Organizers of Kulture Klash seemed to refine their efforts for the fifth installment of the bi-annual arts festival held Saturday night, with a clearer, and greener, focus. Featuring a transcendent bicycle theme, the party boasted a healthy range of expression, with a stronger emphasis on performance art than we saw at prior Klashes. Local cyclists impressed onlookers with what can loosely be categorized as performance art by completing aerial stunts on the outdoor BMX ramp. Technicalities aside, the talented tricksters’ series of 360s, grabs, and handless feats were seriously awe-inspiring. The same goes for fellow bikers who demonstrated their two-wheeled skills during an intense game of bike polo.
Inside, bikes were used for a different medium. A giant sculpture of an assortment of cycles glistened in the back of the warehouse, drawing a large crowd in the direction of Charleston Moves’ info booth.
The party’s earth-awareness extended past alternative transport, with works utilizing re-used cardboard adorning the ceiling and sculptures with discarded boxes creating a provocative exhibit. A cathedral constructed from liquor boxes elicited a large response from patrons, who lined up to walk inside “The Church of Art Sins,” by Scott Debus and Jarrod Charzewski.
Other highlights included the starving artists exhibit, showcasing works from creators who sacrificed food for five days to evaluate the effects of deprivation on their work. Props to the fasting collaborator who composed various junk foods in the cosmos — we know that’s what you were all thinking about. In the same room was the improv spoken word stage, taken on by several talented wordsmiths.
We’re hopeful that the expansion of artistic mediums is a reversion back to the festival’s original goals: to exhibit what is unique in the Charleston arts scene and to help give the city and the artists the publicity they deserve. With the incorporation of an additional night to highlight the artists in a more relaxed, approachable setting, it seems like the artwork has again taken center stage.
Check out photographer Mike Ledford's slideshow to the right. For even more images from the event, go to Jonathon Stout's website.