On Thursday (Oct. 11), the sixth annual Los Angeles Exchange Festival (LAX) kicks off in Downtown Los Angeles.
Over 10 days, the festival showcases more than 40 contemporary performances and events by Los Angeles artists – presenting theater, music, dance, film, performance art, visual art and more – in dialogue with works by artists from outside L.A.
Following last year’s focus on Mexico City, the 2018 LAX Festival marks the second time the festival will present an exchange platform with a specific city: Philadelphia. Events include performances, talks and artist-to-artist interactions designed to cultivate mutual inquiry, network building and relationships between the city of Angels and the city of Brotherly Love.
Organized by Los Angeles Performance Practice, and founded by its executive director and CalArts alum Miranda Wright (Theater MFA 09), the festival “corrals the city’s most creative and visionary artists who are blending performance mediums to shape a uniquely West Coast scene,” according to Los Angeles Magazine.
This year, those visionaries include several CalArtians:
- Launched last month and running for three weeks at Automata as part of LAX Festival is the world premiere of Object of Her Affection, created and performed by alumnus Marsian DeLellis (Theater MFA 09). An unconventional love story following the emotional journey of a woman who has mysteriously fallen from a building, the piece explores a heroine’s "Object Sexuality," revealing the way objects can hold multiple hearts and personalities.
- At Think Tank Gallery, on Oct. 15 and 16, actress and CalArts movement faculty Estela Garcia shares her work-in-progress, Remedios Varo: La Alquimista, a whimsical drama loosely based on the life of surrealist painter Remedios Varo.
- On Oct. 17 and 19, also at Think Tank Gallery, composer, multi-instrumentalist and composition faculty Daniel Corral will perform Polytope, a multimedia microtonal performance for MIDI quartet performed entirely in darkness except for the colorful glow of MIDI buttons.
- At the Bootleg Theater on Oct. 17, 19 and 20, visual artist and alumnus Edgar Arceneaux (Art MFA 01) will present his first live work, Until, Until, Until…, investigating the infamous 1981 performance of Broadway legend Ben Vereen at Ronald Reagan’s inaugural celebration.
- From Oct. 19 through 21, director, alumnus and acting faculty Lars Jan (Theater MFA 08) presents PANDÆMONIUM at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. A “fever dream of the American West,” the work features performers on opposite sides of the stage, intersecting with sweeping interactive video design and a cinematic score between them.
- And also from Oct. 19 through 21, artist, alumnus and former CalArts faculty Susan Simpson (Art MFA 99) will screen her sci-fi thriller, A Machine for Living, at Automata, where she serves as co-artistic director. A work of live cinema performed with puppets and handmade special effects, the film shows the artist absorbing extraterrestrial DNA and slowly transforming into a highly advanced alien.
The LAX Festival takes place Oct. 11 through 21 at Automata, Bootleg Theater, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Think Tank Gallery, and other venues. For more information, visit performancepractice.la/festival.