5¢ from a menu of possibilities such as singing a song together, sitting in silence, one or the other party ranting about a specific topic or not, etc. Social media intervention is not allowed, to emphasize purely human contact. Bring change! Scholarships are available.

Roaming - 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Two displaced business women trek to an undisclosed destination

Inside the main entrance doors (off of Alameda) - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Hello goodbye

Michael Rippens will greet visitors entering and leaving Union Station.

Dressed in a uniform vest complete with name tag and requisite flair, Michael Rippens will work as a greeter—similar to one you might encounter at a big box store—welcoming visitors at Union Station's main entrance and wishing folks well as they leave. This brief interaction, however fleeting, hopes to provide an unexpected human moment for busy travelers as they rush from one location to the next, and offer a cheerful first impression of Los Angeles for out-of-town visitors. In addition to a friendly "hello" and "goodbye", Michael will gladly help people with their luggage, give them directions (either within the train station or to their next destination in L.A.), crack a joke, engage in a brief conversation, or volunteer to snap a photo for a group of tourists. Michael's shift will last from 1:00 until 6:00pm.

Historic Ticketing Hall - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Stop by to see and hear the garden, or to make a sonic contribution! All are welcome, no experience necessary.

The community soundgarden will grow and be cultivated by the sonic and creative input of passers-by who participate. Any interested visitors can contribute a sound that will either seed a new sound plant or help an existing one grow and develop. Photo documentation of each contributor will help make connections between random station visitors real as each person who contributes a sound can see everyone that came before. After the event, the cumulative sounds will be made available online for download. All are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Sepand is a sound artist and harpsichordist living in Los Angeles whose work focuses on purposeful listening and communal experiences. He has been composer in residence at the Djerrasi Resident Artists Program and with the US Forest Service in Alaska. He has an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Passageway and Union Station East - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

I will be walking as various characters up and down the Tunnel, trying to catch bus or trains.

Near sundial and Traxx bar - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Waiting at Traxx bar Fruitlandman, Bric O' Brac & Father Time transport Dr. Planet, Ho! for the West!!!

MAILING LIST