This week, an aging matriarch serves up devil's rump in an artist's film and, in a Hollywood show, unusual-looking lumps of wood stand in for historical figures.
Won't get out alive
Three teens in retro outfits ignore menacing “do not enter” signs and climb through a hole in a fence partway through artist Marnie Weber’s feature-length film, The Day of Forevermore. The teens encounter a gorgeous, red-haired girl, who is trying to teach large animals with ghoulish faces to fly. The girl takes them on a tour, eventually inviting to dinner at her house, where her bent-over, witch-like mother serves them the rump of the devil. Later, the teens’ clothes appear in a pile of debris, a sign that they never made it out alive. Music, psychedelic in a punk way and composed by Weber, propels the film along. It debuted at United Artists Theater last week and now plays in a side gallery at Gavlak as part of a show that includes a video of a never-ending waterfall and gold sculpted trees with stained-glass leaves. 1034 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; through Nov. 5. (323) 467-5700, gavlakgallery.com.
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Washington's knobby doppelgänger
Artist Lazaros placed lumps of wood on narrow white pedestals in front of a white curtain at Redling Fine Art. He gave the lumps labels; the one labeled George Washington does, sort of, look like the first president if you tilt your head a bit and open your mind. These are “pareidolic sculptures,” based on the phenomenon of pareidolia, wherein the mind sees a familiar pattern when it’s not actually there (Jesus on a piece of toast, etc.). Together, the busts feel like the precious collection of an endearing eccentric.
6757 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; through Oct. 13. (323) 378-5238, redlingfineart.com.
Barbie dolls dangle from the complicated, haphazardly mechanical sculptures in artist Tong Kunniao’s show at Nicodim Gallery, “Why Don’t You Eat Stinky Tofu?” Kunniao grew up in Changsha in China’s Hunan province, famous for its stinky tofu, though the impudent sound of the title is more important to the show’s content than tofu itself. Kunniao worked onsite, assembling his odd sculptural attractions from junk he acquired in L.A. Skeletons make repeat appearances. So do American flags. Sculptural contraptions look like the work of a mad inventor, who’s obsessed with the process and bored by functional results. 571 S Anderson St., Suite 2, downtown; through Oct. 15. (323) 262-0260, nicodimgallery.com.
The most strikingly opaque of the four large sculptures Carol Bove installed in Maccarone gallery’s long and skinny gravel side yard has the longest title: Love Fashions the Sidereal Body of the One In the Image and Likeness of the Other. The line comes from the writing of Eliphas Levi, a French magician and occultist, and the sculpture could certainly pass as some mysterious ritual object. Petrified wood protrudes from a steel column, an organic head on an industrial body. Another of Bove’s sculpture, Cat’s Paw, is less austere: it consists of a twisted body of bright yellow steel guarded by a weather-ravaged sheet of metal and topped by a perfect black wheel. 300 S. Mission Road, downtown; through Dec. 23. (323) 406-2587, maccarone.net.
Marking every last moment
Two sizable, well-decorated doll houses sit on plinths upstairs at Sprueth Magers currently. One represents a traditional 19th century home, the other a more modern 1950s residence. The late German artist Hanne Darboven collected these dollhouses, among other popular artifacts, as time capsules representing moments in history. She was interested in cataloguing time and the walls surrounding the dollhouses are filled with nearly 1,500 framed documents, Darboven’s handwritten mathematical calculations of how time passes. They appear at once confounding and impressively, meditatively elegant. 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; through Oct. 29. (323) 634-0600, spruethmagers.com.