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October 20, 2014

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Monkeys, pancakes, bird ladies, oh my: Las Vegas artists create a London Biennale in Henderson

Image

Brent Holmes

The Details

Rainbow: 7 Artists 7 Colors
July 21, 7 p.m., free
Pop Up Art House, 730 W. Sunset Road, london biennale.tk

The promo photo of a man in a customized monkey suit walking down the street with a canvas in his hands while a rainbow shoots over Las Vegas can only mean one thing: The London Biennale in Nevada is here.

For a second year, Las Vegas artist Jevijoe Vitug has organized a performance art event in conjunction with David Medalla’s DIY event in London, a sort of biennale without borders that responds to the heavily curated state-and- corporate-sponsored biennales.

Working with this year’s rainbow theme, artists of varying backgrounds and interests used a designated color as a launching pad for performance projects that include a commentary on the disposable nature of manufactured items (Eri King) and a cooking performance referencing futuristic wartime propaganda (Brent Holmes and Yasmina Chavez). Matthew Couper addresses painting’s obsessive trial-and-error nature by bringing to life Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin’s “Le Singe Peintre,” while JK Russ and Mina Kahn use film and fashion to present a journey from the neon corridors into the desert wilderness, bringing a bird woman to life. Filling out the rest of the rainbow is Noelle Garcia’s Converse/moccasin workshop, combining contemporary society with Native American tradition, and Darren Johnson’s exploration of miscommunication and rhetoric with Toshie McSwain.

“Events like this do not have to be a big spectacle or well-funded, but a meeting point where the local art community working in solidarity creates a dialogue to make things happen,” says Vitug, who will also perform. His interest in the satellite event is inspired by the norm-challenging international avant-garde artists (including ’60s Fluxus artists) and Medalla, who says achieved “maximum impact” with few resources.

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