This week, there's a symposium on what it's like to live at a time when real life is like sci-fi, a portrait of Jayne Mansfield's car on view and a cutout UPS man behind a window on Fairfax.
5. Superstition and sustenance
Thank You for Coming calls itself an "Experimental Art and Food Space," but it doesn't feel experimental in the way a lot of art + eating ventures do -- there are no performances that interrupt your meal, no tasks for you to perform before or after eating. The space, which opened in Atwater Village at the end of last year, is licensed as a restaurant, but the kitchen is exposed, tables are communal and the menu shifts nearly every week, or at least each time an artist/chef in residence takes over. Jennifer June Strawn, the first resident of 2013, will be at Thank You for Coming through Feb. 3 and all her menus are themed around superstition and sustenance. 3416 Glendale Blvd.; Wed-Sun, lunch 11 a.m. -3 p.m., dinner 6 -10 p.m.; $0-9. (323) 648-2666, thankyouforcoming.la.
4. Cool cars
In 1974, a few years before Bruce Springsteen released a song by the same name, three artists buried 10 junked Cadillacs nose-first in the dirt outside Amarillo, Texas, and called it Cadillac Ranch. Hudson Marquez was one of those artists, and there are Cadillacs and other hot cars, including the '66 Buick actress Jayne Mansfield died in, depicted in the loosely rendered, pop-inspired drawings he's showing at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, behind the Wacko store in Los Feliz. 4633 Hollywood Blvd.; through Jan. 27. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com.
3. Underground spying
Artist Richard Kraft took a video camera into London's Underground and filmed covertly. When he watched his own footage, he paused it on certain faces, rephotographing them and then blowing those images up so they're larger than life. Seven large-scale "Tube Portraits" hang in Charlie James' upstairs gallery, while 100 small portraits hang in the basement. One woman looks prayerful, another suspicious. One man is either trying to sleep or meditating, and a woman has her chin lifted haughtily and seems to be staring right into Kraft's camera. 975 Chung King Road; through Feb. 2. (213) 687-0844, charliejamesgallery.com.
2. Already living in the future
"Love is simply a form of information, information is data and data can be hacked," observed Claire L. Evans when she spoke about "Emotional Bandwith" at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art in September. She'll talk about managing matters of the heart online again this weekend as part of the event "Science Fiction & What It Feels Like to (Already) Live in the Future" at Actual Size in Chinatown. Artist Martine Syms will join her, using films like The Matrix and Minority Report to talk about the future of capitalism, and artist Paul Salveson will have his "FUNs," mathematically modulated music playing from a sculpted earpiece, on-site. 741 New High St.; Fri., Jan 11, 8-10:30 p.m. (213) 290-5458, actualsizela.com.
1. Adventures of a UPS man
When you look in through the street-facing window of MJBriggs gallery and see the life-size aluminum cutouts of a delivery man handing a package to a blonde office worker who looks like Amy Poehler, the scene seems fairly mundane and respectable. It's only when you watch the video in the back room that you realize that the Poehler doppelganger drinks white wine at work and the ponytailed UPS man, Ken Kenwood, is something of a troublemaker. The video, made along with the cutouts by collaborators Richard Hoek and John Miller, shows Kenwood delivering packages throughout Vienna's red-light district, having weird trysts with certain customers, pranking others and chasing after the little boy who steals his handcart. 313 N. Fairfax Ave.; through Jan. 19. email@example.com, mjbriggs.com.
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