6 Great Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week

On Wednesday, Book Soup is hosting a discussion of race in the films of Quentin TarantinoEXPAND
On Wednesday, Book Soup is hosting a discussion of race in the films of Quentin Tarantino

The big comeback of the humble zine may be the most surprising movement of the digital era, and Saturday's zine/small press launch party at the Craft and Folk Art Museum is testament to that. Amidst the noise of Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook, artists and writers have taken to, once again, spreading their work through print publications made in small quantities. These DIY endeavors are creating quite a buzz, thanks to events such as L.A. Zine Fest. The team behind that annual event has hooked up with Highland Park's Pop-Hop Books & Print to curate a new zine and small press section inside the museum store. With a collection including works from artist John Pham and Blk Grrrl Book Fair co-founder Teka-Lark Fleming, the section is poised to showcase a strong cross-section of local creativity. Saturday's launch event will feature a zine workshop, readings and a "zine drive," where people can sell their works on consignment. Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sat., April 18, noon-4 p.m.; free. (323) 937-4230, cafamshop.org/blog. —Liz Ohanesian

Artist Richard Kraft creates public performances that subvert art-world paradigms by bringing visual culture into the street. In his latest, 100 Walkers, a veritable army in dark suits and colorful, unique sandwich boards fans out in search of unexpected encounters. 100 Walkers unfurls across West Hollywood in honor of the city's 30th anniversary of incorporation and its commitment to public art as well as walking. Volunteers (there's still time to sign up!) are to assemble in the library parking lot under the Shepard Fairey mural in advance of a 2 p.m. start time, while a reception for participants and onlookers takes place in the adjacent West Hollywood Park from 1 to 3 p.m. If you prefer to let your fingers do the walking, follow the actors' progress on Twitter using #100WalkersWeHo. West Hollywood Public Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood; Sat., April 18, 2-5:30 p.m.; free. (323) 848-6400, onehundredwalkers.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

100 Walkers
100 Walkers
Photo by Lisa Pearson and Kyle Riedel

A quintessential Los Angeles experience for 20 years now, the L.A. Times Festival of Books is the largest literary festival in the country. This year, authors appearing include Octavia Spencer, Patton Oswalt, Maria Bello, Lorraine Bracco, Candice Bergen, Jon Cryer, Billy Idol, Charles Spencer, Tommy Lasorda, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Riordan, Tavis Smiley, T.C. Boyle and L.A. Weekly Film Critic Amy Nicholson. The festival also boasts workshops on traveling, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs and discussion panels on writing and publishing, in addition to an art exhibit, live music, film screenings, readings, poetry and children's activities. New to the schedule is the Los Angeles Times Ideas Exchange on Sunday, featuring Malcolm Gladwell in conversation with Times film critic Kenneth Turan. USC, Sat., April 18, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., April 19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free, paid tickets for certain events. (213) 740-2311, events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks. —Siran Babayan

L.A. Times Festival of BooksEXPAND
L.A. Times Festival of Books
Courtesy of the L.A. Times

"Making Strange: Gagawaka + Postmortem" is an exhibition juxtaposing two distinct but related bodies of sculptural and assemblage work by contemporary Indian artist Vivan Sundaram — both addressing issues of fashion, culture and mortality through the inventive use of nontraditional materials. Gagawaka presents a series of 27 unique pieces of "couture" with an avant-garde allure, constructed from hospital surgical supplies such as bandaging, plastic pill packs, masks and X-rays. Stranger still are the anthropomorphic mannequin-based assemblies in Postmortem, which highlights the precariousness of bodily existence. This afternoon, Sundaram is joined by co-curators Saloni Mathur and Miwon Kwon for a special exhibition walk-through. Fowler Museum at UCLA, 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Westwood; Mon., April 20, 5-6:30 p.m.; free with required RSVP to corriesiegel@arts.ucla.edu. Exhibition continues Wed., Fri.-Sun., noon-5 p.m.; Thu., noon-8 p.m.; through Sept. 6. (310) 825-4361, fowler.ucla.edu. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Upcoming Events

Don't look at this week's screening of Matthew Barney's Cremaster cycle of films on this coast as some kind of riposte to his former partner Björk's much-criticized MoMA exhibit happening on the opposite one. Instead it's best to see these five films as two decades' worth of unbridled id madness. They have everything: a satyr with ingrown horns, Norman Mailer as Harry Houdini, the Chrysler Building as dramatic character and gelatinous gonads. The 35mm screenings culminate with Barney's discussion on Friday with UCLA professor Kenneth Reinhard, plus a West Coast premiere screening of River of Fundament, a new film by Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler, at Royce Hall on Saturday, April 25, at 5 p.m. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Cremaster cycle Tue.-Thu., April 21-23, 7:30 p.m.; discussion Fri., April 24, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

Quentin Tarantino films are characterized by snappy dialogue, farcical blood spills and '70s soundtracks, so it's not always clear how seriously we should take their larger thematic issues. When flicks such as Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained deliberately provoke viewers with their depictions of racial politics, it's hard to tell where the director's actual moral compass lies. To parse these issues, join cultural theorist Adilifu Nama as he discusses and signs Race on the QT: Black­ness and the Films of Quentin Tarantino. Book Soup, 8818 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hol­ly­wood; Wed., April 22, 7 p.m.; free, book is $22.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Lucy Tiven


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