Variety Show I
Performances curated by Bryan Lee Brown
October 20th, 8 pm
Actual Size Los Angeles and Academy Records are pleased to present Variety Show I, a night of short performances curated by Bryan Lee Brown and hosted by Bill Raden with acts by Richard Bott, Mike Armstrong, Jo Jo's Spa II Hoop Girls and Jim Brown of Holloys. The performers will occupy and activate HEAD(devices III), a temporary installation and performance venue. This will be one of two nights of mediated entertainment hosted at the space for the run of the exhibition.
HEAD(devices III) transforms the interior of Actual Size into a mock TV studio, on view to the public through the gallery’s storefront windows. The mod set and its dressing, which references 1960's variety show music sets, explores the gallery space as site of potential performance. As the third installation in Academy Record’s “devices” series, HEAD continues an investigation of the distribution of culture through a study of the physical structures and platforms of performance.
The central focus of HEAD is a stage that simultaneously evokes a concert about to begin as well as a memorial to outmoded methods of cultural production. During the exhibition, performances that take place in the installation will be filmed, edited and presented online, in a variety show format that will be broadcasted via the Academy Records and Actual Size websites. The installation takes its name from the cult 1968 film Head, which follows made-for-TV rock band, The Monkees, on a kaleidoscopic journey that combines satire, propaganda, and concert footage. Academy Records extends this commentary to modern day LA, to explore today’s systems of information transmission and how these systems can affect the performers and the work they produce.
Academy Records is an aegis for live performance, recorded events and printed ephemera. This platform allows artists to expand on working themes and build on multiplicities due to its varying forms and delivery strategies. Academy Records projects are often collaborative and inclusive, involving different kinds of creators, including aural, visual and performing artists, designers, writers and filmmakers. Each Academy Records’ project is time or site-specific, utilizes simple means, and readily available resources.
Academy Records is led and maintained by Stephen Lacy. Stephen Lacy is an artist and educator who lives and works in Chicago. Under the auspices of Academy Records, Lacy has performed and presented projects for numerous venues and publications, most recently Galerie der Künstlerstätte Stuhr-Heiligenrode, Germany; Blast/ Counterblast edited by Steve Reinke and Anthony Elms; Columbia College Chicago; Herron School of Art, Indianapolis; Art Gallery of Knoxville; DePauw University, Indiana; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. His work has been reviewed in numerous publications, including Artforum.com, Wire magazine, New City Chicago, and the New Art Examiner. Additionally, Lacy has participated in residencies and productions around the world, and in autumn 2014 he will present a solo exhibition for the Greenlease Gallery at Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri.