Asher Hartman is a transgender 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, 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. Gawdafful performances include the 6- part live-in installation about elves and white supremacy, The Dope Elf at Yale Union, Portland, Oregon (2019) and (soon in film form) at The Lab, San Francisco (2021); 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).
Asher Hartman’s book of plays, Mad Clot on a Holy Bone, published by X Artists Books was released in 2020. Recent lectures and presentations on theater, art, and intuition include “Mad Clot on a Holy Bone: A Conversation between Asher Hartman and Chiron Armand,” NYU Tisch, (2020); “Skeletal Readings: A meditation and conversation with Asher Hartman and Rossen Ventzislavov” at ICA, Los Angeles; “Serving It Cold” at Photobook: Reset (2018) at C/O Berlin; “Slow Architecture” at Crystal Bridges, Arkansas (2018); “Mind Reading” at the Philbrook Museum, Tulsa (2018); “The Intricate Speech of Intimate Objects” at Gasworks, London (2017); ”Psychic Reading of the Gamble House,” a short film by David Fenster (2014); “Acts of Gawd: Performance as Divine Communication,” Perez Art Museum, Miami (2014). Recent teaching includes classes and workshops at USC, Art Center, Pomona College, Otis College of Art and Design, CalArts, and Ox-Bow School of Arts in Michigan.
Asher Hartman is/was/will always be one half of the intuitive duo Krystal Krunch (with Haruko Tanaka, now deceased) whose performances and workshops were presented in a variety of venues, including at The Pulitzer Art Museum (St. Louis, 2016), The Hayward Gallery (London, 2012), The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, 2012), The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburg, 2012), Real Art Ways (Hartford, 2013), Extrapool (Netherlands, 2013), and numerous workshops with Machine Project.