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“Family ArtLAB: Absurd Art” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla on February 28

News | 17th Feb 2015

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On Saturday, February 28, you can take part in a Look/Explore tour and let Gallery Educators lead you and your family in lively conversation about the exhibition Laugh-in: Art, Comedy, Performance. Following your gallery exploration, enjoy an improv workshop and learn how to create absurd animated GIFs. This program is recommended for families with children ages five and older. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis; capacity is limited to 60 participants.

Laugh-in: Art, Comedy, Performance explores the recent turn toward comedic performance in contemporary art. The exhibition features twenty artists who engage the strategies and themes of stand-up comedy as a means to rethink questions of artistic performativity, audience participation, and public speech. If stand-up evokes the image of an isolated figure, spot-lit on a stage, this form of comedy resonates with contemporary artists precisely for its direct if uncertain relation to an audience or public. Artists today look to stand-up comedy as well for its emphatic embodiment and its ability to upend hierarchies and power relations. Indeed, stand-up offers a forum in which comics and artists alike may examine stereotypes and taboos, testing what can and can’t be said. The exhibition suggests that this format makes particular sense to artists at a moment when they—like citizens everywhere—are seeking new modes of public address (think of the widespread use of social media, for example, or the recent emergence of the human microphone within the context of the Occupy movement).

The title of Laugh-in intentionally conjures the cultural moment of the late 1960s and early 1970s and, as in its original iteration as the title of a comedy television program, resonates with the ‘sit-ins’ and ‘be-ins’ of that time—and with political currents in the present. Figures such as Lenny Bruce, Andy Kaufman, Richard Pryor, and a generation of female comedians including Carol Burnett, Goldie Hawn, and Gilda Radner, among many others, are touchstones for the artists in Laugh-in, and the exhibition considers such comics within the context of a larger interest on the part of contemporary artists in the decades of the 1960s and 1970s. That period not only saw the rise of stand-up comedy to mainstream prominence, but also crises of political legitimation that find echoes in our own time.

Artists include Cory Arcangel, Edgar Arceneaux, Jibz Cameron (Dynasty Handbag) and Hedia Maron, Tammy Rae Carland, Chan & Mann, Kasia Fudakowski, Eric Garduño and Matthew Rana, Jonn Herschend, Stanya Kahn, Tim Lee, Glenn Ligon, Carter Mull, Jayson Musson, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Scott Reeder, and Michael Smith.

This program is free for MCASD Members and Military families, and $15 for non-members. Price includes admission and materials for two adults with one to three youth.

The mission of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is to serve diverse audiences through the exhibition, interpretation, collection, and preservation of art created since 1950. MCASD engages regional, national, and international audiences including the binational constituency of the San Diego/Tijuana region. MCASD is a museum providing public access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process; a forum for the exploration and understanding of contemporary art and ideas; and a laboratory for artists to experiment with new forms of creative expression.

 

 

 

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