VALS: Asher Hartman

UCI Visiting Artist Lecture Series (VALS)

Asher Hartman

Thursday, March 14, 12 p.m. PST

Contemporary Arts Center, Colloquium Room, 3rd Floor

This talk will be held in-person and live streamed on Zoom (see link details below) 

The Department of Art presents the Visiting Artist Lecture Series (VALS). The annual series, organized by graduate students in Art, invites artists, scholars, curators, critics, gallerists and writers to give public lectures and conduct studio visits with students relevant to graduate students' research and practice. The series will be in-person and live streamed. There will be drinks and dinner after the lecture on CAC 4th floor. Please visit the VALS webpage for links and information on other events in the series.

About the Artist

Asher Hartman is a transgender visual artist, writer, director, and maker of live performances. His works, which combine strategies of theater and performance art, grapple with social and political issues in an era of chronic crisis. His works are dense, visual, poetic embodied texts, infused with clown and cringe humor, evidence of trance and psychic journeying, set in engulfing installations designed to disorient, unnerve, and elicit strong feeling.  A great deal of his work was developed with the support of Machine Project in Los Angeles from 2010-2017. Asher Hartman is the director and founder of Gawdafful National Theater, a group of visual artists, actors, and performance artists with whom he has created since 2010. 

Recent projects include “It’s Better to Start Out Ugly,” JOAN (2023), The Lab, San Francisco, (2023) and a novel, an excerpt of which is featured in TDR (Cambridge University Press, 2022) as “Female Hallucinations, Folk Horses, and Gaunt Motherfuckers.” Other recent Gawdafful performances include “The Dope Elf,” a series of traveling plays that premiered as a large-scale live-in installation at Yale Union, Portland, Oregon (2019), then took the form of six short films presented at The Lab, San Francisco (June 2021) and a live performance, “Organized Around the Erotics of Doing You In” at The Lab (2021). Other recent publications include five short play pieces in the catalog for “Lifes” at the Hammer Museum in 2022. Past performance and theater works in include “The  Lost Privilege Company,” Visions and Voices, USC, LA (2018); “Sorry, Atlantis, Or Eden’s Achin’ Organ Seeks Revenge,” Machine Project, LA (2017); “Mr. Akita,” Hauser & Wirth, LA, (2017); the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (2017);“The Silver, the Black, the Wicked Dance,” commissioned by LACMA (2016); Mr. Akita at The  Tang Art Museum, NY (2015), Purple Electric Play! Machine Project, (2014), “Glass Bang” at the MAK Center for Art & Architecture’s RM Schindler’s Fitzpatrick-Leland House as part of Machine Project’s engagement in the Getty Museum’s “Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.” (2013) and with Cannonball in Miami as “The Florida Room” and Southern Exposure in San Francisco (2013), “See What Love the Father Has Given Us, Machine Project, (2012), “All Stars of Non-Violet Communication” (LACE, Highways Performance Space, Human Resources 2011), and “Annie Okay! (The Hammer Museum, LA, 2010). X Artists’ Books published Hartman’s first book of plays, "Mad Clot on a Holy Bone" in 2020.  

Asher Hartman has also conducted alone, and with his (now deceased) collaborative partner, Haruko Tanaka, numerous intuitive-creative workshops at colleges, museums, and universities including Carleton College (2022); C/O Berlin (2018); Crystal Bridges, Arkansas (2018); Philbrook Museum, Tulsa (2018); Gasworks, London (2017); The Pulitzer Art Museum (St. Louis, 2016); Perez Art Museum (2014); Real Art Ways (Hartford, 2013), Extrapool (Netherlands, 2013);The Hayward Gallery (London, 2012), The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, 2012), The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburg, 2012), among many other venues and numerous workshops with Machine Project. Recent teaching includes classes and workshops here at Otis College of Art and Design, CalArts; Art Center, Pomona College, USC, UC Riverside, and Ox-Bow School of Arts in Michigan and The Golden Dome Mystery School.


VALS is presented with generous support from The Claire Trevor Society, the CTSA Dean's Fund for Excellence, and UCI Illuminations.. 

For remote access: 

Zoom Link

Time: Thursday, March 14, 12 p.m. PST

March 14, 2024 - 12:00pm