If Dorothea Lange and Marina Abramovic had a baby, it might look like “American Realism.” A durational performance for eight people exploring the tedium of the average workday, it physically takes place in the galleries at LACE and is simulcast nearby into the fashion and art store Space 15Twenty. As the boredom and soul-killing repetitiveness of the action unfolds and is transformed into tense and suspenseful spectacle, viewers in the gallery will be engulfed by a soundtrack culled from a historical archive of interviews and reportage with Depression-era workers. Meanwhile, viewers in the shop will be surrounded by examples of the endgame of labor in the form of fashion and design items fabricated who-knows-where and shipped to Hollywood for their shopping convenience. As the tasks portrayed in Katherine Brook and Liza Birkenmeier's production are more modern than the migrant farming and coal mining associated with the original Works Progress Administration and Farm Security Administration surveys, the ultimate subject is a politically engaged look at how little has changed in 80 years. Viewers are free to come and go between the locations (though you need a ticket to get in and out of LACE), and are further invited to factor what they see outside on the boulevard into the modern-day meaning of the material. LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Wed., Aug. 1, 6-10 p.m.; $10. (323) 957-1777. welcometolace.org.
Wed., Aug. 1, 6-10 p.m., 2012
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