Thursday, April 14, 2011
A performance of famous sacred music by Bach, an art show tribute to Charles Bukowski, and more from the handmade revolution. If you're not heading to the desert for Coachella, then we've got some local options for you.
A performance of famous sacred music by Bach, an art show tribute to Charles Bukowski, and more from the handmade revolution. If you're not heading to the desert for Coachella, then we've got some local options for you.
Kelly Bennett is the arts editor at Voice of San Diego. Her blog is called Behind the Scene.
Enrique Limon is San Diego CityBeat's man-about-town and editor for the website El Zonkey Show.com
CAVANAUGH: I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, you're listening to These Days on KPBS. From the ridiculous to the sublime, to horse manure, we're fertilizing your minds with great events coming to San Diego on this emission of the weekend preview. I'd like to welcome my guest, Kelly Bennett is the arts editor at voice of San Diego. Her blog is you will caked behind the scene, Kelly, good morning.
BENNETT: Good to be here Maureen.
CAVANAUGH: And Enrique Limon San Diego City beat's man about town, and editor for the website elzonkeshow.com. Enrique, good morning.
LIMON: Glad to be here.
CAVANAUGH: Let's start with the sublime. Kelly, the bach collegium San Diego is performing the Saint John Passion this Friday. Tell us about this performance.
BENNETT: This is the passion, the Easter story, told from the book of John in the Bible. So Bach wrote this piece, this coral piece and Bach collegium will be presenting it with nine singers and 18 instrumentalists. So it's a pretty small, when you think of an orchestra or a massive choir, it's a pretty small production. Kind of intimate or chamber style.
CAVANAUGH: Yeah, it sounds that way. It's particularly compelling about this piece of music besides the fact that it is Bach?
BENNETT: Well the collegium is known for presenting these coral pieces very historically informed. So they're using period instruments, they're keeping the music to the size that Bach would have written for or had singers for when he wrote this music. So they're really trying to interpret the music as historically accurately as possible.
CAVANAUGH: Presented as you would have heard it when Bach wrote it.
BENNETT: That's the idea, yeah.
CAVANAUGH: And what is the Bach collegium?
BENNETT: Well, like I said, they're known for and they're trying to be -- the group in San Diego very committed to early music to these historical interpretations that, like you said, would be sort of the way that you heard it several hundred years ago. And there's not so many of them in town. So it's a unique or it's a rare experience to see this performed this way.
CAVANAUGH: Right. From what I know of the Bach collegium, they bring pieces that have never been performed in San Diego to us in this early music kind of way. The La Jolla symphony is also doing Bach. They have an up coming performance. Theirs is the passion according to saint Matthew. Tell us about that.
BENNETT: Well, it's Easter, so it follows that these groups are presenting these coral master pieces that are the passion story. But theirs, the La Jolla symphony is doing the massive production of saint Matthew passion. So they've got 181 people on stage as opposed to these 27 that the Bach Collegium does. So the scope is different. The style is different. There's a lot of different interpretations that you can see developing after Bach passed away. So even just as something as simple as the vibrato, the sort of warm style that a violinist, for example, would use to convey maybe a little more emotion or something, that wasn't used at all in Bach's day. And so where you would see in the Bach collegium, these instrumental irrelevants playing a little bit straighter and fewer of them, in the La Jolla symphony, they're using more modern instruments, they're playing with vibrato, and that kind of thing. So there's kind of an interesting way that this debate about how to interpret some of these master pieces, how to interpret Bach awe music so many hundreds of years later is playing out right now.
CAVANAUGH: Right here. In.
BENNETT: In San Diego.
CAVANAUGH: That's fascinating. And of course the Bach collegium show coincides with the early music America's 25th anniversary, and I would imagine early music America is about presenting these early works in the way that they were first presented.
CAVANAUGH: The Bach collegium presents Saint John passion at saint James by the sea episcopal church tomorrow night.
BENNETT: And they're also presenting it Sunday morning at San Diego Nazarene University.
CAVANAUGH: Thank you for that. Something different, the handmade revolution third annual truck show, Enrique, it takes place on Saturday.
LIMON: It does, well the handmade revolution is a collection of misfit recycle artists and punk rock crafters that come together to inspire each other and offer their unique products to the public. Now, they try to stage these events quarterly, but for some reason or another, it just hasn't happened in a while, and this is gonna be the first time that they're coming together in over a year. So it should be quite the crafting doozy.
CAVANAUGH: Well, the trunk was empty, now it's full. What kind of trinkets will be on sale?
LIMON: Well, they have something for everyone. You know that one person that you're always shopping for that has everything? Well, this is your chance to wow him or her because from reworked Victorian jewelry to custom letter pressed cards to up cycled baby bibs, literally everything and anything plus certain things you could never even imagine are gonna be on sale, and going back to your prior topic of the food trucks, the mihoe food truck is gonna be there as well. So you can make a day out of it.
CAVANAUGH: That's wonderful. And requesting you can tell us about these artists that are involved in this? Any particular artists?
LIMON: Yes. Oh, yeah. Unique is the name of the game because some of them don't have other retail avenues except for stuff like that. So on one end you've got someone like Linda ivy, an amazing self-taught artist, who will have one of a kind hand painted tins, and you also have someone like Erica Kirk land who takes vintage books and resets and binds them with inside blank pages for them to be used as journals so literally something for even. You know, if Martha Stewart had a secret Mr. Hide side, she'd no doubt want to sell something at this event.
CAVANAUGH: There's been an increase in this homemade trend, especially with the DIY websites out there. And so this is part of that whole sort of genre.
LIMON: Totally. You know, etsy.com is obviously leading the way to the tune of $314 million in revenue in 2010. So they're proving that small crafts can be big business. And on the flip side, mot website regretsy.com which chronicles the giant's oddest and more eccentric offerings is insanely popular as well. They actually recently published a fun coffee table book and among the oddities are a couple of entries by local artist kelly Hutchinson, the surrealist bad boy, so pick it up if you have a chance, it's definitely a good read and a good laugh.
CAVANAUGH: Fabulous. And the handmade revolution third annual trunk show takes place saturday morning at the Yellow House on B in Golden Hill. We move now to a California artist in residence at lux. Kelly, tell us about Rick stitch.
BENNETT: Rick stitch is a painter from Santa Barbara, he is like you say at residence at lux art institute, which is the Encinitas institute that brings an artist in for a month at a time. They live there, there's a condo downstairs, they work there, they can work in the studio or the gallery space at all hours of the day and night. And Rick's painting is very much focused on water and water reflections and the shapes and colors that can come out of water. And so for decades he's been making these paintings, he's a surfer and so he's spent a lot of time looking at the water, and that shows up in his work.
CAVANAUGH: So if visit ares do actually go up to lux, will they watch Rick live? Or what will they get to see?
BENNETT: See Rick run. They get to see him working on sketches and on paintings. One of the really compelling pieces of his residence is that he came into the space when he was considering coming and being one of these residents, and came up with this installation, this massive pond pool thing that he built, and there's a dock and a boat. And actually water there in the gallery. And then there are these panels that are painted behind it. So you can see the lights, there's lights on the pond that reflect some of these water lines back up onto the panels that are painted to look like reflection on water. And then you see the reflection of the painting in the water. So it's this very sort of circular interesting reflection on reflection on reflection within the gallery. And as kids come in, or as adults come in to see his paintings and see him working he's actually sketching them and making those reflections of what the people are seeing in themselves in the pond into his paintings. So it's very, very.
BENNETT: Yeah, exactly. A lot of lairs here of the way that our images are reflected in water.
CAVANAUGH: And can -- is it a sort of a disturbance if you actually meet the artist?
BENNETT: Oh, not at all. They really want people to -- lux really wants people to ask questions of artists. Why are you making this? Why do you even -- why are you even a painter? And Rick was telling me yesterday, there are some pretty bold kids out there who will say stuff that are -- you know that's just like, well, why would you even do this? What does this even matter? So he gets some really good questions from children who are saying, okay, you know, this whole process is demystified for these kids because they walk in, that's paintings on the wall, they can see him painting, they can first make that connection, oh, this guy made these. And then they get to see him sketch them and make that into a painting. So that's -- that's kind of an interesting level too, but definitely lux encourages people to ask why are you doing this? Or why did you make that decision or why is this blue or something like that?
CAVANAUGH: That sounds like a fascinating event. Rick stitch is on residence at lux through April 23rd and his work is on exhibit through May 18th.
BENNETT: And it's a free Saturday this weekend, so if you go between 11 and 3 on Saturday, you can see Rick working in there and see the work that has already been done so far in the residence.
CAVANAUGH: Great point, thanks for adding that. It's record store day at Bar 11 on Saturday, Enrique, what is record store day?
LIMON: Record store day was conceived by a guy named Chris brown just just to clarify is not Rihanna's Chris brown. And he actually decided to celebrate the art of the music and the suspicious that would go along with purchasing albums and CDs, in the predigital days which, you know.
CAVANAUGH: Those album, those things that went around.
LIMON: Exactly. Do you remember those? They're prehistoric, right? So he actually strives to put together finishes, artists and [check] and some also internationally. So --
CAVANAUGH: So is this gonna be sort of a giant swap for CDs and albums?
LIMON: Yes. It's going to be a sort of vinyl happy hour meets Colby's swap meet from 3 to 6:00 PM where organizers are encouraging attendees to shop at local record stores [check] then bring back their findings where whatever odds and ends they might have in thirds requirement own personal collections and then just swap away.
CAVANAUGH: That's interesting. The fast crowd records is hosting the event, who are they?
LIMON: Well, fast crowd records is a local independent punk label that according to their website runs to pizza, beer and burritos, and goes by the motto, we won't put anything out unless our heart is attached to it. And they have punk acts like the Chinese telephones and hot new Mexicans in their recording roster, and during the event, they'll be offering $17-inch vinyls along with $1 CDs that you can actually have the DJ sample for you before you buy.
CAVANAUGH: I see. Okay. Tell us a little bit about the venue, bar 11. What is the atmosphere like?
LIMON: Bar 11, well, it's sort of like cheers, except no one there knows my name. So I think of it as the Casbah's younger little brother who is finally coming out of his awkwardness and just developing his own dark, edgy, and very rock and roll persona.
CAVANAUGH: Okay, so record store day at bar 11 takes place on Saturday afternoon. The artist, Clea Minaker, will be at the museum of contemporary art on Saturday. Lots going on on Saturday. So tell us what Clea Minaker is.
BENNETT: Clea Minaker is a Canadian visual artist. And I first encountered her work when I was at a concert, at the Hollywood bowl, a few summers ago, when 50 toured for the record reminder. This concert starts and I realize there's this huge screen and we didn't really know what was happen, and suddenly there was a projector of all of these shapes and paint and shadows, and you could see someone's hands on this over head projector making a visual experience at the same time. There's obviously there's a lot of visual things that happen in concerts, and they're usually video or they have been preplanned. But this was live. This was somebody actually standing there, you could see her playing with all of these different tools to make these stories happen while the artist 50 was singing of so Clea Minaker is very much known for these light and shadow properties, I suppose, as an artist.
CAVANAUGH: She's trained as a puppeteer, so that's an interesting point too. So we're not just talking about shadow bunnies here.
BENNETT: No, no no. She's are rail high level. She uses paint and cut shapes and I remember seeing she made a lantern. And she has these shadow legs that look like dancing legs ask stars and, up, it's almost like in some of them it was almost like finger paint where she would make these shapes and when you draw your fingers back through it, it would create the lines of so it's -- it's very compelling work.
CAVANAUGH: Now, during her time at the museum of contemporary art, San Diego, she's hosting a teen workshop. That sounds interesting.
BENNETT: Yeah, she's going to work with teens of the MCSD has a teen art council where interested teens in art can learn all sorts of different things about contemporary art, making art themselves, and this is a public team workshop, although I think they've got pretty limited space. Although I think people beyond this teen art counsel can participate to learn, you know, the basics of shadow projection, how to compose a story like this, what to do with these different elements of light. And then they'll each be making short shadow stories with Clea, and then presenting them, actually, at a golden hill location called the habitat house next weekend. So she's gonna be here all week working with them, participating in the local art scene, and then they'll be presenting those next weekend.
CAVANAUGH: Too bad it's only for teens. It sounds great .
BENNETT: Well, I know but adult it's those of us who are not in our teens can go check out the stories as well as a documentary that Clea was part of for this tour that I'm talking about, the 50 record and the other folks that were involved in making 50's, I suppose that record and that project so much more than just a concert. Or just the music.
CAVANAUGH: So Clea Minaker will be at the museum of contemporary art, San Diego, through April 22nd. Now here's an art show with a name, Enrique. And the art show is called all great art is horse, four letter word for manure, buy tacos of it's at jet gal reach it's quite a title, I couldn't do it justice, but where does it come from, Enrique?
LIMON: Well, for starter let me just mention that I'm setting you saying four letter word for manure as my new ring tone. I love it. That's quite the title indeed. And I was just chatting with coach reader Nikko Burke about it last night, and he let me know that it's sort of a social commentary against those that would like to perceive art as something elitist and unattainable, and nothing more than a commodity, much lick a burrito is. [check] a lord of American low life. A title like Nikko can only [check].
CAVANAUGH: So is the art inspired by Bukowski?
LIMON: Yes, there will be 20 works each done by a different artist, inspired by Bukowski's painting, and I'm told that they're gonna run the gamut, from oils to watercolors to photography to mixed media, so it should be quite a show.
CAVANAUGH: Can you give us an example of one of the artists' pieces?
LIMON: Well, Nico and I go way back. He submitted a piece to a show I curated last year. But he is just [check] it's gonna be very well rounds and something not seen before in San Diego. So if anything, I'll give him this much, the man knows how to create a good buzz.
CAVANAUGH: How to billed.
LIMON: Oh, yeah.
CAVANAUGH: Now, there will be a live -- live music at this event by a band called tall ships of who are they?
LIMON: Well, a buzzy art show deserves a buzzy band. And local trio tall ships definitely fits the bill. From their style with hints of soulful folk rock to their uniquely San Diego centric name, though not as epic as the hot New Mexican, they ooze cool, and they'll provide just the perfect sound track I'm sure for just such a unique art show.
CAVANAUGH: Since we've been talking so much about food and drinks, will there be any on hand here? I'm guessing maybe tacos?
LIMON: You know, with a title like that, there just has to be right? Funny enough, there will be Mexican food at hand, though it's my understanding that it'll be free, as a courtesy of a neighboring restaurant, El Camino.
CAVANAUGH: Oh, really, okay. So All Great Art of Horse four letter word for manure, Buy Tacos, is at the jet gallery in little Italy tomorrow night. A busker festival is taking place in sea port village. Now I know that buskers are in England. But what do they mean when they come over here in San Diego.
BENNETT: Well, it's also bucking in Canada where I grew up, and have personally actually bucked so that's when a street musician or a street performer puts out a case or puts out a hat and does whatever it is they really want to do for an audience that gathers around or walks by, and you do it for tips. So in this case, sea port village is gathering a ton of buckers on present their shows both Saturday and Sunday for free, but obviously tips are encouraged. You don't busk without putting something out at least.
CAVANAUGH: Right, right of that's all part television.
CAVANAUGH: Now, what kind of performers are gonna be there.
BENNETT: There are juggling, fire breathing, union cycling, sword swallowing, pogo sticks, I mean it's really running the gamut, there's a lot of comedy and I watched a video that the bucking festival at sea port village had put up of almost like a stomped like presentation of buckets being overturned to a beat. So it's that kind of stuff that you see people -- the people I've always known who were buckers just are a little bit odd, and love attention. You know? So they present --
LIMON: I should start bucking.
BENNETT: Yeah, I just looked over at Enrique like hey, this is you.
LIMON: Right up my alley.
BENNETT: So they know how to draw somebody in, you know if you've ever walked past a really compelling street performer, you need to get to the restaurant, you need to do whatever you're doing, you gotta go plug your meter [check] so it sounds like it's going to be a lot like that.
CAVANAUGH: What about buckers after dark? Are they a special breed?
BENNETT: Well, I don't know much about this part except for that they're billing it as unedited and untamed.
CAVANAUGH: At sea port village.
LIMON: Oh, I'm definitely not bucking.
BENNETT: So I'm not sure what you can expect from [check] but apparently there will be beverages and some kind of unedited activity happening there in sea port village.
CAVANAUGH: Just one word, 1 practical word, where should guests think about parking.
BENNETT: Yeah, you know on harbor had on the weekends there usually are some good street spots. You can validate at sea port village if you buy something in one of the shops. Although I think they're doing parking in the county administration building, though it's continue bucks. [check] so there's a few options there or you can take the trolley, which would probably be the easiest option. Park at old town or something and hop on the trolley.
CAVANAUGH: The 5th annual sea port village buckers' festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday. Now our last item is the cognate collective call for a piggy bank artists, Enrique, what is this?
LIMON: Yes, we're making -- Maureen, cognate is a new collective that was bred out of the ashes of the highly publicized turmoil between San Diego and Tijuana. It's formed by Misael Diaz and Amy Sanchez, two friends who met as students at UCLA, and after graduating came to the border region to set their artistic roots, if you will.
CAVANAUGH: And so they're looking for piggy bank artists. Why?
LIMON: Well, there is an open call for artists to submit their reinterpretations of typical Mexican piggy basics. They parked from a hybrid culture's author, Ernesto Garcia Contellini's argument that citizenship is constructed through networks of consumption. So they're out to analyze, really, how the cross border exchange of goods really defines the border region's cultural identity.
CAVANAUGH: So this is actually something to make you think. But the piggy banks are awfully cute.
LIMON: They sure are. And God only knows, you know, what's gonna be presented at the art show. Because these piggy banks are actually gonna be manufactured by Tijuana artisans. And you know, again, talking about tight lipped, nothing was revealed but Sanchez did tell me, well, just wait. There are some really interesting ones. And they chose the piggy banks because they say that it's the ultimate sign of consumerism and also one of the most notable forms of Mexican kitsch. So they observed the array of Alcancias or or and how their shapes had really evolved into the [check].
CAVANAUGH: So this is part of a larger project called reform. I have to tell everyone that the cognate collective is collecting art until May 4th for their reformed show. Enrique, thank you.
LIMON: Thank you.
CAVANAUGH: Kelly, thank you.
BENNETT: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
CAVANAUGH: And if you would Rick to comment please go on-line, KPBS.org/These Days.