Image of La Casa del Túnel with Fallen Fruit’s Acción Fruta Urbana tree barrels in the foreground
Bringing the work of eleven LA-based artists and artist collectives to La Casa del Túnel, Tijuana, Performing Public Space presents new performances and artworks alongside growing archives of ‘non-art’ actions documented on the streets, parks and plazas of Los Angeles and Tijuana.
As towns and cities are increasingly overwritten by the needs and desires of globalized capital, so public spaces and the behaviors they support are becoming evermore shrunken and controlled. At the same time however, everyday examples of common usage – a skate boarder curving past a crowd, a girl chopping and bagging melon on the sidewalk, a child dancing up a mountain of steps – counterpoint homogenization and regulation.
Curated by Owen Driggs, Performing Public Space is both a celebration of artists who consciously adopt such tactics and instrumentalize their bodies in an effort to bend, expand, or puncture dominant spatial narratives, and an inquiry into the ways in which public space is articulated through real use.
Like tumbleweed, the inquiry is designed to pick up more material as it roams. Understanding that, despite the strategies of corporate commerce, local spatial conditions vary, at each place it visits Performing Public Space will work with local citizens to create a city-specific archive. Documenting both quotidian uses of public space and witting artist interventions the archives will be included in the exhibition and become part of a growing website that considers local, national, and international interpretations of ‘public space’ and approaches to its preservation, generation, and augmentation.
“By focusing on the duality of urban space, how agents use the rules and resources of the city, we see a glimpse of liberating potential. Not grand-scale revolution, but dramatization of urban space – an alternative to the rationality of everyday life.” Jeffrey Kidder: Appropriating the city: space theory and bike messengers