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Five Artsy Things to Do This Week, Including a Chicken Nugget Totem Pole

Installation view of "Synesthesia"
Installation view of "Synesthesia"
Courtesy M + B

This week's list includes a flute concert inside a video art installation, a carefully planned twenty-minute argument, and an exhibition that's like a film set.

5. Crash site abstraction

Owen Kydd's video Composition Warner Studio shows a black plastic garbage bag crinkling and billowing in front of a white screen. The wrinkles and creases in Sam Moyer's ink-on-canvas painting make his work look like a big black plastic bag, and the latex, varnish, spray paint, ink and other materials Lukas Geronimus used to make his Big-Black Painting make the whole thing look like a sheet of industrial rubber. Not all the work in "Inter Ruption" at Michael Kohn Gallery is quite this dark and heavy, but most looks like it was made out of material found at some sort of crash site. 8071 Beverly Blvd.; through Aug. 25. (323) 658-8088, kohngallery.com.

4. Concert in a room of mirrors

Koki Tanaka's "Made in L.A." installation includes 20 chairs staggered in the Hammer's lobby gallery. Round, eye-level mirrors hang above them and spin slowly around, reflecting a different view of the room each time they turn. On Sunday, Tanaka will invite 10 professional flutists and 10 visitors to sit randomly in the room. No one -- not Tanaka, the flutists, the future audience -- knows exactly what will happen. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Aug. 5, 2 & 2:30 p.m. (310) 443-7000, madeinla2012.org.

3. Let's start with the obvious

"To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid," yells Johanna Reed in the teaser for her new, very short, one-act play. The writer-performer calls the play Let's Start With the Obvious, and she'll appear as Hero while performance artist Marcus Kuiland-Nazario appears as her Arch-Nemesis, at Machine Project this weekend. The two will hurl insults sourced from movies at each other for 20 minutes straight. It will be the ultimate argument, with rage rising to so heated a point that Reed has enlisted self-styled self-help professional Guru Rugu to lead a meditation session afterward. Of course, it's not meant to be taken seriously, but it's not necessarily comedy either. 1200-D N. Alvarado St.; Fri., Aug. 3, 8 p.m.; $5; RSVP recommended. (213) 483-8761, machineproject.com.

2. Feelin' the dirty funk

There's a totem pole made of plastic chicken nuggets and onions with eyes rising up to ACME Gallery's ceiling right now. Artist Michael Decker made it and he embedded duck-head umbrella handles into blocks of wood. They stand upright throughout the gallery, peeking over other works of art in ACME's group show "Dirty Funk," such as the squished, prone boy Samara Golden made out of aluminum and bronze, or the dreamy cowboy Paul Heyer painted on silk. I'm not sure where the show's title came from, but I hope it's that fluffy, funny Steve Appleton song: "I say, I'm feelin' it, feelin' the dirty funky stuff that we're dealin' with." 6150 Wilshire Blvd.; through Aug. 11. (323) 857-5942, acmelosangeles.com.

1. Does someone live here?

Daniele Balice, who co-founded Paris' Gallerie Balice Hertling, and Jay Ezra Nayssan posed as set designers rather than curators when they organized "Synesthesia" at M + B. Hadrien Jacquelet's heavy oil paintings, loose interpretations of Michael Jackson's distinctive features, hang behind a gorgeous vanity designed by Italian Gio Ponti, and a porcelain bird Picasso made in 1951 perches inside a funny, tilted bookshelf by the design team ROLU. The effect is strange, more seductive and more alienating than just seeing art on a wall. You get the sense that, were this set real, a curious, educated person would inhabit it, but with most items in the $2,000-$30,000 price range, you're also struck by how costly curiosity and education can be. 612 N. Almont Drive, W. Hlywd.; through Aug. 18. (310) 550-0050, mbart.com.

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