Must See Art

Sarah Greenberger Rafferty at Sandroni ReySeeing Sarah Greenberger Rafferty’s video De/Feat in the container space behind Sandroni Rey was the highlight of a recent trip to Culver City. De/Feat is a 12-minute loop of the artist strapping herself into a standard-issue straitjacket and then removing it. This is not an easy task, and it proves to be painstaking and both a humorous and melancholic experience. With nods to Houdini, Rafferty’s journey is one of escape, but it also illustrates the mental struggle of going from crazy to not crazy, traversing the extremes over and over again. The soundtrack is a subtle old-timey vaudeville number, which adds a kind of vintage nostalgia. Rafferty’s drawings, based on black-and-white photos of historical performances as well as women injecting morphine, are also shown in the office.

2762 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. | (310) 280-0111 | | Extended through January 10

Rafferty in De/FeatBrenna Youngblood at Susanne Vielmetter Project Space

Another project I’ve been eager to see is in the Project Space at Susanne Vielmetter. A departure from her show at the Hammer, Youngblood’s new work focuses more on painting than photography. There are still photographic elements, but the layering and collage are more in the surface than in the multiplicity of images. And whereas her earlier work seemed to be about motion through an urban setting, this new work, using paper, photographs, spray paint and acrylic, feels more like a meditation. There is something a little lonely about these paintings, like the image of a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling next to a television set in Monitor (2006). The dark and autumnal palette makes the images feel old or worn, and the thick, shiny surface adds to stillness as if the feelings or moments are stuck in amber.

5795 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City | (323) 933-2117 | | Through January 20

Brenna Youngblood, The Revolving Door (2006)

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