San Diego Weekend Art Events: Plays By Black Women, Outdoor Performances And 92 New Works Online
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Credit: Andy Gallagher
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Find San Diego art and culture events beyond Comic-Con this weekend with Moxie's Dinner and a Zoom, a live outdoor front yard dance performance, the Athenauem's juried art exhibition and a livestreamed front porch concert from Berkley Hart.
Aired: July 24, 2020 | Transcript+ Subscribe to this podcast
If Comic-Con isn't your thing, here are some arts events and virtual offerings to fill your weekend with culture of the non-pop variety, including an outdoor, front-lawn, socially-distanced dance performance, a Casbah live stream, plays by local Black women and an annual juried exhibition that — thanks to the pandemic's online revolution — is now able to feature digital video works.
Here's everything you need to know.
Chamoune: Live Outdoor Dance Performance
San Diego artists Anna Brown Massey and Viktor De La Fuente have choreographed a short, 20-minute dance performance that's site-specific to a front lawn. They will present two evenings of three performances each with a small audience of a few households seated a safe distance from each other and the performers. Masks are required. They'll donate a percentage of all proceeds to City Heights United Women of East Africa.
The performance features a recitation of Octavio Paz's poem "Trowbridge Street," in English and Spanish, plus spoken word and music by Six Organs of Admittance, Bill Withers and Béla Fleck and Khalifan Matitu.
Details: Friday and Saturday at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. Private residence in City Heights. Donation-based.
Dinner and a Zoom
Moxie Theatre and Common Ground Theatre, which is a Black-run local theater that's been around since 1964, have partnered together to bring four new plays written by and directed by Black women and centered around the reality of the pandemic. The group has also compiled a list of Black-owned local restaurants that offer take-out, so you can have dinner during the show. Which is, of course, on Zoom.
The four plays are divided into two nights, and each show has two offerings. Show No. 1, which features "Breathtaking" by Andréa Agosto and "Hair Waiting" by Niccole Nero Gaines, runs Thursday and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. "Breathtaking" tells the story of a mother hospitalized for a respiratory illness, and a daughter struggling to connect. And in "Hair Waiting," women cope with a closed salon by watching Zoom hair tutorials.
Show No. 2 runs Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. and features "The Wedding Prep," by A.D. Brown — which is about a pandemic wedding unfolding on Zoom — and "Promise of New Life" by Joy Yvonne Jones — which tackles race and the healthcare crisis as a pregnant Black woman seeks common ground with her white police officer husband.
Details: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m. Online via Zoom. Donation-based.
More theater: The Diversionary's Spark New Play Festival continues in radio play format. The second play of the series, "This Bitter Earth," by Harrison David Rivers, premieres Friday and streams through July 30. Free, but registration is required.
Athenaeum's 29th Annual Juried Exhibition
Visual Art, Film
The 29th installment of the Athenaeum's annual juried exhibition of local artists looks quite a bit different this year. Entries were gathered digitally, with the full assumption that the exhibition would be entirely online. This resulted in a larger than usual entrant pool, and allowed for film, short video and other experimental time-based works.
The exhibition was judged by Best Practice's Joe Yorty and independent curator Elizabeth Rocklidge — who recently launched a digital fine art journal, Herein. And the full exhibition, now available online through Sept. 12, showcases 92 works by 46 artists.
One of my favorite pieces is a digital video by artist Stefani Byrd, "True Love." Described as a tone poem, it pairs a hypnotic, stripped down and repeatedly reformatted video of the intense mating ritual of the bald eagle with a similarly stripped down and repeatedly reformatted instrumental audio tracks of Radiohead's devastating song, "True Love Waits." If the mating ritual — a spiraling freefall — is unsuccessful, both eagles plummet to their death. And as the video progresses, the multiple audio tracks gradually separate and become more disparate.
Along with Byrd's video and the San Diego artist's other contributions, you can browse sculpture, ceramics, paintings, photography, video and more.
Details: Runs through Sept. 12. Online. Free.
Berkley Hart: Live From The Porch
Berkley Hart have been playing music in San Diego for a long, long time: it's been two decades since they released their first album. Steadfast and indefatigable as performers, writers, producers and all-around music scene supporters, the Americana duo will give a livestreamed porch performance-slash-hangout Sunday afternoon, as they've been doing monthly during the pandemic. As our virtual arts consumption stretches to the four month mark, I think we deserve a rest on the front porch with a little summery music. Their track "Highschool Town," from their debut album, recently remastered, is like a tall glass of nostalgia to rest on our rocking chairs.
Details: Sunday at 4 p.m, via Facebook Live. Free.
More music: The Casbah will break in their new Twitch online streaming account with a performance by local dark wave post-punkers Scary Pierre. The band has a new album in the works so expect to hear some new music. Saturday at 8:30 p.m. via Twitch.
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