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Highways kicks off silver jubilee with '70s and '80s artists

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Highways, the alternative culture performance space in Santa Monica, turns 25 this year.
Highways' silver jubilee will include by some of the biggest names in '70s and '80s performance art.
Dark Bob will host the two-night fundraiser celebrating Highways' 25 years.

Highways, the alternative culture performance space in Santa Monica that’s been a longtime hub for experimental theater, dance and art in Los Angeles, turns 25 this year. Fittingly, its silver anniversary celebration will be a high-energy, unpredictable mash-up by some of the biggest names in ‘70s and ‘80s performance art.

The two-night fundraiser will be hosted by performance art pioneer-musician-painter the Dark Bob, whose work was included in the Museum of Contemporary Art’s 2011 Pacific Standard Time exhibition “Under the Big Black Sun."

Highways is calling its anniversary event a “high-profile reunion.” Among those giving short performances  are John Fleck, Gronk, Johanna Went, Jeffrey Vallance, Rudy Perez and Llyn Foulkes, among many others.

“What I put together for them is a historically relevant presentation of performance art history,” says the Dark Bob (a.k.a. Francis Shishim). “This group, they established L.A., internationally, as a performance art community to reckon with, comparable to the first generation of rock and rollers like Chuck Berry, Elvis and Little Richard.”

Friday night, “A Recipe for Disaster: Generation 1, Los Angeles Alternative Art in the 70's,” will see a big, unwieldy, “art-party mixer,” at which there may – or may not – be spontaneous short performances and videos by cutting edge artists from the ‘70s, says the Dark Bob. There will be, however, a Mexican feast and cash bar.

Saturday night, “Life in the Fast Lane: Performance Art in the Big ‘80s,” is more structured, with a lineup of 11 artists from that decade staging five-minute, “rapid fire performances” over an hour and a half, says the Dark Bob. “It’s like a variety show with some of L.A.’s most renowned performance artists; I’m hosting – a sort of Dean Martin from Mars!”

Highways was founded by performance artist Tim Miller and writer Linda Frye Burnham; Leo Garcia is its longtime director.

For more information: highwaysperformance.org

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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