Frieze LA Week Tara Subkoff Art Series: “What is Coming is Going” at the Hole Gallery photos by Getty, Lulu Syracuse and Patrick McMullan

Tara Subkoff opened a new performance art series produced by ARTCODED and generously supported by TGS Holdings (Thanks Giving System), which dismantles the conception that a performance must be on a stage, and connects people through music, dance, and prayer.

Guests included the subject of Tara Subkoff’s performance piece at the 2013 Venice Biennale, actress Milla Jovovich, her daughter, Ever Anderson, actress Natasha Lyonne, Studio Drift’s Ralph Nauta, and poet Monique Erickson amongst others.

WHAT IS COMING AND GOING borrows its title from a phrase used repeatedly in ancient herbal medicine ceremonies conducted by Colombian shamans.  Its purpose is to teach beginners taking strong medicine how to let go of anything that arises, however painful or fearsome, knowing that it, too, will pass.  This work explores the complex relationships we have with our lives, our egos, and the transitions we make from one clinging space to another; we explore the false narrative of our lives being finite and our deaths being the end.

“Life with all of its complexity, moving from comfort to conflict, security to trauma, and the roles that are projected upon us since birth are explored here.  We look at the natural tales of life from birth to childhood, adulthood and becoming elders, and finally letting go of all of this in old age and death.  This performance is a means for the audience to participate in and examine this journey in three parts,” says Subkoff.

Actress Jamie King starred in this moving triptych of layered, harmonious cacophony alongside new talent singer/songwriter Blessing.  The first circle (act 1) depicted a new beginning and birth.  A sound bath filled the space as youth aged 6-18 performed a ballet based on improvisational dance steps taught in first-grade ballet class. The second circle (act 2) portrayed adulthood and life – in all its complexity, false narratives, ego tricks, and confusions.

Performers aged 18 to 65 danced to Subkoff’s contemporary choreography while MET opera singers, blues singers, and contortionists were interwoven.  Although Subkoff curated local talent, New York poet Monique Erickson read a moving poem about motherhood, the cycle of life, death, rebirth, and ancestral power. The third circle (act 3) consisted of a puja performed by Gyaltsen Chopel and Geshi Sonam Dakpa, with Shaman Sudama – a clearing purification ritual blessing to reverse all negative karma in addition to traditional chanting and singing. This circle embodied the journey of death and rebirth, a circle that has no beginning and no end.  “Only by letting go of ego and experiencing ego death can we be free of the programming of our childhood and the illusions reinforced throughout our lives,” underscores Subkoff.

Guests were invited to enter the circles of performers and participate in some portions of the pieces – especially the “DISTRACTION” and CHAOS” segments.  Concurrent with the performance there was a live auction in the adjacent parking lot, consisting of some of the artist’s belongings and artworks – a shedding of the old to prepare for the new.

The performance coollage was even interrupted by a K-POP vignette, which was a prelude to a more extensive piece that is being developed for Seoul, Korea, that will support Korean performance artists and dancers, as well as continue some of the pieces by the collaborators and performers in Los Angeles.

Guests were given C-CASH smart currency, which is redeemable for a special NFT created by Tara Subkoff as a memento of the opening.  C-CASH is the first hybrid virtual currency platform with a loyalty chain ecosystem.  TGS is committed to supporting the arts and female artists in particular.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

There’s a grey area between the notion that performance is something that happens on a stage and a more expansive idea of performance than all human behavior. That is what makes the performance so exciting and pertinent right now. WHAT IS COMING IS GOING strives to connect people through music, dance, and prayer.  We are all human beings who thrive in the community. Let’s shift the focus and connect to each other instead of the screens in our hands. Thank you for coming today and participating in this performance. By entering into the piece, you are a part of the art and therefore become an artist yourself.  Please take the experience with you.  Hopefully, this inspires you to go deeper and connect further. With extreme gratitude, Tara Subkoff

MORE ABOUT TARA SUBKOFF

Tara Subkoff’s work represents the next wave of artistic practice; working beyond the transdisciplinary – she traverses not only different media but moves in between fields from fashion to film.  Disguising herself as an “artist”, “director”, “actress”, “and designer”, Subkoff brings her performative work to everyday lives, breaking down the lines that box us into a comfortable label, easily digested for consumption.  Subkoff is known not only for her art, but also for pioneering an upcycled fashion collective, Imitation of Christ, and her feature film #Horror.


 

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