FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Peter Cavagnaro, firstname.lastname@example.org, (510) 642-0365
Media Contact: Peter Cavagnaro, email@example.com, (510) 642-0365
BAM/PFA Finalizes Spring Season (April 30 - June 25) Programming for L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA
Berkeley, CA–April 8, 2010— (Download a PDF version of this press release.) The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) announced its Spring 2010 line-up for L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA. Highlights include a musical performance by the father of funk art William T. Wiley, a sneak peek at a new work by local heroes The Residents, a screening of the lost Mexican jungle/sci-fi epic El sexo fuerte (The Stronger Sex) to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Mexico’s Revolución, performances by art rock duo Lucky Dragons and celebrated sound artist Laetitia Sonami, and the conclusion of the indescribable hybrid performance art/film/music/publishing project Skank Bloc Bologna Number Four.
The spring schedule starts off in a mysterious fashion on April 30, as local artist and curator Joseph del Pesco presents The Secret Society, an evening of sudden events, unscheduled music, and back-channel food, interrupting business as usual for staffers and patrons alike. With the help of clues and signs, rumor and suggestion, the visitor will be led toward the moment of discovery. The event culminates in a L@TE program featuring a back-room card game, a speakeasy, and the telling of secrets—in the dark. There will be unannounced music, food stored in an undisclosed location, and clandestine tours giving away secrets of the museum itself. Any special guest appearances? Well, that’s a secret, too.
On May 7 guest programmer Sarah Cahill brings sound installation artist Laetitia Sonami to Gallery B. The New York Times described the French-born Sonami as “a human antenna searching the air for sounds, like a dancer focused on her hands, or like a deity summoning earth-shaking rumbles with a brusque gesture.” For her L@TE performance, she will be using cardboard tubes salvaged from a construction site. Cahill’s final L@TE program is another coup for the series: rock band, art project, and multimedia and video pioneers The Residents have been mystifying audiences and dodging categorization since the early seventies. Faceless, anonymous, and totally devoid of individuality, the sometimes-eyeball-clad members of the group have long insisted they be judged on their work and not their personalities. On June 4, they will present a sneak preview of a work in progress. Will they perform? Will they hide in the bowels of the museum or elsewhere and transmit their unique brand of cultural and social commentary in the form of video, sound, or via more cosmic channels? One can never know with The Residents. What can only be expected is an evening unlike any other.
Local curator, artist, and writer, guest programmer Franklin Melendez presents Art Rocks on May 14. The program features two primarily electronic duos—Lucky Dragons and Eats Tapes. Marrying art, performance, and music, both bands are part of a growing undercurrent of groups making museum and gallery spaces their venues of choice. Los Angeles’ Lucky Dragons, who have performed at the Whitney in New York, the Pompidou Center in Paris, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, blur the relationship between audience and band by allowing the crowd to perform on their laptops, synthesizers, and invented instruments. Aided by jumpy, melodic beats, the SF-based husband-and-wife team Eats Tapes will turn Gallery B into their own site-specific dance party. On June 11, Melendez’s Summer Sounds offers up a line-up of local bands that are every bit as progressive as they are reductive. Channeling everyone from The Who and Donovan to Gong and Strapping Fieldhands, SF-based Sic Alps have honed their noisy neo-psych pop through a handful of very-hard-to-find singles, EPs, and LPs on a variety of labels including Drag City and Siltbreeze. Bill Orcutt is primarily known for his work with 1990s noise pioneers Harry Pussy, but he is earning new recognition for his solo guitar work. His new album A New Way to Pay Old Debts (his first in over a decade) is already out of print and being praised as one of the year’s best. The Baths will give a sneak preview of the reverb-drenched lo-fi pop offered on their forthcoming self-titled album on Woodsist Records.
Artist Anne Colvin concludes her daring performance/publishing project Skank Bloc Bologna Number Four. Set against the backdrop of Ken Russell’s film Tommy, the May 21 performance of SBB4 features William T. Wiley, celebrated in the current BAM/PFA exhibition What’s It All Mean: William T. Wiley in Retrospect, and poet Michael Hannon. Wiley, who plays a range of musical instruments, from Jew’s harp to banjo, will perform on the didgeridoo while Hannon recites. Oakland-based artist and writer Analisa Goodin pays homage to artist Alfredo Jaar and his work The Gramsci Trilogy. Goodin and KALX DJ Citizen Zain will create an installation that focuses on the geometry of being confined in space while ideas float freely. So what is all this skanky activity leading to, you may ask? The arrival of the paper publication Skank Bloc Bologna Number Four is what! June 18 is both the beginning and the end for this esoteric project, as this launch event for the printed publication also closes out the SBB4 L@TE series with a celebration of past SBB4 contributions. Unique to BAM/PFA, in an edition of fifty, the print version of SBB4 will include remnants from previous L@TE performances: CDs, flyers, stills, book pages, poems, program notes, photographs, and more. Videos of SBB4 L@TE nights will be shown; select contributors to SBB issues one through three will read from their work; and a fascinating guest will make a surprise appearance.
On May 28, BAM/PFA film curators Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid offer up Expanded Cinema with the most family-friendly L@TE event so far, celebrating science fiction film through the ages. The main event is a classic sci-fi film for audiences ten and up—Invaders from Mars (1953), as told by William Cameron Menzies from the perspective of a young boy. Invaders features flying saucers, eerie sounds, quicksand that sucks victims into an underground lair, raygun battles, and Martians in bold green jumpsuits with pronounced zippers. The film is preceded by a screening of shorts for all ages including Georges Méliès’s beloved A Trip to the Moon and a reading from Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a story that features Méliès. Expanded Cinema closes the spring schedule on June 25 with a celebration of the hundredth anniversary of Mexico’s Revolución. El sexo fuerte (The Stronger Sex) is a rousing film about two unsuspecting men shipwrecked upon the shores of Eden, an Art Deco kingdom ruled by beautiful Amazons. When sultry Queen Eva spies Adán, the cattle rancher from Jalisco, hearts stop and nations fall. See men sold at auction, fetching the price of 2,000 cows. See raygun-wielding Amazons succumb to the scent of man. BAM/PFA will supply a cart of churros and piñatas swollen with sweets—indulge in la vida dulce. Local disco-tráfico DJ Juan Luna-Avin will get the evening started spinning the latest in electronica híbrida from Mexico. The flashy Mexican Bus will be picking up passengers at the downtown Berkeley BART station at 6:30 and 7 p.m. and transporting them to BAM/PFA free of charge; the bus will make return trips from BAM/PFA to BART after the close of the program. This service is provided with the support of the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco.
L@TE Friday performances, below, begin at 7:30 p.m. in Gallery B. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. with a cash bar and DJs spinning in the lobby. Cafe Muse is open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (except April 30). Admission includes access to all BAM/PFA galleries.
The Secret Society, programmed by Joseph del Pesco
Laetitia Sonami, programmed by Sarah Cahill
Art Rocks Featuring Lucky Dragons and Eats Tapes, programmed by Franklin Melendez
Skank Bloc Bologna Number Four: William T. Wiley and Michael Hannon, programmed by Anne Colvin
Expanded Cinema: Invaders from Mars, programmed by BAM/PFA film curators Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid
The Residents, programmed by Sarah Cahill
Summer Sounds: Sic Alps, Bill Orcutt, and the Baths, programmed by Franklin Melendez
Skank Bloc Bologna Number Four: Print Edition Roll-Out, “Best of” Performances; and Wrap-Up Celebration, programmed by Anne Colvin
Expanded Cinema: El sexo fuerte, programmed by BAM/PFA film curators Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid
$5 After 5
General admission to the BAM/PFA galleries is just $5 after 5 p.m. on L@TE Fridays. Show your ticket for a same-day PFA screening or gallery visit and get in free. Admission is always free for BAM/PFA members and UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff.
Start your weekend in the BAM/PFA galleries! The galleries are open until 9 p.m. or later on most Fridays, with DJs spinning tunes and wine and beer available for purchase in the lobby beginning at 6 p.m., and an array of performances and other programs in Gallery B. Sarah Cahill programs new music on the first Friday of each month; Franklin Melendez taps into the East Bay’s D.I.Y. culture on the second Friday; Anne Colvin creates hybrid experiences drawn from literature, music, and film on the third Friday; and on the last Friday of each month, our PFA curators Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid take over.
A New Sponsor for L@TE
We are delighted to welcome Bank of America as the corporate sponsor of L@TE this season. Last year, Bank of America provided funding toward the exhibition Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet. We look forward to a continued partnership to make the arts engaging, inclusive, and accessible for the East Bay community and beyond!
L@TE is made possible in part by Bank of America, the Tin Man Fund, and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees. The presentation of The Secret Society is supported by Artnow International. In-kind support has been provided for this event by Hendrick’s Gin. Special thanks to our media sponsors, East Bay Express and San Francisco Bay Guardian.
For updates and advance tickets, visit bampfa.berkeley.edu/late.
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is the visual arts center of the University of California, Berkeley, one of the nation’s leading research universities. BAM/PFA believes that art inspires the imagination, supports learning at all ages, and contributes to positive social change. One of the largest university art museums in the United States in both size and attendance, BAM/PFA presents 15 art exhibitions and 450 film programs each year. Website: bampfa.berkeley.edu.