Sunday, July 23, 1pm
Join us as Maya Gurantz presents a public, interactive lecture-demonstration on Bertolt Brecht’s The Measures Taken. Written for workers’ choruses in the 1930s, Brecht’s lehrstuck, or learning plays, marked one of the earliest attempts at what contemporary art would refer to as Social Practice. In The Measures Taken, Agitators attempt to convince a Control Chorus (performed by the workers’ chorus) that they did the right thing by killing a Young Comrade, re-enacting the events leading up to his death to demonstrate that they were operating on behalf of the collective good.
With tensions rising between Kim Jong-un and the Trump Administration, the West Coast finds itself again under the shadow of nuclear threat. As part of the show “Herd” at Angels Gate Cultural Center, artists Maura Brewer + Maya Gurantz imaginatively recuperate the “defensive capabilities” of Angels Gate Cultural Center, originally Fort MacArthur–a military installation and the main site of Los Angeles coastal defense during the Cold War, with an outdoor light installation facing and speaking to North Korea, and video and didactic posters installed in the gallery.
Performances created by Brewer + Gurantz will critically explore the tensions between individual identity, needs, desires–and the collective good; in so doing, asking viewers to imagine a world in which such things are configured differently.
MUTUAL CRITICISM, A HISTORY
Sunday, July 16, 1pm
Join us for a lecture-demonstration on the history of mutual criticism, a group ritual in which one person willingly offers themselves up for critique by the collective as an act of self-abnegation. From the Oneida Community to Synanon, progressives, communists and cultists have frequently employed strategies of mutual criticism to break down barriers between individuals and foster allegiance to a group. Using primary source documentation (transcriptions, video, etc.) from the 1850s to the present, we will produce a taxonomy of mutual criticism while also subjecting each other to the process. In so doing, we examine how forms of de-subjectivation might be reactivated in the present as a form of resistance against a regime that privileges personal gain above all else.