Furniture Bondage: Hanna, 2007EXPAND
Furniture Bondage: Hanna, 2007
Melanie Bonajo

5 Art Shows to See in L.A. This Week

A model wears a stool on her head and a carpet on her leg in Boyle Heights, while an artist sets fire to her handiwork in Pomona.

Home is where the liver is
Artist Melanie Bonajo’s "Furniture Bondage" project is a twistedly compelling, kinky exploration of domesticity and confinement. It’s DIY S&M, except there’s only ever one body in the picture plane and the model is wrapped up in household objects. In the video that plays against a wall in Nicodim Gallery’s virtuosic group show “Homeward Bound,” an otherwise nude woman wears a stool over her fabric-shrouded face, a carpet wrapped around one leg and a broom attached to her arm. She talks about murder and incest, among other things. Across from the video is a bed on a lush, black carpet. A blanket by artist Lisa Anne Auerbach is draped over the bed: “Just fuck me through the pain,” says text on the blanket’s bottom edge. There’s so much more in this show, both art objects and fantastically strange furniture: bodies suspended from ceilings, a chair in the shape of a toilet, a monochrome painting of an orgy. All the walls are a deep maroon. “Homeward Bound,” a press release says, “is home at its sweetest, most sinister, most honest. It’s where the heart is. And the liver. And the genitals.” 571 S. Anderson St., Suite 2, Boyle Heights; through Dec. 9. (323) 262-0260, nicodimgallery.com.

Weaving through the wall
The wall that divides the first room of “Cochi,” Ektor Garcia’s current show at Visitor Welcome Center, consists only of the wooden frame. So you can step through from one room to another without using an official door. The two spaces seem woven together. Fabric stretches from the skeleton wall across the entirety of one room. Sculptures made of leather belts coexist with cutouts of hands. Gloves lie on a blanket made of black plastic, lace and extra-large doilies on the floor. A patchwork quilt hangs low on a wall, and a black beaded woven work hangs over a window. The show has its own intuitive logic, and nearly every element resembles the kind of keepsake only truly loved by its owner. 3006 W. Seventh St., Suite 200A, Koreatown; through Dec. 16. (213) 703-1914, visitorwelcomecenter.org.

Sea-green ciphers
Ellen Gallagher, the artist known for her intricate, charged collage work, has never had a solo exhibition in Los Angeles. Now her work hangs in the front gallery at Hauser & Wirth in a show called “Accidental Records.” Most of the works are relatively new, dense mixed-material paintings over a sea of lined paper (for years, she has plastered her canvases in lined paper, letting that be at least one of potentially many layers). Dr. Blowfins (2014) depicts a dark brown mask with big eyes floating amidst a nautical blue-green. Her series Negroes Battling in a Cave (2016) consists of sleek, black-on-black paintings made with rubber and enamel as well as ink. Amorphous figures float inside bean-shaped pools and a few collage elements. Tiny words can be made out here and there: “this secret” says an excerpt of newspaper text embedded in one painting. 901 E. Third St., downtown; through Jan. 28. (213) 943-1620, hauserwirthlosangeles.com.

Lit up
This summer, Mexico City–based artist Adela Goldbard made a series of papier-mâché sculptures that she’ll finally incinerate this weekend. The artist, who is interested in political violence as generative and destructive, burns her work often — she once burnt a fake Pemex Station and a microbus (she’ll burn another sculpted bus this time). Fireworks and explosives will rage for 25 minutes on the Pomona College Campus this weekend. 600 block, North Columbia Avenue, Claremont; Sat., Nov. 18, 7 p.m. (909) 621-8283, pomona.edu/museum.

Speechless colonizers
Artist-filmmaker Diego Rísquez used no dialogue in his 1988 film Amérika, TerraIncógnita. Instead, it’s all visual and baroquely expressive, as films in the silent era were. It also manages to revise the history of colonization in Venezuela, painting a world in which the “native” and the colonizer are mutually fascinated with each other and the power dynamics are questioned (who is really in charge, the captives or the Spaniards?). The film screens at REDCAT. 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., Nov. 20, 8:30 p.m.; $12. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org.

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