Five Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week, Including an Empty Convenience Store

A still from Vishal Jugdeo's The Thing That Precedes the You (2013)
A still from Vishal Jugdeo's The Thing That Precedes the You (2013)
Courtesy Thomas Solomon Gallery and the artist

This week, a group of performers in bright red tights play music while posing as body parts and an artist films his family singing in a language they don't know.

5. The gory kind of consumerism

The floors at Gusford Gallery on Melrose glitter right now, and vitrines on black stands hold sculptures that are treated like, and even modeled after, high-end luxury items. But Swiss artist Andrea Hasler's takes on Marc Jacobs or Miu Miu bags are made of fatty, fleshy dense layers of pink wax. "I have that bag," one woman told me at the opening, as we looked down at the globular form with drips that looked like sweat on its surface and a gold Louis Vuitton zipper embedded in it. 7016 Melrose Ave., West Hlywd.; through Aug. 10. (310) 600-7734, gusfordgallery.com.

4. No, you go naked

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"What do you mean by coaching me?" artist Kenneth Tam, wearing an orange cloth bag over his head, asks a man with an identical bag over his head. The man has just convinced Tam, who has come to participate in a life drawing session, to be the nude model instead. Tam is hesitant but willing to brave his own discomfort, as he always is in videos like this one, which he makes with collaborators he meets via Craigslist. "Let's try our shoes," the man say. The two take off their shoes, then continue to undress, together, until Tam is ready to pose. Called I replaced your genitals with another's, the video plays in Tam's current Night Gallery show. 2276 E. 16th St., dwntwn.; Sun., Aug. 3. (650) 384-5448, nightgallery.ca.

3. Body band

Performance artist Brian Getnick has been color-coding his yearly output -- last year was red, this year green and next year will be blue. "RGB," his exhibition at Monte Vista Projects in Highland Park, opens with a very red performance. He did a version of it during his red year, at downtown's REDCAT Theater, where performers dressed in red and wore cardboard sculptures of body parts on their heads or limbs. They writhed and crawled toward each other. Then when the parts were more or less together, the performers began to sing, which is what they'll do this weekend too, when Getnick's band inside a body reunites. 5442 Monte Vista St.; Fri.-Sat., July 18-19, 12-7 p.m.; montevistaprojects.com.

2. A song so good it doesn't matter what it's saying

Kon Trubkovich, who paints portraits that are obscured in the way static-skewed images on old TV sets are, and who's interested in what gets lost in translation, has a film in progress. Called what did we destroy to get here, it features relatives of his in Russia singing their favorite American songs. None of them speak English but they sing in English, phonetically replicating sounds without necessarily knowing the words. The video screens at Russia Restaurant in Hollywood, as part of Los Angeles Nomadic Division's Frame Rates series. Live performers will sing and dinner will be served. 1714 Ivar Ave.; Thurs., July 18; RSVP required. (646) 620-8289, rsvp@nomadicdivision.org.

1. Convenience-store encounter

Motion sensors trigger the pulley system in Vishal Jugdeo's exhibition "The Thing That Precedes the You" at Thomas Solomon Gallery. It moves when you get near, pulling a piece of brown paper with existential observations written on it back and forth along the ceiling and a metal weight back and forth across the middle of the room. There's a frosted, industrial glass door slightly ajar in the middle of the room, and a video plays in the back on a screen attached to a metal cart. Two men meet in a near-empty convenience store, when the one who runs it hands the other, who says he wants to do something, a broom. Then, it seems, they casually begin to move through the world as a unit. Everything in the show feels slightly romanticized, but in a nice, quiet way. 27 Bernard St., Chinatown; through Aug. 3. (323) 275-1687, thomassolomongallery.com.

See also:

*How Refrigerators Rule Our Lives

Follow me on Twitter at @cgwagley, and for more arts news follow us at @LAWeeklyArts and like us on Facebook.

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