For Immediate Release:
APRIL 21–MAY 19, 2007
DVD Available: Went Club Years
Track 16 Gallery is pleased to present seminal performance artist Johanna Went’s ABLUTIONS OF A NEFARIOUS NATURE, a retrospective exhibition of costumes, photos and video, including three evenings of performance written an directed by Went. The exhibition runs from April 21, 2007 through May 19, with performances on Saturdays, May 5, 12, and 19 at 8 PM. The opening reception will take place on Saturday, April 21 from 6 to 9 PM.
Reservations are required to attend the performances, and admission price is $18.00. Please call the gallery to reserve at 310.264.4678. Seating is limited.
Notorious for her blood and gut spilling work in Punk Rock clubs in the early 80’s, Johanna Went continues to meet her audiences head-on with de-constructed characters, abstract costumes and a guided tour through a storm of bizarre imagery. In this piece, ABLUTIONS OF A NEFARIOUS NATURE, the main characterarrives at a remote location and becomes immersed in catastrophic events leaving her unsure if she is dead or alive. Like Persephone’s journeys from world to underworld, this character travels from the banks of a material based reality to the shores of an intuitive existence, wading through the river of her unconscious.
At the heart of this work is an exploration of ancient, collective, symbolism. Went’s mysterious visions are often simultaneously comedic and horrific. A vast array of costumes representing fabulous creatures, and archetypical monsters, perform strange ceremonies and rituals. Went and her crew move to the music in odd directions, foul the stage with a collection of weird props, peculiar trash, unstructured concepts, and psycho noise, while at the same time giving meaning and form to both the light and dark sides of life.
The performances will feature original music composed by Mark Wheaton. Mark has composed for and performed with Johanna in most of her productions since 1980. Carol McDowell, a renowned interdisciplinary artist, will collaborate with Johanna Went in the direction, choreography, and video. Other performers include New York performance artists Tom Murrin, (aka Alien Comic, Jack Bump); San Francisco painter, animator and performance artist, Stephen Holman (Torture Chorus, Theatre Carnival, and PooPoo Bomb); from Los Angeles, painter and performance artist Lauren Hartman (Crazy Space curator), performance artist Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, and Comedic actress Shelley Viall.
Wenthas performed at music venues and art spaces in the U.S. and Europe, most notably LACE (Los Angeles) COCA (Seattle) UCLA Schoenberg Hall (Los Angeles) The Shaffy Theater (Amsterdam) The Magic Theater (San Francisco), The Contemporary Arts Forum (Santa Barbara) and in New York at Franklin Furnace, Alice Tulley Hall at Lincoln Center as part of the Serious Fun Festival, and The Kitchen. Her work has been reviewed in the Slash magazine, Los Angeles times, the Village Voice, the L.A. Weekly, and was featured in the Industrial Culture issue of ReSearch magazine. USC Professor Meiling Cheng included Went in her book, The Other Los Angeleses, which documented the Los Angeles performance scene. A portion of one of her performances was a featured in Cathy Opie’s film about performance artist Ron Athey, entitled Hallelujah. In addition to performance work, she has appeared in films, done vocal recordings, and has exhibited her artwork.
ABLUTIONS OF A NEFARIOUS NATURE will be show concurrently with THE POWDER ROOM, an exhibition curated by Georganne Deen and Christine Wertheim.