Brian Getnick Creates L.A. Space / KCET Artbound Los Angeles

Brian Getnick in Ligia Manuela Lewis' performance "Sorrow Swag" (2014), Human Resources in China Town L.A.

Brian Getnick in Ligia Manuela Lewis’ performance “Sorrow Swag” (2014), Human Resources in China Town L.A.

Brian Getnick is an integral part of Los Angeles’ multi-faceted performance art community, and he does a little bit of everything — including codirecting “Native Strategies,” a journal and performance art platform created with Tanya Rubbak, and offering two-week residencies that culminate in live performances at the blue Highland Park theater space PAM, which is located in the front portion of his studio. In his solo practice, Getnick aims to, in his words, “privilege the body both as a metaphor (a connector to history, to political context, and in service of story telling) and as an anarchic force that disrupts any stable reading.” His visual art practice includes the creation of architectural set pieces, and costumes crafted to create dialogue with the performers who work with them. Says Getnick: “In these performances I am most interested in framing how we both resist and are shaped by cultural forces such as collective memory, education and nationalism.”

Getnick’s performances have graced the rooms of Station Independent Projects in New York City, L.A. spaces Honor Fraser Gallery, Red Cat and Machine Project, and Croxhapox in Gent, Belgium. In every element of his work, there’s a daft attention to spacial details — something that’s followed him since when he first realized an interest in the visual and performing arts growing up on the East Coast.

“I was 15 or 16 and it was my first trip into the city without my parents,” Getnick says. “It was a Max Beckmann show and I remember looking at the ceiling of the Guggenheim, and my cousin looking at the architecture of the ceiling, that oculus at the top — it was the first time I could see architecture as a sculptural project, and I was more interested in the space than I was in the work on the wall.”


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