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5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. this Week, Including Cinderella as a Badass

Ericka Beckman's Boundary Figures (1989) installation
Ericka Beckman's Boundary Figures (1989) installation
Courtesy Cherry & Martin

It's artist Ericka Beckman's week, with a screening at MOCA and smart work in Culver City. Also, poets pay tribute to the late Meredith Gins, who tried to defy death, at LACMA. 

5. Grocery store art
Long, clear plastic panels, such as might separate a storeroom from a loading dock, currently divide Hannah Hoffman's main gallery in half, installed by artist Rey Akdogan. Loosely assembled sculptures that incorporate the geometric blue and red design from Aldi grocery store bags hang on or lean against the walls on both sides of the plastic. When you're standing on one side, it's like you're looking through a mirror whose reflection is just slightly off, since the work on both sides is similar but not exactly the same. 1010 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; through May 31. (323) 450-9106, hannahhoffmangallery.com.

4. Drug war drawings
Pink is the dominant color in Camilo Restrepo's aggressively over-full drawings at Steve Turner Contemporary, a choice that somehow underscores the absurdity of the macho violence the artist is depicting. Based in Colombia, always on the periphery of the drug violence there, Restrepo has been doing lots of sketchbook drawings, then tearing them out and attaching them to one another, creating large expanses of knotty red veins, characters with guns to their head, cartoon graphics and newspaper clippings, always with that fleshy shade of pink popping up. 6026 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; through May 31. (323) 931-3721, steveturnercontemporary.com.

3. Turn that destiny inside out
"Let us call this the Reversible Destiny Declaration," said Madeline Gins, the architect-poet who really was her own thing entirely. "We will not just take it anymore. ... We have decided not to die." She and her longtime partner, artist Arakawa, designed spaces so unconventional that, ideally, they would keep you too engaged and on your toes to even think about dying. There were holes in floors, ladders midroom and womb-shaped windows. Gins died in January; on Saturday, poet Matias Viegener, LACMA director Michael Govan and members of the Poetic Research Bureau pay tribute to her fantastic writing. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Saturday, May 17, 2 p.m. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.

2. Let the shoe drop
Cinderella, in Ericka Beckman's version, wears a green strapless dress that shows cleavage, happily dances alone at the ball, rides a white getaway horse instead of a horse-drawn carriage and "loses" the game when she forgets to leave her shoe behind. Beckman's take is more fun, and more of a strong-woman celebration, than such recent attempts to redo fairy tales as Disney's Tangled. Beckman's 1986 Cinderella (starring artist Mike Kelley) and two other Beckman films feature in the screening hosted by Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA. 250 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thursday, May 22, 7 p.m.; $12. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.

1. Mermaid and scarecrow with soundtrack
If Disney made a live-action Little Mermaid, keeping all the overly bright, chipper colors of the animated version but adhering faithfully to Hans Christian Andersen's cruel original tale, a scene like the one in Ericka Beckman's Boundary Figures photograph might appear. The crumpled feminine figure, laid out in some kind of cove and wearing something pink and scaly, might be the mermaid after she's sacrificed herself for love. The photograph, made by smart, genre-bending Beckman in 1989, hangs as one in a series of three at Cherry & Martin. The others include a scarecrow in shadows and an ethereal figure who's half geisha, half jellyfish. Spotlights come on and focus on one image at a time, with specific soundtracks played for each. It's the incredible competence with which Beckman has executed these eerie, not-quite-comprehensible situations that makes them so memorable. 2732 S. La Cienega Blvd.; through May 24. (310) 559-0100, cherryandmartin.com.


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