This week, a former secretary of state is the subject of an intimate play and an artist recalls an adventure involving a leotard and a Holstein cow.
Double X, or not
The show “XX,” at the Shepard Fairey–run art space Subliminal Projects, caused some debate before it even opened. The show included only female artists, the title a reference to sex-determining chromosomes. In a thread of Facebook comments, certain critics called for a title change, arguing that the title reduces a woman to her chromosomes and also is trans-misogynistic. The strange thing is that the show itself hardly reads as being about gender, or about anything in particular at all. It’s more a loose collection of projects, some quite interesting. Ariana Papademetropoulos’ lushly painted interior scenes have stains on them, as if someone dropped a cup of coffee on top of the canvas. Christine Wang has painted the words “oil painters don’t need water” overlaying the state of California, poking at drought mentality and the thriving, thirsty artist’s willingness to stay in a place without water. 1331 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; through Sept. 26. (213) 213-0078, subliminalprojects.com.
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Fur coats in summer
The video playing in the back room of Sune Wood's exhibition at Papillion is lush and barren at the same time. Sometimes there are almost empty landscapes, then at one point two figures in fur coats sit and kiss amid brownish, greenish brush. Their behavior feels ritualistic and a bit sad, as if they don't expect to see each other again for a while. It's the sort of video that can be best to see alone and in the quiet. 4336 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park; through Oct. 31. (323) 642-8402, papillionart.com.
A year ago, after Kanye West released his Kim Kardashian–praising single "Bound 2," writer LaShea Delaney made a comic adaptation of it with her friend, screenwriter Annabelle Quezada. Lovelorn lines were replaced with intentionally bookish ones: “I read Sylvia Plath in the bath” was one. Now, Delaney has taken on a different kind of cultural icon. Her new play, CONDI, imagines an intimate evening with former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. Condi drinks wine, reminisces about the dark side of politics and muses about things like Moammar Ghadafi’s admiration of her. 2425 Glover Place, Cypress Park; Fri.-Sun., Sept. 18-20, 8 p.m.; $25. womenscenterforcreativework.com.
Dancing an action blockbuster
Choreographer Dorothy Dubrule and artist Jared Dyer used Terminator 2: Judgment Day, in which Schwarzenegger self-terminates, as the jumping-off point for their new collaborative performance, No Fate, which borrows dialogue and visual tropes from the film. Dyer’s sculptures sometimes stand in for special effects. Dyer and Dubrule will direct their cast of dancing performers in real time, as the audience looks on. 420 W. Avenue 33, Unit 10, Lincoln Heights; Sat., Sept. 19, 8:30 p.m.; admission is a donation to the free bar or boutique. pieterpasd.com.
Mike Kelley, the artist who spoofed youth culture and loved low culture as much as high, curated a show in 1985 called “Black and White.” Held at the now-closed Los Angeles Institute for Contemporary Art, it included black-and-white, often cartoonish drawings by 16 artists. Eight of those original artists are in “Black and White Mike” at Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, a show curated by artist Benjamin Weismann as something of a tribute to his late friend — Kelley died in 2012. This show features an especially memorable hand-drawn infographic by Jeffrey Vallance, which maps out how to artificially inseminate a cow. Vallance made it in 1991, when artificial insemination was a subject in the college class he'd been taking in the agricultural department. For a friend's art video, Kelley had been playing a Japanese trickster with a fetish for cow’s rectums. So Vallance asked his professor if Kelley could inseminate a cow on camera. Kelley showed up that day in a leotard, green makeup and a bowl-shaped wig, but then panicked and refused to get out of the car. 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; through Sept. 24. (323) 561-3044, cfaer.org.