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The Broad’s Winter/Spring Public Programming Season to Feature Four Los Angeles Premieres

Line-up includes performance artists Martine Syms, Xandra Ibarra and Cassils; musical performances by Ratking, Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Tyondai Braxton and Daniel Wohl; and a film screening of ‘Ashes and Embers,’ to bring new perspectives to the museum’s renowned contemporary art collection


LOS ANGELES, Dec. 16, 2015—Following a popular inaugural season of programming, The Broad today announced the line-up for the winter/spring season which will continue the museum’s thematic program series and include feminist performances, experimental musical artists and a film screening with panel discussion led by filmmaker Ava DuVernay. The season includes four Los Angeles premieres by Cassils, Martine Syms, Xandra Ibarra and Daniel Wohl. The Broad’s public programming is a complement to the museum’s extensive collection of contemporary art and brings a fresh perspective to the ideas embodied within the artwork at the museum.

After presenting two sold-out nights of Karen Finley’s The Jackie Look last month, The Broad’s feminist performance artist series, The Tip of Her Tongue, continues with explorations of the relationship of language to the racialized and gendered body with three emerging California performance artists. On Jan. 21, Martine Syms, an artist who works between poetry and performance to consider what lies between word, gesture and the body, performs Misdirected Kiss, a piece inspired by the curriculum of Maxine Powell, director of the in-house finishing school at Motown Records in the 1960s. On April 2, Xandra Ibarra, Cassils and a screening of a film in the Broad collection, Shirin Neshat’s Possessed, 2001, take the audience into and around the museum itself. In Cassils’ and Ibarra’s physical performances, the audience evolves into a crowd, gathered around the resistant, queer spectacle of each artist’s body. “These three California performance artists define the leading edge of experimental feminist performance—each approaches the demand to perform with a certain degree of ambivalence. Performance is a way of exploring and unsettling the disciplining of the body, the artist and the audience,” said Jennifer Doyle, professor at UC Riverside and curator of the series.

The Broad’s experimental pop music series, Callings Out of Context, continues with presentations of artists who confront our understanding of musical genres by demonstrating that “pop” as a creative practice can absorb the most disparate of musical types. On Jan. 23, New York–based Ratking’s music and poetic lyrics ricochets between nihilistic punk and self-assured hip-hop refusing to resolve to either type. Opening for Ratking is singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Garzón-Montano, who exemplifies hybridity in his music. On Feb. 27, former Battles front man Tyondai Braxton and electro-acoustic musician Daniel Wohl push the edges of electronic music through the compositional rigor of classical music creating complex and fluid sonic landscapes. Wohl presents the Los Angeles premiere of his new album Holographic (New Amsterdam Records) with eight musicians and video artist Daniel Schwarz.

On Feb. 25, the popular ARRAY @ The Broad film series, produced in partnership with filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s arts collective ARRAY, dedicated to the amplification of films by people of color and women filmmakers, will screen Ashes and Embers, 1982, one of the most under-recognized films about race, nationalism and the treatment of Vietnam veterans as they attempt to re-enter society. As with the series’ first presentation of the film Paris Blues earlier this month, DuVernay will invite film, musical and visual artists into a candid dialogue about the issues confronted in the film and the creative practice from the artists’ viewpoint.

Tickets for all winter/spring programs will be available for reservation beginning Thursday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. at Note that many programs have very limited capacity.


The Tip of Her Tongue features feminist artists in performance who work with language and embodiment. With intense stories to tell, they experiment aggressively with the telling—working with words and how the body’s relationship to language is mediated by histories large and small. These intimate performances explore the politics of representation—how gender is produced in, through and as language; and how the stories we tell circulate around, move through, against and with the body.

Guest Curator: Jennifer Doyle
Jennifer Doyle is a Professor of English at UC Riverside and a member of Human Resources Los Angeles (HRLA), a collectively-run art space dedicated to supporting performance and interdisciplinary modes of expression. She has programmed diverse performance events as a member of HRLA, and guest curated exhibitions for the Vincent Price Art Museum and LACE. She is the author of Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art (Duke University Press, 2013).

The Tip of Her Tongue: Martine Syms, Misdirected Kiss (Premiere)
Thursday, Jan. 21 | 8 p.m.
Location: The Oculus Hall at The Broad
Tickets are $15 and will be available beginning Thursday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. at
Martine Syms is a conceptual entrepreneur based in Los Angeles who uses publishing, video and performance to look at the making and reception of meaning in contemporary America. Misdirected Kiss is a performative lecture that tells a story about language, movement and performance as observed in black female entertainers. Inspired by the curriculum of Maxine Powell, director of the in-house finishing school at Motown Records in the 1960s who thought that “class and style and refinement” would help her race become outstanding, this performance is a visual essay that traces how we construct and stage ourselves for the world. As artist Gordon Hall once said, “Politics is something you do with your body.”

The title Misdirected Kiss is drawn from a set of silent films in which white men accidentally kiss their black maids instead of their white lovers. This illicit contact typically takes place in between public and private space where vision is obscured. Syms uses this as a starting point to think through the ways that everybody wants to be a black woman, but nobody wants to be a black woman. Syms states, “I’m thinking about Kim Kardashian, LaVerne Cox, Michelle Obama and Beyoncé. But also myself, my best friend, my sister, my mother, my aunty and my grandma.”

The Tip of Her Tongue: Xandra Ibarra Nude Laughing (L.A. Premiere), Cassils The Powers That Be (U.S. Premiere), Shirin Neshat Possessed
Saturday, April 2 | 8:30 p.m.
Location: The Broad, various locations
Tickets are $25 and will be available beginning Thursday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. at
This program takes place in various locations around The Broad and features a looped screening of a work from the Broad collection, Shirin Neshat’s 13- minute video, Possessed, 2001, and two live performances—Xandra Ibarra’s Nude Laughing and Cassils’ The Powers That Be. Each of the three
works centers on a figure isolated in a crowd; each functions as an intervention, but how one experiences that intervention is left open to the viewer. This marks Ibarra’s first performance in Los Angeles, and the national premiere of Cassils’ The Powers That Be.

Performance: Xandra Ibarra, Nude Laughing, 2014
Drawing from John Currin’s painting Laughing Nude, 1998, this performance by Oakland-based Xandra Ibarra engages the skin and skein of race. Nude and encased in a nylon skin cocoon, Ibarra examines the vexed relationships racialized subjects have to not only one’s own skin, but also one’s own entanglements and knots (skeins) with whiteness and white womanhood.

From Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, Hortense Spillers’ theories of flesh and W.E.B. Dubois’ double consciousness, racialized subjects have continually dealt with the contradictions of skin, interiority and being. By filling this nude cocoon with “white lady accoutrements” (blonde hair, ballet shoes, furs, pearls and fake breasts), Ibarra visualizes and embodies the skein of race, negotiating the simultaneous joys and pains of subjection, abjection and personhood.

Performance: Cassils, The Powers That Be, 2015
In this powerful piece, Cassils, who the Huffington Post called “one of ten transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art,” collaborates with fight choreographer Mark Steger to stage a brutal two person fight. Lit by car headlights and performed in the depths of The Broad’s parking garage, Cassils is the sole figure, left to spar with an invisible force.

Amplified by surrounding car stereos is a score designed by Kadet Kuhne comprised of static noise and samples found on the radio. Broadcasting issues reflective of today’s sociopolitical climate, both proximate and distant, The Powers That Be explores the radical unrepresentability of certain forms of trauma and violence. This piece is designed to be viewed and recorded by the audience using mobile phones. Cassils addresses mediated images of violence by calling into question the roles of the witness and the aggressor.

Screening: Shirin Neshat, Possessed, 2001
Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat’s film Possessed, 2001, starring Shohreh Aghdashloo and with a soundtrack by Sussan Deyhim, presents a woman without chador, the traditional Islamic veil, madly roaming the streets of an Iranian city. She is completely ignored until she takes a platform, where her private suffering becomes public and political. The gathering crowd debates her mania and subsequently assumes the traits of her madness, while she slips away unnoticed.

Featuring some of today’s most exciting and transgressive musicians, Callings Out of Context is an aural complement to the Broad collection’s holdings of Pop Art. The series features hybrid-minded contemporary musical artists that engage, point to and tell stories about the modern market they are simultaneously a part of, while opening our ears to new perspectives on genre, repetition and mass production. Each program pairs artists from divergent corners of the marketplace, from the heart of indie-rock to the fringes of hip-hop and electronic music to the experimentalism of the avant-garde. The series title was inspired by the Arthur Russell song Calling Out of Context.

Guest Curator: Ted Hearne
Ted Hearne is a composer and performer whose recent commissions include works for the LA Phil, San Francisco Symphony, Roomful of Teeth and BAM. He is a professor of composition at USC and his new album The Source was just released this fall.

Callings Out of Context: Ratking, Gabriel Garzón-Montano
Saturday, Jan. 23 | 8:30 p.m.
Location: REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater)
Tickets are $20 and will be available beginning Thursday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. at
Call it ‘no wave’ rap. Call it ‘no school’ hip-hop. The New York–based trio Ratking are raw, philosophical and utterly reactive. Piecing together detritus from the scorched earth of New York’s musio-social landscape—where bloated, self-satisfied hip-hop bumps elbows with the nihilist refrain of dead end punk; where delicate, perfumed beauty sits directly beside rancid, mangled poverty—Ratking’s music revels in subversive bricolage and bold recombination. Known for their “rabble-rousing gusto and a reputation for wild live shows” (Pitchfork), MC’s Wiki and Hak act not only as mischievous tour guides but as dual ends of our own conscience: one sharp-witted, vulnerable and seemingly anti-social; the other feral and poetic. Sporting Life weaves a teeming Big Apple backdrop littered with referential gems, intelligent hooks and sheer immediacy.

Opening the evening is singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Garzón-Montano, who exemplifies hybridity in his music. His songs infuse a soul/R&B sensibility with gauzy and impressionistic arrangements betraying a classical austerity. Fresh from a collaboration with Lenny Kravitz and featured on Drake’s latest album, Garzón-Montano is a colorful and authentic musical voice.

Callings Out of Context: Tyondai Braxton, Daniel Wohl (L.A. Premiere)
Saturday, Feb. 27 | 8:30 p.m.
Location: REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater)
Tickets are $20 and will be available beginning Thursday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. at
Tyondai Braxton and Daniel Wohl, composers, performers and experimental electronic musicians, create immersive works that draw from a variety of sound sources. Both artists explore the purposes and possibilities of pop production by subjecting those sounds and practices to the unique rigor demanded from classical composition.

Formerly the front man of experimental-rock favorite Battles, Braxton creates works of mind-blowing scope, ranging from intimate solo pieces to large-scale symphonic works, incorporating electronic and modern orchestral elements. His critically acclaimed album Central Market has been performed by orchestras around the world including the London Sinfonietta and the LA Phil, and his new multimedia installation HIVE recently premiered at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and was released on Nonesuch Records. Fresh from a duo collaboration with Philip Glass, Braxton brings this ecstatic solo show to Callings Out of Context, exploiting the edges of our ability to perceive the nuances of pop music production and pushing through the chasm of digital music to rediscover the human.
Wohl thrives on the forefront of the electro-acoustic, conjuring “boldly surreal aural experiences” (The New York Times), that ask the most of our timbral memory. Intensely rhythmic and elegiac in bursts, Wohl’s latest album Holographic (New Amsterdam Records) ambitiously strives to close the gap between his classical background and the ever-evolving electronic music scene. In a premiere performance, the entirety of Holographic will be played live by a band of eight musicians with a live video artist.

ARRAY @ The Broad is an ongoing series featuring classic and contemporary films curated with an eye toward the intersection of art, history and cultural identity. With the cinematic image as the centerpiece, the series engages audiences through post- screening conversations with a spectrum of artists and scholars for an immersive exchange of ideas and insights beyond the screen that enliven many issues addressed by artists in the Broad collection. ARRAY, founded in 2010 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay (SELMA), is an arts collective dedicated to the amplification of films by people of color and women filmmakers.

Guest Curator: Ava DuVernay
Ava DuVernay is the award-winning filmmaker of SELMA, who made history when she became the first black woman director to have a film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. She is also the founder of ARRAY, a community-based distribution collective dedicated to the amplification of films by people of color and women filmmakers. DuVernay was recipient of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award, and is a board member of the Sundance Institute and Film Independent.

ARRAY @ The Broad presents: Ashes and Embers Film Screening
Thursday, Feb. 25 | 8:30 p.m.
Location: REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater)
Tickets are $20 and will be available beginning Thursday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. at
A disillusioned veteran of the Vietnam War attempts to come to terms with his past and his current place as a black man in America in director Haile Gerima’s Ashes and Embers, 1982. Winner of the 1983 FIPRESCI Prize for Forum of New Cinema at the Berlin International Film Festival, this little seen screen gem will serve as entry into candid dialogue about nationalism, liberty and race relations explored from the artist viewpoint. Engaging the audience in this conversation is a high-profile quorum of actors, musicians and scholars selected by filmmaker and ARRAY founder Ava DuVernay, who serves as host for this second gathering in this ongoing film series.

About The Broad
The Broad is a new contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler and offers free general admission. The museum is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide. With its innovative “veil-and-vault” concept, the 120,000-square-foot,
$140-million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collection and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library.

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