Dorian Wood

  • Athco, Or the Renaissance of Faggot Tree
  • 9 October 2011
  • 2 - 4PM
  • Barnsdall Park 4800 Hollywood Blvd LA, CA 90027

In conducting research for her project, order Denise Uyehara made the profound discovery: “James Luna is not dead. He just lives on the La Jolla Indian Reservation so people don’t know how to reach him.” Together, page Uyehara and Luna will revisit Transitions, one of Luna’s early performances in which he unpacked a bag full of “Indian” objects and created new rituals with them. Together they will retell the story of their suburban upbringing through contemporary ritual, narrative, video, disco and surfing music, building a mythological bridge into the unknown.

$10 general admission/$5 students/FREE for LACE members.

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Denise Uyehara, Bone Transition, 2010. Photo by Carol Cheh.
Denise Uyehara and James Luna, 2011. Photo design by Adam Cooper-Teran.

Denise Uyehara is an internationally presented performance artist, writer and playwright based in Tucson, Arizona.  For over two decades she has investigated memory and what marks the body as it travels across borders of identity by combining narrative, action, found objects, clay animation and video projections on the moving body.  She was also a founding member of the Sacred Naked Nature Girls, an experimental, culturally diverse performance collective. A recent recipient of the MAP Fund and the National Performance Network Creation Fund, Uyehara is a pioneering artist whose work the Los Angeles Times hails as “mastery [that] amounts to a coup de theater.”  Her recent diptych, Archipelago and the  Senkotsu (Mis)Translation Project,re-examine the U.S. occupation in Okinawa, through Native American and Okinawan origin myths and ritual.  She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine, and an M.F.A. from the Department of World Arts & Cultures from UCLA.

James Luna is a Pooyukitchum/Luiseno Indian and is an enrolled member of the La Jolla Indian Reservation in North County, California, where he  currently resides.  As a “Rez” resident, he draws from personal experiences and probes emotions surrounding the way people are perceived within and outside of their cultures.  An award-winning artist, Luna represented the National Museum of the American Indian in the Venice Biennale in 2005.  Luna believes that installation and performance art – in which he employs such media as made and found objects, audio, video and photography – offer an opportunity for Native artists to express themselves without compromise in the Native traditional forms. Luna’s art education at UC Irvine (BFA ’76) included instruction by major California minimal artists. This, coupled with his Masters in Education at San Diego State University (’83), became the foundation of his thirty years of art making in multimedia installation and performance. More at
Dorian Wood’s outdoor performance sets out to explicate and re-interpret the connections made by and between crucial figures in the history of Los Angeles performance art including the East LA-based Asco, drug
cross-dressing performance artist Cyclona, order
artist Ron Athey, information pills
musician Rozz Williams and the underground club performance scene. Featuring a tableau created by prone performers, the event culminates with a performance by Dorian Wood’s alter persona, Faggot Tree, accompanied by the experimental orchestra KILLSONIC. The performance will be held at Barnsdall Park.

For more info on how to participate visit

Co-presented with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

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Dorian Wood. Athco, 2011. Courtesy of Dorian Wood.
Dreva/Gronk. Photo signed by Dreva. Courtesy of Dreva and Gronk.


Los Angeles-based artist Dorian Wood is “armed with a vocal charisma that would befit a preacher and an experimental streak that would make avant-gardists swoon” (WNYC Culture). He has held audiences captive for years on street corners, in concert halls and performance spaces throughout the US, Mexico and Europe, both as a solo performer and as a member of the 30-piece experimental orchestra, Killsonic. Recently, Dorian received critical praise for his performance and his “picture perfect” art direction (Los Angeles Times) in the Killsonic opera, Tongues Bloody Tongues, presented at the REDCAT in Los Angeles. Dorian has previously performed at LACMA, UCLA, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Highways Performance Space, Pacific Design Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco) and several other spaces worldwide. His latest recording, Brutus, was captured live at St. Giles-in-the-Fields in London, during his spring 2010 European tour.