A One-Day-Only Art Exhibit Along All of Mulholland Drive

Stephen Van Dyck has quite a vision when it comes to transforming the Los Angeles landscape. This is an excerpt from my article in the arts blog at www.laweekly.com about one of his unique and comprehensive “road concerts”.

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As I cruised along Mulholland Drive yesterday afternoon, I was transported into a new kind of artistic space. I continuously discovered an array of different interactive art exhibits and performances, unevenly distributed along the historic ridge-top pass usually traversed by movie stars in sports cars…

For most viewers this artistic incursion into the normal reality of the city was entirely unexpected and even confusing… after all, what are all these people doing playing and watching music next to the road? What does that man have on his head — and why does that particular star map stand seem to have so many customers?…

Stephen Van Dyck, a performance artist, is the founder of Los Angeles Road Concerts, the name he’s given to this event and three other similar ones, which have taken place since 2008 along similarly forgotten or unexamined stretches of San Fernando Boulevard in the Valley, Washington Boulevard, and Sunset Boulevard (the most recent one). The series, one of a number of L.A. projects that are rethinking how to view and experience art, seeks to investigate and reclaim the often ignored or overlooked public spaces that line our public roadways in L.A. Over 110 artists answered an open call to participate in the intensive one-day only affair, ranging from established to emerging names…

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The culminating reception was supposed to have taken place at Sunset on a bucolic hilltop near the Missile site at the Western edge of the drive, but park rangers and various law enforcement made it clear, as they had throughout the day, that the artistic influence was not welcome. Never to be deterred, and despite receiving a citation, Van Dyck moved the reception down to the road itself, where local band The Lone Stars played a full set as part of a “pop-up club” across Mulholland from their audience as the sky turned pink and the lights of the Valley began twinkle into view…

Hundreds of in-the-know art world players attended the event throughout the day, but the real impact was more likely made on those who simply happened upon the happenings. One anonymous passerby at the reception couldn’t believe his luck…

While he may be disappointed that another Mulholland Road Concert isn’t happening soon, the L.A. Road Concert series will continue. You will be able to find out details on the next one (and view past projects) at www.LARoadConcerts.org.”

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