5 Art Shows to See in L.A. This Week

Performance of Body Ship by Jeepneys, White Boy Scream and Miko ReverezaEXPAND
Performance of Body Ship by Jeepneys, White Boy Scream and Miko Revereza
Ian James

This week, foreign leaders plot world war in one artist's film, and two sisters become astronauts in a performance downtown.

Sister space explorers
Two sisters turn their bodies into spacesuits and prepare to embark on a Magellan-inspired exploration of the cosmos in Body Ship, a new performance by artist-composers Jeepneys and White Boy Scream. Body Ship debuts on Thursday as part of RedCat’s New Works festival. Dancer Rebecca Bruno and artist Mak Kern will debut a new performance, in which the stage become a forest made up of chimes. Emily Mast will present a new iteration of her performance The Stage Is a Cage, a sensual, sometimes childish exploration of animal instincts. 631 W. Second St., downtown; Thu.-Sat., July 21-23, 8:30 p.m. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org

Bureaucratic insanity
The government officials in Neïl Beloufa's film World Domination, all smartly dressed in business attire, speak in measured tones. They're speaking in French — the film has subtitles — but they don't seem to be in France, as they talk about Europe as if it's separate from them. As a viewer, it takes a little while to register how extreme their words are. One official suggests war with Asia, another floats war with North America. This latter option makes especially good sense to one man, since North America has more people than his country does. That way, many young people will die, solving unemployment and over-population problems. Beloufa has projected the film, which appears in his current show at Ghebaly Gallery, on a mountainlike sculptural wall made of medium-density fiberboard and fiberglass. The wall moves back and forth on steel tracks, like a train that's not sure where to go. 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; through July 30. (323) 282-5187, ghebaly.com.

Zero misery
Painter Agnes Martin, known for her meditative painted grids, once declared that she'd never seen a movie that was free of misery, so in 1976, she set out to make one, an anticommercial film about a boy named Gabriel. She chose as her star a 14-year-old who looked young for his age. With no script and a handheld camera, they filmed for three months, traveling in California, Colorado and New Mexico. The movie lasts nearly 80 minutes. Often Gabriel is frolicking or looking at impressive natural vistas. “I just wanted to see if people would respond to positive emotions,” Martin said in a 1996 interview. “There was a little girl who [saw the film and] said, 'I just feel like getting up and running outside.' I thought that was positive.” Gabriel screens at 356 Mission. 356 S. Mission Road, Boyle Heights; Thu., July 21, 7 p.m. (323) 609-3162, 356mission.com

Swaying stick
The paintings Fred Reichman made between the 1960s and 1990s are wry, like esoteric one-liners. A stick stands at the center of a sparse forest scene in one painting. A woodpecker has poked holes all over it, and it’s swaying there kind of like it's drunk. Reichman, who worked in the Bay Area for years but never quite associated with any art movements there, often would push the identifiable elements of his paintings all the way to the edges. For instance, a canvas would mostly be an expanse of golden yellow with the traces of greenery and a fence up at the top edge, just enough detail to tell us that we’re looking at a field. He liked sticks and small animals — sometimes he painted cats that looked like sticks or sticks that looked like cats. His work is up at the Landing through this weekend. 5118 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams; through July 16. thelandinggallery.com

Selling the vote
The artist duo Ubermorgen may be best known for a project called Voteauction.com, inaugurated in 2000, during the Bush vs. Gore election. They designed a website on which they auctioned electoral votes. “We see how the U.S. system works,” Hans Bernhard, one half of Switzerland-based Ubermorgen, told CNN.com at the time. “There's lots of money related to elections. […] We don't go the top-down, advertising approach. We take a direct approach with the voter." They also collaborated on a series of Torture Classics albums, compilations of music “perfect for sitting in the Afghan or Iraqi desert [or] sharing a prisoner for a night.” The duo will discuss their work at Machine Project.  1200-D N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Thu., July 21, 8  p.m. (213) 483-8761, machineproject.com 

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