Could it be that I’m dusting you off again, returning? Why yes I think so. But what about Lisbon and it’s gorgeous people and clean toilets and what of El Museo and spraining my ankle? What of the last several months? Doesn’t that too deserve an entry? Sitting in the (West) Hollywood Hills lends itself to gazing over the shrubbery in the morning and automatic writing, allowing the fingers to do their folly (chuckling). One thing I love about coming to the West Coast, besides my roots and blood is that when I first arrive I am a morning person, for about 3 days, but sometimes I can extend it. And I love to get up and go to the filmmaker breakfasts at the Standard Hotel, an event unique to being an official selection at Outfest Film Festival. One of my favorite, which starts tomorrow! So me and Fufu headed out, walking, down the hill for some coffee at about 8:30 AM. Something about LA really hit me this time as I looked up to the Bebe billboard and saw the unlikely ginormous boobs airbrushed with extra peculiar cleavage where one would not normally occur. And I am no stranger to airbrushing. Gawd LA and by extension of the entertainment industry, a lot of people, are obsessed with the body. I mean what’s the big deal? Take off your clothes already… The heat, so early, keep walking, almost to coffee and Parvin, the woman who threads my face. More beautiful people, more 3d monsters, more naked Heidi Klum. Naked but teasing, you know, like a tape measure grazing her nipple or some shit like that. Anyways, I’ve always loved the body-obsessed culture here, somehow “healthy” and perverse simultaneously. A stangely tuned high-pitched instrument of culture, that I’ve found if you can run it through some kind of filter, a pleasant tune will emerge. Of course there are a myriad of cultures co-existing here, not to mention my favorite taco wagon. Yes, better than the one at the Mobile station in Bakersfield… So just as I pass by Heidi, I see this “Health nut” coming towards me. He is running in the full sun, very thin and cut, no shirt and sweat rings in his crotch area. He is flailing his arms in some burn-more-calories kind of way and as he gets closer I realize he is not one of the “beautiful people” but some one suffering perhaps terrible hallucinations, grabbing at some imagined assailant. A lump forms in my throat, as we dodge his grasp and he continues his run. Nothing has changed about LA. I’ve changed. Living in ultra-real upstate by the River didn’t prepare me for this heat, everything looks duller and more deranged. I’ve been coming to LA since I was a kid, to Disneyland, then for dance lessons, then for punk shows, then parties, art gigs, Work of Art audition, etc… It has always met me with a magical space of “anything” can happen here. You, Nao, can make anything happen. Maybe this shift of seeing what I’m looking at can help me actually make “anything” happen. Ooh, did I mention that Fufu is dyed purple?
Nao responds to the critiques of her “shocking” work, and explains her competition strategy.
Art isn’t always where you think it’ll be. Sure, you have your artwork, or art piece, but that is often just a snapshot of where an artist is in their process. So the “art” is in the process and it’s evidence is elusive. “Good” art is hard to trap. For me the process is like absorbing my surroundings, mingled with my perception, then reorganizing that into a form. That form may be readable as intended or shifting, and unconscious. Once you take your work out of your head or heart or guts and put it into a form, it is subject to interpretation. At that point the artist loses control, but gains a dialog and an understanding of the interpretation by the viewer. Work of Art contestants made what we could with X number of hours. If we had 12 hours the work would be different than if we had 12 days or 12 years. That’s why I think of the work as a snapshot of the process or time available.
When I watched Episode 4 of Work of Art, I thought my work looked strong on TV, but the details of the process, the drip painting and the ripped and painted nest interior, were left out, or at least hard to pick up on. This is TV and the narrative doesn’t always require the details. But when the judges had all the contestants assembled and the camera panned across our heads, it was that moment I saw the art, all of those heads and then… my crazy sculptural mask! IT WAS A RIP IN THE FORMAT OF THIS ART COMPETITION. I really thought it was beautiful. No one made mention in the show that I had used the Utrecht bags from our show sponsor. It was a commentary/frustration of the limitations of the structure. I am primarily a video and performance artist (but I don’t put emphasis on media hierarchy). I rarely go to the art supply store for materials. Don’t get me wrong, I love the art supply store, just as much as the library, the hardware store, my house, the street and so on. Materiality is all around us, as is art. One of my strategies for going on the show was to engage in things I didn’t actually know how to do. So each week I tried to do something that was new for me. I wanted to model a process for people watching the show that you can express yourself creatively in any medium. Even though I said I had no idea what I was making, episode 4 felt like the most familiar art-making process for me. It was a true exploration. Making art can be animal and instinctual, spiritual and beyond words. Heck, I’ve been in critique sessions many times, and I certainly know how to B.S. with the best of them. But really is that what it is all about? I determined that my piece, “Barely Standing,” would be the work that would break though the show format or get me sent home, and well, we all know what happened. I think it is possible to make great art in a reality TV format, but it may not be where we intend it to be. Will the next great artist be a competitor on Work of Art? Watch what happens. Nao will be heading back to relative obscurity now to make her own works of art. But remember people out there in TV land, take off your mask, because there is another one underneath.
It is too hot for cooking in the house. So thought it’d be a good time to experiment with solar cooking… I call it the New Media cooker, but maybe it’s more accurate to call it the film/video cooker. The reason being instead of a black pot, I used black wrap or black foil, which is used for shuddering the hot lights of production. I also used gaffers tape to put my parabolic shape together. I know, I know, black wrap and gaffer’s tape are expensive, but they can be reused over and over! And I already had em. Which works well with one of my philosophies, shopping at home…
car windshield sun reflector
shaped with gaffer’s tape
little rack from old toaster oven
pot of food, covered in blackwrap
a oven cook bag (can also be reused)
an elastic hair band (to make a tight seal on the plastic bag)
a bucket to rest and turn the parabolic cooker in
You can tell were the sweet/hot spot is in the cooker when you are turning it, which is here and there as the sun shifts.
I’m making a bread cooker next out of a shoe box.
Nao: Well, first let me say how great it is to finally sit down and get a chance to talk to you!
“Nao:” Right? It’s been totally nutso!
Nao: I wonder if I can ask you anything that will surprise you or catch you off guard, given that this is a self-interview? Which, btw, the idea is ripped off Hayley Newman, the amazing performance artist…
“Nao:” Yes, I’m also a fan of Hayley’s… let’s see what happens.
Nao: Ok ok, there seems to be a lot of discussion about Nao vs. “Nao.” You know… were you acting on “Work of Art?”
“Nao:” We are all performing our roles constantly. It’s very difficult to get outside of performing. When I manage that, it’s very dislocative. This “reality” that we are placed in, is nothing like the reality that I have created for myself as an artist, etc… but we are still expected to perform as if it is. I prefer the term unscripted.
Nao: Yes, but don’t you run into the same problems with that alternate term?
“Nao:” I suppose. Forget I said that.
Nao: I can’t this is a direct transcribed interview. And the idea that you would be more comfortable with one problematic term over another is very telling.
“Nao:” Actually this interview is making me uncomfortable.
Nao: Ok, ok, did you make any good friends on the WOA set?
“Nao:” We couldn’t really engage with production, although I had a huge crush on one of the producers, who was so kind to me at the first episode shooting, which was a nightmare for me! I thought Nicole was my BFF, but it turns out she was everyone’s BFF. I can’t believe how chummy she is with everyone still. I mean, doesn’t she have a job or something? We have this thing we do all the time. We refer to everything as n², that’s supposed to be N squared.
Nao: uh huh, that’s cute, but what happened on the first episode that was so upsetting?
“Nao:” Didn’t you watch? I can’t talk about anything that wasn’t on camera…
Nao: ok, ok, I saw your show up at Baer Ridgway Exhibitions and I was really stunned! Did Miles’ Death Portrait of you from episode 1 effect your choices around your “Deathbed” photo installation?
“Nao:” OK, for the last time, I made the “Deathbed” photo months before I had ever heard of Miles Mendenhall!
Nao: You seem like an angry and aggressive Woman…
“Nao:” If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention!
Nao: ok, ok, I guess with the oil spill and the wars and genocide and all, it must be difficult just to focus on you.
“Nao:” Yes, it’s been hard to keep the focus on myself. But, I really try. I mean I’m not curing cancer here. Some art might be curing cancer, but mine is not. I wish it would, but it’s not…
How to get the most out your viewing pleasure: It has come to my attention that many of my friends don’t have cable television and many don’t even have televisions! And so it may be necessary and desirable to sprout some official unofficial viewing parties for
Work of Art: the Next Great Artist, premiering on
Bravo, Wednesday, June 9th at 11 PM (EST) and 8 PM (PST).
Here are five fun things to do:
1. Follow my twitter feed (www.twitter.com/naobustamante) for real time snarky comments during the show.
2. Buy a t-shirt (www.naobustamante.com/magic.html). You’ll want a cool, au courant item of clothing to wear to the party and claim your allegiance. Remember, I can’t sell out, if I don’t make money.
3. Encourage your friends to bring mobile computing devices to start conversations online on Bravo’s website you can start new topics or respond to others (http://boards.bravotv.com/index.php?showforum=127).
Other notable forums may be found at www.stretcher.org and www.artfagcity.com
4. Post any interesting related links that you find to my public facebook site: www.facebook.com/naobustamante
I can now announce that I’ll be part of Bravo TV’s upcoming reality show, Work of Art, which starts in June 2010.
“As she left the stage at the close of the Sundance performance, she even got into a little tiff with the lighting technician over how long her fade to black should last.
Was it real, or a staged argument? No wonder the New York Times described Bustamante as “a frock-wearing Andy Kaufman.”
“I like to make the audience feel uncomfortable, but I don’t like to push them away,” she said. “I like to make them feel like they might feel uncomfortable.””
A panel discussion featuring a series of presentations by Purchase College professors and a performance by artist Nao Bustamante celebrates their publicationThe Body Reader: Essential Social and Cultural Readings (Feb. 2010, NYU Press).
Nao Bustamante director/writer/performer/editor, Ava Berkofsky director of photography, Andres Laracuente shadow dancer, Ruthie Doyle assistant camera, Eleanor Goldsmith still photography & giver of golden light, Victoria Kereszi props master & production assistant, Andrew Lynn stop-motion animation & technical assistance, Seana Biondolillo penis-image craft & dildo bejeweler, Salvatore Salamone headdress construction, Branda Miller production impresaria, Commissioned by the LIVE FILM/ Jack Smith festival, co-organized by Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art and Hebbel-am-Ufer Theater (HAU) in Berlin, Produced at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute iEAR Studios with assistance from EMPAC
June 17th: foxy moron (Nao Bustamante and Silas Howard debut) + DJ El Reyes
10PM – 2AM @ SILVER PLATTER 2700 W. 7TH 90057
WILDNESS is a FREE queer dance party and performance series happening every Tuesday in MacArthur park, Los Angeles. Find all the info at http://realwildness.com
A benefit for
Highways Performance Space
May, 10 2008 at Highways’ 19th Birthday: “Nervous Breakdown”
1651 18th St., Santa Monica, California 90404
Cost : $30/$25
Saturday, May 10 features an eclectic mix of new performance, music, and spoken word by members of Highways’ illustrious alumni. ARTEL presents “A Chapter from The Legendary Times of Bulgakov,” an excerpt from their full-length performance The Legendary Times of Bulgakov. Levan D. Hawkins presents a new performance incorporating drama, poetry, music, and dance with “I Did it My Way,” in which, after experiencing emotional trauma, a man learns his greatest lesson from Aretha Franklin. Mira Kingsley presents an excerpt from her current full length piece, Yes is a long time, written by Sibyl O’Malley, and performed by Kingsley and Antonio Anagaran, Jr. Dorian Wood and special guest Killsonic perform “The Pond,” a three-part lullaby about an army of children who wander into a dark forest and discover a deep, dark truth. The evening also includes a new, original performance by Nao Bustamante.
Nao is performing the piece titled “Given Over to Want”.
blue13 dance company
Naked with Shoes (Anne + Jeff Grimaldo)
Rosanna Gamson/World Wide
LeVan D. Hawkins
Fri + Sat 8:30pm $20/$15
(Los Angeles, CA)
CINCO DE MAYPOLE
Thursday May 1st
18 and over
Doors open 8pm
A celebration of all things May and Pole
Featuring performances by:
The Poor Dog Group
arts and crafts on the patio
special surprise guests
The Poor Dog Group and
Creative Services @
The 18th Street Arts Center
1637 18th Street
SM CA 90404
Nao will be speaking at noon on Thursday at the Cat in the Cream as part of the Margin Release New Media Lectures. Lunch will be served.
All Margin Release events are free and open to the public, and supported by the Luce Professorship of the Emerging Arts at Oberlin College/Conservatory.
Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse
180 West Lorain Street
Oberlin, OH 44074-1078
Time: Noon, Thursday April 24, 2008
reblogged from: Arbitrary
Wed April 16, 7pm
Free with donation bar
Join us for a screening of film and video works relating to Ethnographies of the Future, an international selection of artistic practices that critically reflect on cultural histories impacted by colonial rule, proposing new ethnographic possibilities. Artists include Elia Alba, Pedro Barateiro, Lene Berg, Nao Bustamante, Katia Kameli, Grace Ndiritu, and Sriwhana Spong. Organized by guest curator Sara Reisman.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
7:00pm – 10:00pm
BRIC Rotunda Gallery
33 Clinton Street, A,C trains to High Street, 2,3,4,5, to Borough Hall
This screening has been made possible with support from the Experimental Television Center’s Presentation Fund, with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support provided by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General.
Untitled #1 (from the series Earth People 2507) plays the final NYUFF!
Festival runs Wednesday, April 2 to Tuesday, April 8. Closing Night is Sunday, April 6, and Monday and Tuesday are repeat screenings for those of you who just can’t get enyuff.
F Train to Second Ave. stop. Get out at Second Ave. exit. Walk two blocks north to Second St.
6 Train to Bleecker St. stop. Walk east to Second Ave & Second St.
J, M, Z to Bowery stop. Walk north on Chrystie St. past Houston St. to Second St.
L to First Ave stop. Walk south to Second St., turn right to Second Ave.
All screenings are at our beloved Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave. at Second St. We play hard to get, so we don’t list our nightly parties, so check in at the theater if you want to make a night of it.
ride bike hold coffee
muscular bums sing show tunes
THE WAY THAT WE RHYME
In conjunction with The Way That We Rhyme exhibition tours, discussions and screenings, join us for one-night-only evening event with artists Nao Bustamante and Julie Atlas Muz. Both women are conceptual performance pioneers whose interdisciplinary approaches make for challenging and entertaining experiences.
Miss Exotic World and Miss Coney Island 2006, Julie Atlas Muz presents Fecunditatis—the best of her short format work in a performance dedicated to spring, rebirth and the violence of creation. Bustamante is an internationally known performance and video artist whose work encompasses performance art, sculpture, installation and video.
Organized by YBCA (San Francisco, CA), The Way That We Rhyme showcases the politically charged work of a new generation of women. Emphasizing performativity, collaboration and coalition building, the works are influenced by the feminist ideologies and activist movements of the past, while also speaking loudly and clearly to the issues facing women right now. Adhering to the notion that there is strength in numbers, the show culls together work from women of differing backgrounds and disciplines to highlight the common goals of their practices.
Artists include: Lisa Anne Auerbach, Andrea Bowers, Nao Bustamante, Tammy Rae Carland, Vaginal Davis, Eve Fowler with Math Bass, Deborah Grant, MK Guth, Taraneh Hemami, Miranda July and Shauna McGarry, LTTR, Leslie Labowitz and Suzanne Lacy, Aleksandra Mir, Laurel Nakadate, Shinique Smith, subRosa, SWOON and Tennessee Jane Watson, The Counterfeit Crochet Project organized by Stephanie Syjuco, The Toxic Titties, Jessica Tully, and RiotGrrl zines from the Independent Publishing Resource Center, Portland.
Voces: Contemporary Actions by Latino Artists
Wednesday March 19, 6:30 -8:30 pm
José Muñoz, Department of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU moderates this panel featuring the work of contemporary Latino performance artists Nao Bustamante and Nicolás Dumit Estévez. Bustamante will perform her piece Given Over to Want an ongoing conversation within the artist’s performance works that deals with the themes of transformation and desire. Estévez will talk about his most recent performative work Pleased to Meet You (2007) where he proposed to meet all of the inhabitants of the town of Calaf, Spain during his visit in 2007 and a similar work that took place in Peterborough, NH as part of the artists residency at the MacDowell Colony. The performance is documented in a recent publication that will be presented after the panel.
For advance registration e-mail email@example.com.
El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street)
New York, NY 10029
|March 8-9, 2008 Studio. Join us for the next installment of Studio, REDCAT’s ongoing performance series that brings together a fresh line-up of six L.A artists to launch new projects, investigate new forms and experiment with new ideas. This edition features a dynamic range of emerging and established artists in works that draw on opera, performance art, dance and theater.
Julie Adler & Sylvia Desrochers
The Film Department of The Museum of Modern Art is proud to present “CELLuloid: Cell Phone-Made Documentaries,” screening February 20th at 6:30 p.m. in Theater 2 during the Museum’s annual Documentary Fortnight exhibition. The full exhibition program can be found online.
CELLuloid: Cell Phone–Made Documentaries
Pushing the boundaries of personal, political, and documentary art, these works produced using cell-phone cameras arise from established artists experimenting with new technology as well as first-time creators inspired to document the world around them. The results are alternately comic, poignant, topical, and socially relevant. This presentation is co-curated by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, and Sara Rashkin, Independent Curator.
Dark Glass. 2006. UK. Directed by Clio Barnard
Wednesday, February 20, 2008,
6:30 p.m., Theater 2, T2,
68 min. screening + discussion
Bear. 2004. USA. Directed by Edward Lachman. 2 min.
A young man and his girlfriend defend themselves from a bear. From renowned cinematographer Lachman’s series of four Cell Stories, reported to be the first documentary shot using a mobile phone.
Télépattes. 2008. France. Directed by Vivian Ostrovsky. 9 min.
Philosophers embodied by cats – a felinosophy of life. English version. New York premiere.
Dark Glass. 2006. UK. Directed by Clio Barnard. 8 min.
A taut micro-drama that visually recreates in a single shot a spoken description of family photographs recalled under hypnosis. New York theatrical premiere.
They Can Shoot Me But They Can’t Kill Me And Neither Can You. 2008. USA. Directed by Jeffrey Peixoto. 7 min.
Woody Guthrie’s life and times told through black and white hand-drawn images and text. World premiere.
We Shall Remain (selected works). 2008. USA. Directed by Michael David Little, Rebecca Nelson. 14 min.
From We Shall Remain, a multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history, comes a series of short, personal films by Native Americans from communities around the country. In these selections, Michael Little tells of his unlikely journey out of homelessness to success as a painter and gallery owner, and Rebecca Nelson describes how she created the best-Christmas-ever for her younger brother. We Shall Remain is a production of PBS’s American Experience. World premiere.
UFO Days. 2008. USA. Directed by Joshua Thorson. 8 min.
Eerie cell-phone video of a personal UFO encounter is intercut with scenes from Elmwood, Wisconsin’s annual “UFO Days” parade. World premiere.
Every (Text, Image, Sound, Movie) from my cell phone. 2008. USA. Directed by Darrin Martin. 9 min.
A collection of all material expunged from the artist’s cell phone after the holidays. An exercise in happenstance and a time capsule of life with a cell-phone. Theatrical premiere.
Nanookie Of The North. 2007. USA. Directed by Nao Bustamante. 1 min.
A mysterious and humorous send-up of the classic documentary Nanook Of The North (1922, Robert Flaherty). Staring Igor Vamos, Sandy Dubowski and Nao Bustamante, with cinephontography by Jason Plourde. Theatrical premiere.
New Love Meetings (excerpt). 2007. Italy. Directed by Marcello Mencarini, Barbara Seghezzi. 6 min.
Interviews with contemporary Italians on the subject of sex and love, a remake and update to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1965 documentary Comizi d’amore (Love Meetings). Selection on sex, power and sexual tourism. Reported to be the first feature length movie shot on a mobile phone. In Italian; English subtitles. New York premiere. Program 60 min.
There will be a discussion with filmmakers following the screening.
UCLA Center for Performance Studies presents Nao Bustamante
Pathetic Instructions and the Longevity of Exchange
Thursday, February 28th 4:00-5:00 pm
CSRC Library Haines Hall 144
Co-Sponsored by the Chicano Studies Research Center
Reception to follow
More information @ www.performancestudies.ucla.edu
NEW YORK, NY – January 17, 2008 – El Museo del Barrio, New York’s premier Latino and Latin American cultural institution, is pleased to announce its groundbreaking exhibition Arte ≠ Vida: Actions by Artists of the Americas, 1960 – 2000, which will be on view from January 30 through June 8, 2008. “Arte no es vida” surveys, for the first time ever, the vast array of performative actions created over the last half century by Latino artists in the United States and by artists working in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Central and South America. Curated by Deborah Cullen, Director of Curatorial Programs at El Museo del Barrio, Arte ≠ Vida is the recipient of a prestigious 2006 Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award.
Over 75 artists and collectives are represented in Arte ≠ Vida, including ASCO, Tania Bruguera, Nao Bustamante, CADA, Lygia Clark, Papo Colo, Juan Downey, Rafael Ferrer, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Alberto Greco, Alfredo Jaar, Tony Labat, Ana Mendieta, Marta Minujin, Raphael Montañez-Ortiz, Hélio Oiticica, Tunga and contemporary practitioners including Francis Alÿs, Coco Fusco, Regina José Galindo, Teresa Margolles and Santiago Sierra. The exhibition is arranged in four major sections, in which each decade is represented by several specific themes that often cross national boundaries. 1960-1970 looks at select precursors, signaling, destructivism and neoconcretismo; 1970-1980 considers political protest, class struggle, happenings, land/body relationships and border crossing; 1980-1990 focuses upon anti-dictatorship protest and dreamscapes; and 1990-2000 references the Quincentenary, multiculturalism, postmodernism and endurance. An additional section highlights interventions that artists have carried out on television over the past 20 years. In these chronological, thematic groupings, viewers will be able to explore the interconnections among various artists’ actions as well as the surges of activities triggered by specific events in certain countries.