Opening of Beta Main

Sunday, October 30
On Teaching Performance Art

1pm - 2:30pm
Artists Nao Bustamante and Rodney McMillian and theorists Meiling Cheng and Amelia Jones explore the evolution in how performance art is taught at the college level from both theoretical and practice-based positions.

Opening Reception

2:30pm – 5pm
Beta Main opens with Andrea Bowers and Suzanne Lacy's durational performance. Come see their work—and our new museum—begin to take shape. All are welcome.

Admission is free, but let us know if you’re coming. Please RSVP here.

About Nao Bustamante
Nao Bustamante is a Chicana multimedia and performance artist. Her work explores issues of ethnicity, class, gender, performativity and the body. Bustamante has presented in Galleries, Museums, Universities and underground sites all around the world. She has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the New York Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sundance International Film Festival/New Frontier, Outfest International Film Festival, El Museo del Barrio Museum of Contemporary Art, First International Performance Biennial, Deformes in Santiago, Chile and the Kiasma Museum of Helsinki. Bustamante has received numerous fellowships and awards, including the Anonymous Was a Woman fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, the Chase Legacy award in Film, a CMAS-Benson Latin American Collection Research Fellowship and a Makers Muse Award from the Kindle Foundation. Bustamante holds a BFA / MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and currently serves as Associate Professor and Vice Dean of Art at the USC Roski School of Art and Design.

About Meiling Cheng
Meiling Cheng is a renowned theorist specializing in performance art, visual and kinetic theatre, site-specific installations and modern Chinese live art. Her first book In Other Los Angeles: Multicentric Performance Art published in 2002 pioneered the research of live art from the disciplinary perspective of theater. In 2013 she published Beijing Xingwei: Contemporary Chinese Time-Based Art, which was honored by a Zumberge Faculty Research Grant. Since 2004, Cheng has contributed a series of influential articles on Chinese performance art and performative installation to scholarly journals in the U.S., UK, Canda and Australia. Cheng is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Zumberge Individual Research Award and a Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award. Cheng is Associate Professor of Theatre/Critical Studies and English at the University of Southern California and Director of Critical Studies at USC School of Theatre.

About Amelia Jones
Amelia Jones is a curator, theorist and art historian specializing in feminist history and theory of modern and contemporary visual arts, including performance, film, video and installation. Jones is the author of numerous books, including Perform Repeat Record: Live Art in History (2012), co-edited with Adrian Heathfield, a single authored book Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (2012), the edited volume Sexuality (2014), and, co-edited with Erin Silver, Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories(2016). She has organized major international exhibitions and performance events Material Traces: Time and the Gesture in Contemporary Art (2013) in Montreal, Trans-Montréal (2015) at McGill University and Live Artists Live (2016) at USC. Forthcoming in late 2016 is her edited special issue of Performance Research entitled “On Trans/Performance.” Amelia Jones is the Robert A. Day Professor in Art and Design and Vice-Dean of Critical Studies at the Roski School of Art and Design at University of Southern California.

About Rodney McMillian
Rodney McMillian is an interdisciplinary artist known for his installations comprised of found discarded materials often referencing domestic life, the education system, the civil government and race relations. McMillan’s work has been exhibited at the UCLA Hammer Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the Royal Academy in London and the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art. McMillan holds a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.


Performance Lessons: Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art

Beta Main’s first commissioned project, Performance Lessons: Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art, centers on the profoundly influential trajectory of performance art in California between 1968-1980, reanimating and contextualizing this rich artistic history through durational performance, conversations with practitioners and theorists and inquiry on politics and pedagogy.

Performance Lessons follows the artists’ durational installation at The Drawing Center in New York in 2014, where Andrea Bowers taught Suzanne Lacy how to draw. Using the practice Lacy was foundational in forming, roles are reversed this time and Lacy teaches Bowers how to do performance art. For ten days, the pair will live in Beta Main while Bowers is assigned lessons, develops performances, and undergoes the formal critique process art students endure as part of their education. The lessons, taught by Lacy and other renowned artists, will be free and open to the public.