When you're watching news reports about protests and demonstrations around the world, you probably don't focus on what the activists are wearing -- but artist Jemima Wyman does. Going beyond overt signifiers like masks, which often are worn to thwart facial-recognition tools more than to instill fear, Wyman's interest in clothing-based guises and disguises isn't fashion. Rather, she is curious about how apparel like the ubiquitous black-and-white keffiyehs favored by the PLO telegraph both the scope of the collective action and the risk to the individual bodies taking it. As a painter, Wyman's language is partly based in intrigues of color, pattern, movement, layering and craft. As an engaged citizen, she is fascinated by the overlay of person and potency expressed in costume. In her new show at Steve Turner Contemporary, Effacing Power
, she looks specifically at the Steubenville rape case and the imprisonment of Russian female punk band Pussy Riot, as well as more violent agitation, such as the overthrow-seeking Egyptian group Black Bloc. She incorporates painting, collage, fabric, photography and elements of craft like dyeing, quilting, stitching and weaving to not only depict and deconstruct but also evoke and memorialize in a way the 24-hour news cycle just can't. Steve Turner Contemporary, 6026 Wilshire Blvd.; Sat., April 27, 6-9 p.m.; exhibit runs through May 18, Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (323) 931-3721, steveturnercontemporary.com.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: April 27. Continues through May 18, 2013