5 Free Art Shows You Should See in L.A. This Week
June Diamond built an oversized set of metal blinds that go outside a Glassell Park house instead of inside.
Photo by Jared Kohler
This week, a spiritual feminist has an overdue comeback in Pasadena, and a set of oversized blinds hangs in front of a Glassell Park home.
For his Studio Workout series, artist Devin Kenny releases one song per day on studioworkout.tumblr.com. He’s been doing this since 2011, to explore, as he puts it, “swag, self-confidence, Contemporary Art, professional practice, postmodernism, self-aggrandizement” and other things. A recent release turned rapper Young L’s "Loud Pockets" into a comment on art-market anxiety. Kenny will be riffing on his Studio Workout project this week, performing live at REDCAT with its current "Hotel Theory" exhibition as his backdrop. 631 W. Second St., downtown; Wed., Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org.
Artist Frances Stark has a show at the Hammer called “Uh-Oh.” Its approach to feminism is casually, domestically existential. Take, for instance, the hand-made hook rug with text on it that asks how one “sustains belief in total babes” and suggests one’s “total babeness” relates to one’s power and foxiness. This week, Stark will interview Alexyss K. Tylor, who hosts the public-access show “Vagina Power” and doesn’t hold back. Perhaps they’ll talk about Stark’s babe-related ideas, or Tylor’s thoughts on “spiritual sexuality” or “the queen within us.” 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., Oct. 27, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.
Outside Gallery, a side yard in Happy Valley near Lincoln Heights, has become an eclectic garden of mirrors. Kristin Cammermeyer’s sculptures fill the yard, and most have at least one reflective surface, either at the base or hanging amidst poles and sticks. Cammermeyer collected some of her materials from the surrounding neighborhood, so the installation has a worn, cobbled-together feel. But there’s no sloppiness. Entering the “gallery” is like entering the fantasy world of a highly intentional looter. 2806½ Lincoln Park Ave.; through Dec. 11 (open Friday evenings). insertblancpress.net/blogs/general-projects/48974468-outside-gallery-kristin-cammermeyer.
Faith Wilding's painting The Great Spiral (1969), on view at the Armory Center for the Arts
Photo by E.K. Waller
Hiding the house
Vertical blinds take a lot of heat. They’re unwieldy, industrial-looking and often cheaply made. They’re like “elderly security guards,” according to the blog You Just Made My List! “They sort of get the job done but ultimately just end up making everyone sad.” Partly because of this bad reputation, there’s something endearing about the oversized, aluminum and steel vertical blinds that artist June Diamond built outside a house in Glassell Park. They look run-of-the-mill, except that no one else has vertical blinds big enough to shield their house from neighbors' eyes. Sometimes the blinds are closed all the way; sometimes the house peeks through. A schedule out front tells you when they’ll be open, closed or partially closed. 3651 Mimosa Drive, Glassell Park; through Oct. 31. (323) 620-6333, terrainexhibitions.com/#!1-mimosa-drive/c1msi.
Don’t wait for boys
A young Faith Wilding wore a conservative blouse and had a bun in her hair the day she performed Waiting, at the Womanhouse in Los Angeles in 1974. She rocked back and forth, reciting a poem that largely described waiting for men to make moves: “Waiting for him to pay attention to me . ... Waiting for him to fall in love with me . ... Waiting for him to stop being crabby, reach for my hand, kiss me good morning.” A video of this performance is in the dark concrete closet attached to the Armory Center’s main galleries, which currently feature Wilding’s overdue retrospective. The paintings in the show are unabashedly feminine and vaginal in a manner reminiscent of Georgia O’Keeffe’s flowers. But Wilding achieves a weird combination of conservative sweetness and fierceness that made me tear up when I saw the show, full of work that's been waiting to be seen for decades. 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; through Jan. 3. (626) 792-5101, armoryarts.org.
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