Recruits Play Role in Temporal Art’s Creation


By Daniella Walsh

Lita Albuquerque’s performance work “An Elongated Now” relies on community volunteers as participants.
Lita Albuquerque’s performance work “An Elongated Now” relies on community volunteers as participants. Photo by Marc Brreslin, courtesy of the artist, Peter Blake Gallery and Kohn Gallery.

Roughly 200 people, double that number if artist Lita Albuquerque has her way, will spill out of the Laguna Art Museum next month dressed in requisite white trousers and long-sleeved t-shirts to follow the graceful arc of the Laguna Beach shoreline.

The voluntary recruits will be holding LED lights whose colors shift from white to blue as part of a performance art piece on Main Beach titled “An Elongated Now.”

They will return to the museum in smaller groups and become part of Albuquerque’s museum installation “Particle Horizon,” where a blue supine being appears to levitate, illuminated by stars of the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

The title comes from astronomy and describes, in short, the maximum distance from which particles might have traveled to an observation point during the age of the universe. It represents the boundary between seen and unseen regions of the universe.

The performance piece “An Elongated Now,” will take place at sunset Saturday, Nov. 8, and is the central component of the museum’s Art and Nature Festival, devised by Executive Director Malcolm Warner.

Last year’s land installation by artist Jim Denevan featured sand drawings outlined at night by solar lanterns. This year’s work is conceptualized by Albuquerque and choreographed by her daughter Jasmine Albuquerque-Croissant

Artist Lita Alburquerque directs a similar performance at the Getty Center in 2013.
Artist Lita Alburquerque directs a similar performance at the Getty Center in 2013.

The intent of the work is to raise awareness of the passage of time and for participants and audiences to become part of this process, said Albuquerque, whose studio is located in Santa Monica. “I am bringing people together to form a moving sculpture of light and to bond with each other,” she said.

The white dress code echoes the white caps of waves, but also that white contains all colors of the spectrum and also forms a unifying visual effect for the moving figures, she said. “Choreographically speaking, each figure is a point that becomes a line and then the arc. The movements suggests the earth rotating around the sun.”

Albuquerque and the museum are recruiting participants from high schoolers to seniors, offering the unique opportunity to become part of a one of a kind work of art. The only requirement is that participants be physically able to master terrain and choreography. Applications are on

So far 65 Laguna Beach residents have applied, though numbers from Los Angeles have yet to be counted, said curator Grace Kook-Anderson.

Among the volunteers is artist Jorg Dubin, who signed up at the behest of his friend Arabella Cant, a Laguna Beach graphic designer. Her daugher Evie, 14, will join the performance. “This is outside of anything I would normally do, something I now know nothing about yet. But, maybe it will open another door,” said Dubin.

Cant is looking forward to “a trip to remember,” a memory she can relive with her daughter. “It’s an exciting experience to be part of a work of art, something that a lot of people might want to do at some point in their lives,” she said.

A similar motivation prompted Vanessa Helin, who will turn participation into an inter-generational event. She recruited her daugher Gabriela, 17, who also volunteered at the festival last year, and her mother Norma Helin, 72. “On this large a scale it’s a real honor to participate in work by an internationally renowned artist,” said Helin, a member of the museum’s advisory council and a local resident. “On a personal level, I feel a lot of connection to Laguna Beach, its art scene and its natural beauty,” Helin said.

Laguna artist Karen Feuer-Schwager signed on after participating in a preparatory photo shoot. “To be inside another artist’s concept is a special way of feeling their creativity,” she said.



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