Joanna Klass and Wojtek Szaszor were visiting us from Warsaw, Poland. They were GCAC creatives in residence for a first site visit, connecting with us and discussing possibilities for a future extended residency project. While here, they presented an evening of live performance/ installation/ multimedia/ archives and conversation, Art of the Spectacle, part of their ongoing “artist in permanent utopia/permanent exile” project. The program provided a round table dialogue about art objects, society, and exile, with a slight local focus toward Grotowski, Modjeska, Orange County and Santa Ana. The gallery space was activated over the course of the evening for a gathering of several artists, curators and community friends who joined Klass and Szaszor as collaborators. A simple table with a circle of chairs was placed in the center of the space. A meal was served. The goal was to engage the group in an interesting, initially outlined conversation concerning art, cultural politics, urgent issues that matter. Participation in the performance was open. There were empty chairs for visitors who wished to join the conversation, allowing the public to enter freely and roam the gallery, listen to the conversation, join at the table or observe. The “discontextual installation” contained small traces of Deren, Cage, Modjeska’s godson Witkacy, Jerzy Grotowski, F-Space Gallery, Situationists and others. It was an art event that one individual described as “Borscht, Bauhaus, and Bickering.”
*Joanna Klass is the founding director of Arden2, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, facilitating exchanges between Polish and American artists. She has brought a broad spectrum of contemporary Polish theatre to the U.S., including Gardzeniece Theatre Lab, Song of the Goat, Teatr Provisorium, the Modjeska Theatre Company, Kana Theatre, the Wroclaw Puppet Theatre, TR Warszawa and Teatr ZAR. (*from the Library Foundation of Los Angeles website)
If you were around Downtown Los Angeles in the early to mid-90s, you might have run into Wojtek Szaszor, as he was one of the organizer of an incredibly important alternative space located on Traction Avenue by the name of Spanish Kitchen. For the record, Downtown LA had a great scene in the 90s, with spaces like Deep River, POST, the activities of the Santa Fe Colony, artists studios and a bit later The Project, among much more.
Philadelphia based artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib also stopped by Grand Central Art Center for a visit. Current GCAC Director/Chief Curator John D. Spiak presented Hironaka’s major multi-channel video installation with 16-channel sound, The Late Show, when Spiak was a curator at Arizona State University Art Museum.
GCAC always loves sharing our time and space with quality artists, creatives and the community, so come pay us a visit!