Rebecca Farr group performance review in Venison Magazine 9.4.16

Elysian Passage

Elysian Park
Sunday August 7th, 8am – 9pm
835 Academy Road, Los Angeles

Joshua Hagler, Maja Ruznic and Rebecca Farr are Los Angeles based painters who announced their collaborative project, Elysian Passage recently. I won’t lie—I raised an eyebrow. Their paintings are incredible and all I could think was, how are they going to translate their skill and sense of storytelling via performance. Maja has previously created performances, so I was excited that I’d be able to experience a piece by her. I know Joshua’s paintings and writings through Venison. Rebecca, I wasn’t too informed on, yet.

I walked up to Elysian Park past the yellow kids playground as they’d told us to, to find Joshua waiting patiently in the heat. There was our doorman ready to greet us, I think. Their location was a bit tucked away and the families around looked at them a little funny. A normal response I suppose, when we are unaware of what is happening.

Josh began to walk us over to door one. He debriefed us with the process. We’d approach each door, pull the desired mini scroll tucked away in the holes made just for them and fill out our responses.

He emphasized that we could answer them however we’d like. My friend chose the witty, lighthearted route. I, however, pulled teeth at utter honesty.

Inquiries like, “what have you forgotten” and “describe a nostalgic  memory of the future” were a bit heavy hitting.

Door number four arrives, and the doorman must go back to his original post. We hand him our responses as he points us in the direction of home. We walk and walk, and are greeted warmly by Maja and Rebecca. Each of them in garb that is very specific and detailed. Maja was painting twigs with neon colors when we walked up. The trees surrounding the area were adorned with bright colors, sculpted textiles and other charms. We chatted and said hello to the group that joined. I couldn’t tell if I’d made myself vulnerable to the situation or if the questions we just answered ignited something. Either way, it was something to be experienced wholeheartedly.

The goal of the performance, to gather and discuss, to relish in the ever changing history of the park and to essentially put the self into it, brought new light to performance art, from my experience.

As we walked back through, a family inquired about what was happening. All I could say was, “performance art; we were chatting, I recommend it.”

There are future plans for other passages from the artist collective; we’re eager to find out where and when.

What about those scrolls, though, we wondered. That is still in the experimentation mode,  as discussed with Joshua who created the prompts. Maybe they’ll be translated and integrated into a series of paintings, maybe they’ll spark a different project. We’ll be here waiting, patiently.

This performance was created in conjunction with Maiden LA, a series of ‘happenings’ around Los Angeles.

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