Live Artists Live: Despair/Repair

A Performance-Art Biennial
Presented online. 
Admission is free. 




“Live Artists Live III: Despair/Repair” will showcase performance as a poignant reflection and powerful rebuttal to the world’s challenges, addressing concerns around the “live” body of the artist, structures of feeling/affect, and performance-based action and/or inaction.

This third iteration of the performance-art biennial will focus on themes of despair and repair with meditations on mortality by internationally acclaimed artists Linda Montano (New York) and Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (Chiang Mai, Thailand). The festival will also feature performances by Kareem Khubchandani's drag alter ego LaWhore Vagistan, Danielle Abrams with Mary Ellen Strom, Xavier ChaPavithra Prasad, and Yan Xing,


(Schedule of Events subject to change)

All times are PT. 

Friday, November 6
12–7 p.m.: Performance by Linda Montano
7 p.m.: Welcome
7:30 p.m.: Performance by Kareem Khubchandani 

Saturday, November 7
11 a.m: Linda Montano in conversation with USC professor Amelia Jones
12 p.m.: Performance by Xavier Cha
1–2 p.m.: Break
2 p.m.: Performance by Danielle Abrams and Mary Ellen Strom, followed by a conversation with USC professor Patty Chang
3:30 p.m.: Performance by Yan Xing
4:30 p.m.: Performance by Pavithra Prasad
5:15 p.m.: Danielle Abrams, Kareem Khubchandani, and Pavithra Prasad in conversation 
6 p.m.: Performance by Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, followed by conversation
7 p.m.: Closing Remarks



Danielle Abrams’s performances arise from the social currents that shape her mixed-race and queer identity. Adopting personae that animate the dualistic relationships between racial and ethnic groups, rearranging time periods, and juxtaposing clans, Abrams’s characters build a unique social vision that rewrites the scripts of the past. Abrams has performed and exhibited at the ICA Boston; Detroit Institute of the Arts; Bronx Museum of the Arts; The Jewish Museum, NY; Queens Museum; Grand Central Art Center; and other performance spaces and galleries.

Xavier Cha’s performance-based works and videos grapple with architectures of subjectivity, illusions of agency, and what it means to be human with a physical body in a capitalistic-digital age where we exist as consumer and product. Born in Los Angeles and based in New York, Cha received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from UCLA, received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 2012 and a Frieze Film Commission in 2015, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014.

Kareem Khubchandani is the Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor in the Department of Drama and Dance and the Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Tufts University, teaching at the intersection of performance studies and queer studies. Kareem is also a performance artist, working in drag (as LaWhore Vagistan), storytelling, body art, theatre, and digital media.

Linda Montano has not only performed but has also taught performance art, sculpture, and the history of performance around the world. From 1984 to 1998, she performed 14 Years of Living Art, an exploration of the Hindu Chakra theological system. Her classic video Mitchell’s Death has been shown internationally, and her more than 60 videos (many created with video editor Tobe Carey) are on YouTube. Six books further explore her vision and spiritual-feminist take on life, healing, and art.

Pavithra Prasad is an assistant professor of intercultural communication at Cal State Northridge’s Department of Communication Studies. Her interdisciplinary research engages ethnographic methodology, critical race theory, and postcolonial studies and focuses on nightlife and subcultures in contemporary South Asia. Prasad is a performer and scholar, with research-driven creative work exploring queer identity, the postcolonial imagination, and “racial drag.”

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook was born in Trad, Thailand, in 1957. After earning a BFA and MFA in graphic arts from Silpakorn University, Bangkok, she continued her studies in Germany at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig. Her work has been installed at international institutions including the National Gallery, Bangkok; Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach; and Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. In addition to making regular appearances at biennials and group exhibitions internationally, Rasdjarmrearnsook is a lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University.

Yan Xing is known for multi-component, interdisciplinary projects that combine diverse media such as performance, video, photography, installation, and painting. Yan Xing has built a complex body of work that reflects critically on how history is manufactured today. Born in Chongqing, he graduated from the oil painting department of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and won the Chinese Contemporary Art Award for Best Young Artist in 2012.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by Patty Chang, Andy Campbell, and the USC Roski School of Art and Design. Co-sponsored by Asian Pacific American Student Services.