You never really hear about performance art coming out of Southern California in the mid-seventies. From most art history classes or performance studies classes taught, you only hear about the East Village and Allan Kaprow and Yoko Ono. You certainly do not hear anything about Los Angeles and, for that matter, anything coming out of minority groups.
But, that culture and form of art existed and thrived in Southern California through ASCO, a group of friends from East Los Angeles that produced performance and conceptual art surrounding the Chicano world. The group consisted of Gronk, Willie Herrón, Patssi Valdez, and Harry Gamboa, Jr. ASCO, which is defined as disgust in Spanish, did much of their work in the seventies continuing through the mid-eighties, where their work throughout the city commented on the social/political climate in Los Angeles.
We’re delighted to relay that LACMA has an awesome retrospective of the group’s work on exhibit now through the top of December. Through The Getty Research Institute and, of course, is a part of the fantastic Pacific Standard Time. LACMA has a lot of cool things happening surrounding the exhibit, but do look out for the a walk through with Patssi Valdez and Gronk of ASCO, which sounds like a once in a lifetime experience (a happening, if you will).
Both photos above are from the exhibit, sent to us courtesy of LACMA. They’re both taken by Harry Gamboa, Jr. of ASCO in 1974. The first is entitled “First Supper After A Major Riot” while the second is “Instant Mural.” For these and more, check out LACMA’s coverage of the show and be sure to catch it!