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Foul Art

August 18, 1985

Can anyone in the Los Angeles art community tell me, or explain to anybody, why the 4th Street Bridge was sprayed with caustic gas in order to keep people from viewing Survival Research Laboratories' kinetic-cum-junk performance on Aug. 11?

The performance was staged within view from a public bridge. Anyone who chose to be on that bridge had the right to view anything seen from that vantage. For any "art" group to mark off public space like some dog or cat spraying its territory seems both ludicrous, short sighted, and perhaps, even if SRL doesn't seem concerned, illegal!

If the message SRL was trying to state was of such importance, it would seem unnecessary for them to eliminate by gassing what could have been their larger audience.

CRAIG SOUTH

art director, Nervous Systems

Redondo Beach

Joy Silverman of L.A.C.E. (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), which hosted the SRL performance art team, said SRL did in fact spray a foul-smelling chemical on the bridge to discourage people from standing where they might be hurt by projectiles. It also may have been designed to encourage viewers to cough up the $8 general admission fee.

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