5 Art Shows to See in L.A. This Week
Steffani Jemison, Escaped Lunatic (2010-11)
Courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian
This week, a practiced Mother Teresa impersonator comes to the Broad and parkour performers escape an unidentified assailant, running and flipping their way around Houston.
Forever on the run
In “Not/Normal” at Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, Steffani Jemison’s short film Escaped Lunatic is projected against a long wall; it showed on a small screen at nearby Spruth Magers this spring, but the additional space makes it even better. The film features men in jeans and white shirts fleeing from something. You assume they’re being pursued as they sprint across empty Houston lawns and jump fences, flipping over chain link instead of using the open gate or doing handstands without slowing down. Since Jemison employed parkour performers for this film, the escapees’ stunts and agility make them seem like superheroes evading the powers that be with exceptional ingenuity. 616 N. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park; through Sept. 9. (310) 281-0961, shulamitnazarian.com.
Color coordinated consumerism
The members of Bogota-based collective Carne Gallery gathered the materials for their current show at Steve Turner Gallery here in L.A. Member Adriana Martinez acquired shopping carts and went shopping, filling each cart with mostly monochromatic merchandise: the all-blue cart holds dog treats, Crest toothpaste, Mini Oreos and Pillsbury frosting. Mariana Murcia clamped together iPhone 5 cases and hung them on the wall, then built a pyramid out of bronze replicas of iPhone screen protectors. The show critiques consumerist waste in a ubiquitous way — maybe they found this stuff in L.A., but it would look equally familiar in almost any globalized city. 6830 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; through Aug. 26. (323) 460-6830, steveturner.la.
Sainthood and noise rock
Mother Teresa, the sainted nun who helmed charities in Calcutta, India, was born on August 26, 1910. On August 26, 2010, the artist Linda Mary Montano, who had previously done an endurance performance as Bob Dylan, dressed as Mother Teresa and went out to celebrate the saint’s centennial. Surrounded by female bodyguards dressed all in black, Montano walked slowly down the sidewalk near the Empire State Building, hunched over just as Mother Teresa was near the end of her life. She waved to passersby and blessed some of them, putting her hand on their foreheads. Montano will perform this weekend at the Broad as part of a “Summer Happening” curated by performance artist Ron Athey. The Brooklyn noise trio A Place To Bury Strangers will play and Keijaun Thomas, the risk-taking artist who uses their body as material, will perform too. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., August 26, 8:30 p.m.; $25-30. (213) 232-6200, thebroad.org.
Everything you give me
The tent in the front room of Alex Sanchez's exhibition at Mars Gallery resembles a secret clubhouse, a site for clandestine parties that’s always grimy because the detritus of past gatherings keeps building up. A child’s story, written in orange marker, hangs above the entrance: “We would dance and jump around and everyone would love my in my town.” A roughly painted portrait hangs in a corner. Impulsive-seeming text and messy mark-making coexist throughout the show. One collage combines cut-up swatches of dense paintings with a rainbow flag, magazine clipping and poetry written on canvas. The back rest of a used white folding chair reads, in uneven handwriting, “I keep everything you give me.” 649 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights; through Sept. 9. (323) 526-8097, marsgallery.net.
The third annual Femmes’ Video Art Festival takes place this weekend at the Situation Room, the intentionally feminist, collaborative shed-as-gallery in Eagle Rock. The artist list is 23 names long, and includes female-identified artists from all over, but a fair number are based in L.A. Cheri Gaulke, who has been working here since the 1970s and blurring personal and political narratives, will show new work. So will Ali Prosch, whose work emphasized the weirdness of conventional femininity, and mothertongues, the collaboration in which Meital Yaniv and Kim Ye perform as amateur scientists experimenting with their own intuition, aspirations and vulnerability. 2313 Norwalk Ave., Eagle Rock; Sun., Aug. 27, 8 p.m. facebook.com/TheSituationRoomLA/.
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