Dig Magazine celebrates art in Long Beach
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 01:09
Fans of the Cal State Long Beach publication Dig Magazine may have noticed an eye-catching and somewhat provocative cover for this month’s issue titled “Art and Beyond.” The cover shows a topless woman covering her breasts with cupcakes and wearing plastic bags and foil in her hair.
This photo is part of a feature on “Pollenland,” a local performance art and music project known for their strange and avante-garde performances.
To celebrate the release of Dig’s first issue of the year, Pollenland debuted a new performance at the Bungalow art gallery in Long Beach last Friday.
Before the performance began, students, faculty and other guests gathered into the gallery as Dustin Rodriguez aka DJ D-Train spun vinyl. Snacks and drinks were provided as people observed the art and wondered why the ground was covered in caution tape.
After a while, the band began to play, and Pollenland member Grace Hansmeyer stood behind the microphone, mouth half open, as if she was about to sing.
Toni Ivashkov, wearing a seashell-shaped papier-mâché hat wandered around the room waving burning sage as Hansmeyer continued to stand perfectly still without making a sound. After the sage had burned, Ivashkov made her way to the front of the room and began stripping Hansmeyer’s clothes off piece-by-piece.
The audience seemed uncertain where to stand and what to do, which is something that Pollenland played off of as the nude girl marched through the room. By the time Hansmeyer was put on a newspaper pedestal and covered in glue, the general atmosphere and free wine had helped to loosen the crowd up.
The audience participation aspect of the show began with people shredding pieces of newspapers and magazines and attaching them to Hansmeyer’s body. A massive newspaper cone was placed around her head as she stood perfectly still. Eventually she had been transformed into a papier-mâché statue, standing silent and still, her head the only thing visible through the paper.
The rest of the show included the band playing more of their extremely danceable music, as two people dressed in piles of trash bags and aluminum cans wrestled with a caution-tape wrapped pregnant monster woman with a cone for a face.
The show ended with the caution tape person pulling dirt and leaves from her pregnant belly and then helping Hansmeyer out of her paper cocoon. At that point she had been standing still wrapped in paper for over an hour.
Guests left the Bungalow gallery with a copy of Dig in their hand, discussing Pollenland’s performance. Dig Magazine has certainly started the school year off with an issue release party that nobody will soon forget.
“The goal was to increase exposure to the magazine not just to students but also to the community,” said Sasha Milena, Editor in Chief of Dig Magazine. “I think it was a success.”