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September 25, 2014 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-09-25

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 3B

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 3B

ARTPRIZE
From Page 1B
Rick * Beerhorst is a Grand
Rapids-based artist who has
participated in ArtPrize since
its first year. Beerhorst was born
and raised in Grand Rapids and
attended Calvin College until his
itch to create art inspired him
to drop out and move to New
York City. After living there for
a few years, Rick moved back
to west Michigan to finish his
undergraduate degree and attend
graduate school. In the process,
he met his wife of 26 years and
had six children. In 2005, he and
his family sold two-thirds of their
belongings and their house and
moved to New York. Ultimately
though, Grand Rapids was home,
and they made the move back a
year later.
Beerhorst is known for his
folk art-influenced painting
style, typically portraits of young
wome n, which is a style he's
worked with for about 30 years.
In 2010, his installation "Plan B"
won the Best Use of Urban Space
award at ArtPrize, and outside of
Grand Rapids he's had paintings
featured in exhibitions all over the
continental United States.
"A lot of times, the art world
is frustratingly a very small
conversation," Beerhorst said.
"With ArtPrize, suddenly all
these people from all over the
place are coming downtown to
look at art. It's making a much
larger conversation that what
would normally happen in this
little ecosystem of art museums
and galleries and alternative

spaces.",
Beerhorst's 2014 ArtPrize
installation is, at the core, a
painting that measures 12 feet
long and eight feet tall, that is a
double portrait of two women in
front of a view of the city of Grand
Rapids. Along with it is a Plexiglas
display case filled with items that
helped create the painting, like
photographic references, painting
tools and drawings.
Part of the installation will be
a documentary film of how the
work was made, edited down
to a five minute loop. Visitors
will be able to interact with the
installation by filling out one of
many postcards provided, where
individuals are encouraged to
write their address and a hope
they have for their respective
hometowns. After three weeks,
Beerhorst and his crew will mail
the cards back to the writers
around the world. Beerhorst has
been working on this project
since the middle of January, with
his team of a dozen others. The
project required $20,000 worth
of funding, made possible by
donations fromlocal companies.
Beerhorst is confident that
ArtPrize has initiated a change
in the contemporary art world for
the better, and is eager to see the
effects events like these will have
in years to come.
"One of the reasons Egypt
developed such a rich and
incredible cultural legacy was
because the Nile River flooded
every year. When it flooded, it
pushed all this really fertile soil
onto the banks, andthe Egyptians
were abletogrowincredible food,
and with the food came society
and culture," Beerhorst said. "If

you think of that metaphorically,
a city like Grand Rapids, which in
some ways is just one more small
Midwestern town, is affected
by this cultural overflow that
happens here year after year.
Eventually, the cultural soil
gets deeper and deeper, so more
things can take root here."
In terms of whether or not the
popularity of ArtPrize will over
commercialize the event, Herring
denies the possibility, noting the
unique independent structure.
"Everything has the potential
to become too commercialized.
The one thing that ArtPrize is
really rooted in is the fact that
we're independently organized
as an event, the organizers
don't play any role in deciding
what art gets into the event
or where it goes, it's up to the
artists and the venues to form
their own decisions," Herring
said. "Because of this model, the
platforminwhichwe deployeach
year, we as an organization can't
control what kind of art shows
up, where it shows up, and how it
plays out. We don't even have the
opportunity to insist upon that
(commerciality), and that's the
beauty of the event."
It's this unique combination
of independent organization
and public involvement that
the ArtPrize team hopes will
inspire the creation of similar
contemporary art exhibitions
around the United States and
aroundtheworld.
. "I can see ArtPrize becoming
a hub for events like this around
the world," Herring said. "We've
created amodeltrulydisruptiveof
theworldofcontemporaryart and
howit'sbeenfor alongtime."

COURTESY OF FOREVER FESTIVAL
Adventure Club was among the many acts performing at Freedom Hill Amphitheater in Sterling Heights last weekend.
Bass-blasting sets
at Foreve r- Festival

Flux Pavillion and
more bring EDM to
Sterling Heights
ByARIANAASSAF
Daily StaffReporter
Last weekend's Forever
Festival at the Freedom
Hill Amphitheatre in
Sterling Heights was one big
adventure. As a junior from
California, it's kind of a shame
that I haven't really explored
other parts of Michigan yet.
But this isn't the first time
the tantalizing idea of a music
festival has led me to do crazy
things, and driving an hour
east of my University bubble
seelIed to be - and was -
simple and more than'worth
it. Besides, I was looking for
an excuse to take a break from
yet another (disappointing)
football Saturday.
The aura and setup of the
festival was interesting, to
say the least. There were
Lululemons sprinkled among
more traditional rave tutus,
an exasperated but meager
crowd of patrons planning a
coup to get themselves closer
to the stage, and even weird
bell pepper and mozzarella-
stuffed burgers. A bored
usher tried flirting with me
just moments before someone
else asked me point-blank
if I had any crack. Clearly a
wholesome combination.
As it turns out, aside from
the asshole security guards
and the overwhelming
consensus that the pit needed
to be opened up to allow more
people in, the festival was
curated quite well. Unlike
larger ones where you have
to trek what seems like miles
between stages only to be
rewarded with too-short
sets and too-long wait times,
Forever Festival had picked
a select few strong groups to
play for substantial periods of
* time.
By the time we arrived,
Caked Up was already living
it up on stage. Like many of
the artists I would see that
day, I was not familiar with
this duo. A little post-festival
research showed they rose in
popularity relatively quickly,
especially after their remix
of "Wrecking Ball" went
viral last October. Even in
the awkward amphitheater
setting, the duo's hold on
the audience was impossible
to ignore. Around 5:00, the
venue was still more than
half empty, and with strict-
bordering-on-combative
security guards severely
limiting the capacity of the
pit, feelings of irritation could
have easily undermined the
intended party atmosphere.
Any brave soul who attempted
to jump the flimsy dividing
fence between the first row
of seats and the pit would be
swiftly - oftentimes harshly
- escorted out. But even when
things took a turn toward
aggression (a tussle ended
in a 90-pound girl being

momentarily knocked to the
ground), the fans already in
attendance still really looked
like this was the performance
they'd been looking forward
to.
Caked Up has clearly
mastered the art of variety,
even within a sometimes
narrow genre. At times, its
music is slowed down and
sexy, at others its rapid-fire
urgency demands a whole new
kind of attention. Oscar Wylde
and Vegas Banger danced
behind their turntables with
just as much animation as
the fans, enjoying themselves
as though they were in
the audience watching
their favorite DJ perform.
Remixing old favorites like
"Party Up (Up In Here),"
"Move Bitch" and even
"Heads Will Roll" really got
people to get down with their
bad selves. It was a smart
move for Wylde and Banger
in their effort to continue
drawing in new fans using
familiar tunes with a twist.
Eventually, this good-
time group gave way to
something slightly more
ominous. Destroid, made up
of Excision, Downlink and
KJ Sawka, is a live bass music
band that adds notes of metal
to its mostly EDM sounds.
Having never heard of - let
alone seen- the group before,
my first thought when they
came on stage was, "Holy
shit, they have robots!"
It's true; Destroid leaves no
detail left out when it comes
to portraying its story of
aliens taking over the world
with bass music. This is the
tale that helped define the
band's mission statement,
and it's ever-present in the
performance. Destroid's style
is a bit hard to digest, but
not necessarily in a bad way.
The songs remain energetic
while spiraling into slow,
deep rumbles that make
the experience quite unlike
anything else. I'm not all
about the monster voices and
creepy chimes warning of the
impending annihilation, but
at least it was theatrical.
Adventure Club followed,
blasting an explosive remix
of "We Dem Boyz." By now
the amphitheater was full
and, despite the somewhat
defective setup, the crowd's
energy was great and the
performers continued to
impress. Fortunately, we
snuck our way to the front of
the crowd waiting for more
room to open up in the pit
just in time to be let in, and
thus got to enjoy Adventure
Club from within the most
electrifying area of the whole
amphitheater. I generally
believe that the more crowded
a show is, the better (to an
extent). Here, there was so
much room that a boy with
a semi-obvious Napoleon
complex back-flipped every
single time the bass dropped,
yet I didn't feel like I was
swimming in empty space.
Nothing could bring down
the good vibes as Adventure

1

Club spun its remix of Foxes's
"Youth." I recognized "Gold"
featuring Yuna and "Crash"
from their 2013 EP, and
everyone had a blast listening
to themintersperse snippets
of Martin Garrix's anthemic
"Tremors" with the group's
own music. The camaraderie
was palpable: Adventure
Club shared with us its new,
ultra-dynamic and perfectly
spastic song "Fame," and we
all shared with each other the
sweat that comes with raging
for hours in pseudo-Indian
summer humidity. One group
even gleefully reunited
with its hip-shaking, tutu-
wearing, fairy-polar-bear
friend midway through the
set, and somehow I felt so glad
for all of them. Christian and
Leighton carefully sounded
out their last notes with a
mash up of "Summertime
Sadness" and "Crave You,"
and headliner Flux Pavilion
came on to contribute to the
end of their set and see them
off.
Flux Pavilion's cheeky
Brit personality and humor
shines through the music
as he plays. He started right
off with beats that made
the whole place vibrate and
blasted the audience with
mist/fog so thick you couldn't
see your own hands in the
air like it was his favorite
thing to do. Turns out, it was
one of our favorite things
for him to do, too. Dizzying
strobe lights somehow shined
their way through the mist.
Though we'd been going all
day (for some festival-goers,
this was their second day), no
one thought to stop dancing.
He was too good! At times
his music got so frantic you
almost didn't know which of
the twelve competing beats
to pick up on and dance to -
it was a brilliant exercise in
following along. My guess is
he was just having a little fun
fucking with us, especially
when he mentioned he didn't
realize the thunderstorm
that had been roaming across
Michigan all day "was really
you guys." We all cheered
at his compliment and
applauded the joke. According
to Flux, "You come for the
music, you stay for the puns."
At Forever Fest, in the
delightful fashion of music
festivals, I dipped my toes
into the musical streams of
different artists I probably
wouldn't have had much
regard for otherwise. Yes,
I absolutely lost my shit
when Flux put on Skrillex's
"Recess," and it was cool to
hear two different artists mess
with "Heads Will Roll" during
their sets. But watching
some guy in an astronaut-
esque suit attempting to
twerk while crowd-surfing
to Caked Up's trap-y stylings
and temporarily entering an
alien-infested universe are
just two examples of the great
experiences that made me
want to stay in those worlds.
With any luck, I'll go back one
day.

ArtPrize, an independently run organization, hosts a festival each year in Grand Rapids, MI.

SINGLE REVIEW

"I love myself!"
Yes, you should, Kendrick.
We do too.
Ken-
drick
Lamar's
first single Kendrick Lamar
off his Aftermat/lnterscope
forthcom-
ing album hit the airwaves
earlier this week, titled "i."
It's the first new music we've
heard from the celebrated
artist since his 2012 break-
through record, goodKid,
m.A.Ad City.
The track pulls a sample
from the IsleyBrother's 1973
soul hit, "That Lady," giving
the song a funky undertone as
Lamar's raspy voice raps over
it. The new single was first
alluded to in mid-September
when Lamar released the
track's cover art, detailing two
men dressed like a Blood and
TR
NBC's timeless "Saturday
Night Live" has produced
the Chevy Chases, the Chris
Farleys,
the Will
Ferrells of The Skeleton
the com-
edy world. Twins
That's RoadsideAttractions
expected
from "SNL," though, to be
fair. What's rarely expected,
however, are two recently
retired alums teaming up
for a compelling, heart
wringing drama. Kristen
Wiig ("Bridesmaids") and
Bill Hader ("Superbad") seem
to pepper real laughs within
a main dish of familial con-
flict.
The opening frame shows
an eye-level two-shot of Wiig
sitting next to a book-wield-
ing Hader. Asking his sister
if she has read "Marley &

a Crip with their hands in the
shape of hearts rather than
their respective gang symbols.
The artwork implies the song's
message of peace and unity,
and with lyrics as inspiring as
ever, Lamar speaks honestly
about the impoverished world
of his childhood. By offering
up his personal experiences
in his lyrics, Kendrick Lamar
performs a sort of activism
that can offer hopefulness to
others in the face of similar
adversity. The song's constant
remains in the uplifting cho-
rus, a repeating and sometimes
interrupted "I love myself."
Building in intensity but main-
tainingaconsistentlyfunky
jazz bass, the songis a four-
minute reminder that Kendrick
can be missed but never forgot-
ten.
Still remaining somewhat
individualized inan industry

l

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