FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Skirball Cultural Center presents
STAN’S CAFE, “OF ALL THE PEOPLE IN ALL THE WORLD”
September 26–October 1, 2006

Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90049 (Exit Skirball Center Drive off the 405)
(310) 440-4500, fax (310) 440-4595
Contact: Stacy Lieberman (310) 440-4578, or Mia Carino (310) 440-4544
Email, communications@skirball.org
Web site, http://www.skirball.org


Stan’s Cafe, performance stills of "Of All the People in All the World" by Ed Dimsdale

Acclaimed performance installation will use 5½ tons of rice to illustrate human life
 
Los Angeles—Of All the People in All the World, by British theater company Stan’s Cafe, will open at the Skirball Cultural Center on September 26 for a one-week limited engagement as part of the troupe’s first U.S. tour. It will remain on view through October 1, 2006. In this deeply affecting work of art, five artists, all dressed in factory uniforms, will measure grains of rice to quantify statistics about human life. At their disposal will be 11,000 lbs. of the staple food—the weight of 300 million grains of rice, one grain for every person in the United States. The performers will place the rice into labeled piles portraying wide-ranging truths, from the most serious historical and contemporary facts and figures—the U.S. prison population, the civilian deaths in wars around the world in the last 10 years, the number of Tibetans living in exile today, for example—to such pop-culture trivia as the headcount at Charles and Camilla’s wedding or the thousands of “American Idol” auditions last season. The statistics represented will be changed continually over the course of the work’s six-day run at the Skirball, creating a shifting landscape of rice inside the gallery where it will be staged.

During Of All the People in All the World, visitors will be encouraged to converse with the performers, share their own stories and discuss the demographics to which they may belong. Occasionally, the artists will measure statistics suggested by visitors on the spot. To complement the work’s exhibition at the Skirball, Stan’s Cafe will also lead four interactive workshops for local elementary and middle-school students as part of the Skirball’s school outreach initiative. Participating youths will research statistics, build mounds of rice to illustrate their findings and regard the discrete grains of rice that represent themselves in the context of the millions of others on display.

“Our aim in producing this work is to capture a picture of the world in all of its vastness and mystery as well as its everyday ordinariness,” explained Stan’s Cafe artistic director, James Yarker. “It links today with yesterday, big moments in history with personal memories, great successes of the human race alongside its terrible failures and the challenges it continues to face.”

Since its premiere at the Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry, England in May 2003, Of All the People in the World has toured throughout the United Kingdom and has traveled to Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland. The German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung praised the work, remarking that “the knowledge gained is astonishing.” Of All the People in the World will make its U.S. premiere September 8 through 17, 2006, at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s annual Time-Based Festival.

Stan’s Cafe’s performance is presented at the Skirball between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holy Days that mark the Jewish New Year and are known as the Days of Awe, a time of reflection for Jewish people around the world.

“We hope Of All the People in All the World will inspire visitors from the diverse communities of Los Angeles to reflect on our small, purposeful roles in an ever-expanding global society,” added Jordan Peimer, Director of Programs at the Skirball. “Some of the statistics portrayed are dismal and shocking, others playful and celebratory. These intriguing—and surprisingly beautiful—piles of rice make tangible the myriad connections among people, communities and cultures.”  

At the Skirball, Of All the People in All the World will be performed by Amanda Hadingue, Charlotte Goodwin, Heather Burton, Karen Stafford and Craig Stephens, who is also associate artistic director of Stan’s Cafe. The 11,000 lbs. of rice used in the work will be recycled for animal feed when the performance is completed.

Based in Birmingham, England, Stan’s Cafe is one of Britain’s most groundbreaking theater companies today. Its members are primarily theater practitioners, working under Yarker’s artistic direction. Their unusual name, pronounced “Stan’s Kaff,” takes after the name of the café where Yarker and co-founder Graeme Rose agreed to form the company in 1991. Stan’s Cafe’s oeuvre encompasses a broad range of media, including screen-based art, theater, radio and site-specific performances requiring extensive audience participation. Most recently, the company completed Home of the Wriggler, a production powered by stationary bicycles pedaled by the cast members themselves.

Of All the People in All the World will be open during regular museum hours (see below for details); regular admission applies. Admission will be free on Sunday, October 1, as part of the citywide “Museums Free-for-All” during which day visitors will be welcomed to museums across Los Angeles at no charge. Admission to Of All the People in All the World will also be free on Thursday, September 28, as all Skirball exhibitions are free to the public every Thursday. Of All the People in the World is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Rwanda/After, Darfur/Now: Photographs by Michal Ronnen Safdie, on view through October 1, 2006.

PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE BRITISH COUNCIL USA.

Related exhibition:

RWANDA: AFTER DARFUR: NOW
Photographs by Michal Ronnen Safdie
Through October 1, 2006
$8 General, $6 Seniors and Students
Free to Skirball Members, Children under 12, and Full-Time students on weekdays with valid ID
Includes admission to all exhibitions

Tickets available at the door

This exhibition presents nearly 40 color and black-and-white photographs taken during Michal Ronnen Safdie’s travels to the Central African countries of Rwanda and Chad. In 2002, she focused on the pilot phase of Rwanda’s gacaca tribunals, an emotionally-charged public confessional process meant to resolve the fates of lower-level genocide suspects and help victims learn precisely how their loved ones were murdered. In 2004, she documented the hardships of the refugees displaced from Sudan’s Darfur region living in Bahai, a makeshift camp on the Chadian border; two-thirds of the camp’s 18,000 refugees were women and children, still in shock from the genocide carried out against their families and communities. The exhibition challenges us to look at the aftermath and consequences of cruelty and violence perpetrated by individuals against their neighbors and by governments against their own citizens.  

Born in Jerusalem, Ronnen Safdie is author of The Western Wall (1997), a book of photographs with an introduction by Yehuda Amichai, which also took the form of an international traveling exhibition. Her work has been exhibited at Salander-O’Reilly Galleries in New York, Robert Klein Gallery in Boston, and Tel Aviv University Art Gallery. Her photographs are included in museum and private collections, including George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, and The Jewish Museum in New York.

THIS EXHIBITION HAS BEEN FULLY SUPPORTED BY SEVEN ANONYMOUS DONORS.

Visiting the Skirball: The Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA (exit Skirball Ctr Dr off the 405). Regular museum hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 12:00–5:00 p.m.; extended hours on Thursdays until 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; closed Mondays. PLEASE NOTE THAT OF ALL THE PEOPLE IN ALL THE WORLD WILL CLOSE ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1, AT 3:00 P.M. IN OBSERVANCE OF YOM KIPPUR. Admission to OF ALL THE PEOPLE IN ALL THE WORLD is $8 General, $6 Seniors, and free to children under 12, full-time students, and Skirball Members. It is also free to the general public on Thursday, September 28, and Sunday, October 1. For general information, the public may call (310) 440-4500 or visit <http://www.skirball.org>.
 
The Skirball is also home to Zeidler’s Café, which serves innovative California cuisine in an elegant setting, and Audrey’s Museum Store, which sells books, contemporary art, music and more.

About the Skirball: The Skirball Cultural Center is dedicated to exploring the connections between 4,000 years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideals. It welcomes and seeks to inspire people of every ethnic and cultural identity. Guided by our respective memories and experiences, together we aspire to build a society in which all of us can feel at home. The Skirball Cultural Center achieves its mission through educational programs that explore literary, visual, and performing arts from around the world; through the display and interpretation of its permanent collections and changing exhibitions; through scholarship in American Jewish history and related publications; and through outreach to the community.



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