10899 Wilshire Blvd.
Westwood, CA 90024
Region: West L.A.
The first room of artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu's installation in the Hammer's plaza-level gallery is dimly lit and mostly empty. But there's an eye-level, roughly cut hole in the back wall, and if you go up close, you'll find yourself staring into the pasty eye of someone else. The weekend security guard says that even visitors who aren't surprised when they see the eye themselves jump back when they turn the corner into the narrow second room. There, a bearded Taliban soldier as tall as Bin Laden (6 feet, 5 inches) bends over, eye to the wall. Maybe it sounds too obvious and indelicate: scaring people by sculpting a terrorist. But there's something affecting about getting that close to such a detailed, carefully made, life-size rendering of someone so vilified and, for most of us, so distant. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; through Jan. 6. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 22. Continues through Jan. 6, 2012