5 Free Art Shows You Should See in L.A. This Week

Carol Rama's drawing Untitled (1938-40)
Carol Rama's drawing Untitled (1938-40)
Courtesy of Michael Benevento, Los Angeles

This week, two artists use fans in uncanny ways, and riding the escalator in a new museum feels like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Filing holes in movie history
The web magazine East of Borneo has been hosting Wikipedia edit-a-thons for going on two years now. The edit-a-thons are nomadic, because it makes sense to move to different locations depending on which part of L.A.’s history you’re trying to properly document. This weekend’s edit-a-thon takes place at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' library, that regal-looking building on La Cienega. The posts-to-write list so far includes filmmaker Barbara McCullough, among whose recent projects is a film about Horace Tapscott, founder of the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. It also includes journalist Gladys Hall, who wrote about movies for about 50 years. Anyone can come, though RSVP is essential. Editing training sessions happen on the hour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 333 S. La Cienega Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sat., Oct. 3, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. eastofborneo.org/unforgetting

No cake worth eating
Artist Sean Cassidy’s contribution to “Slum Pudding,” the second group show at the artist-run space Ms. Barber’s, is easy to miss until it jars you into noticing it. Cassidy's contribution consists of two ceiling fans installed too close together, so that they bump and scrape each other at regular intervals. Painter Becky Kolsrud, who curated the show, also included a sculpture by Kenneth Tam, of an industrial-looking, bulky rectangle of burnt cake perched on a metal pedestal. It’s two versions of failure in close proximity: the fans that can’t run right and the dessert that can't be had. 5370 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; through Oct. 11. msbarbersgallery@gmail.com, msbarbers.com.

Slow-motion breeze machines
The title of Venezuelan-Italian artist Manuel Scano Larrazàbal’s exhibition at MaRS is half pretentious-sounding, half lowbrow: "Inexorable Acephalous Magnificence or How the Shit Hits the Fan." Fans play key roles. When you walk in, the first works you’ll probably notice are thin sticks of wood, dancing like oddly shaped bodies. These are connected by fishing line to a series of fans blowing nearby. Also attached to those fans is an army of Magic Markers, dipping and flitting over a big sheet of paper, intermittently staining it. In other rooms, big, weathered expanses of colorfully stained paper also fluctuate in fan-generated wind. The movements are slow enough to make you feel unnerved after a while, as if you’re trapped in a slow-motion dream that won't stop. 649 S. Anderson St., downtown; through Nov. 14. (310) 247-3020, marsgallery.net

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Musicians in separate rooms
Two things about the imposing new Broad Museum make it especially worth the visit. The first is the way the honeycomb ceiling seems to be closing in on you as you ride the escalator up to the second floor, the bright white sunlight feeling almost celestial — the lights at the end of the tunnel. The second is on the first floor, playing on nine screens in a darkened gallery: Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s installation The Visitors. Kjartansson enlisted multiple friends to come with him to a rickety mansion in upstate New York and play the same song in different rooms at once. All the friends are distinct — some showoffs, some slackers, some ethereal — and each has his or her own screen. The music, of course, doesn’t come together perfectly but occasionally it awkwardly stumbles into charming harmony. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown; ongoing. (213) 232-6200, thebroad.org

Respectable haircuts, brazen women
Self-taught Italian artist Carol Rama died Friday at age 97. Though rarely shown in the United States, she had exhibited her work since the 1940s, and in 1945 the Turin police shut down a show of her unapologetically sexual, whimsical drawings. So it’s a treat that a series of her drawings is part of Michael Benevento’s first exhibition in the gallery's new Virgil Village–adjacent space, in a former motorcycle repair shop. One of Rama’s drawings from the late 1930s shows three nude women with especially pink skin squatting, possibly masturbating. Their long, crimson tongues hang out, but they have very nice, prim haircuts to tame their sultriness a bit. 3712 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; through Nov. 7. (323) 874-6400, beneventolosangeles.com

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