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Must See Art

“relay” by T. Kelly Mason and Diana Thater, West of Rome Project

Like Emi Fontana’s previous West of Rome projects — Olafur Eliasson and Monica Bonvicini in Pasadena (in 2005 and last fall respectively) — the latest has been created to integrate art and its audience with the city. T. Kelly Mason and Diana Thater have collaborated on an installation in a defunct bridal shop in Westwood Village. The room itself functions as a theater in which viewers watch a film — projected onto a mirrored wall — of a band playing a repetitive version of the Buzzcocks’ “Why Can’t I Touch It.” In this version, lyrics have been altered so that the chorus never ends, and certain words are swapped, thus constantly shifting the meaning. Pushing the endless reflection and repetition even further, the film has no distinct beginning or end, and the band itself, originally filmed in a mirrored room, is now projected onto a mirror that reflects the image of the viewer. Don’t smoke a bowl before heading over. It opens April 11 and is up for two weeks only.

1033 Westwood Blvd., Westwood | westofromeinc.com | (626) 793-1504 | Through April 11



“Decamp” by Alan Michael at David Kordansky Gallery

Also playing with reflection in a much different way is Scottish painter Alan Michael. His paintings of glassware and shop windows make you feel a little wobbly or off kilter as you try to fix your gaze on a particular object. What is even more disorienting is that although they are finely painted, they are not photo-realistic paintings, so the clarity one associates with mirrors or glass is absent. As the title of the show suggests, Michael’s still-lifes of glass vases with names of local bands in a bright 1960s font, or his local street scenes, give us the feeling that he has brought with him more than just a piece of home.

510 Bernard St., L.A. | www.davidkordanskygallery.com | (323) 222-1482 | Through April 21



Alan Michael, Untitled (2007)
(COURTESY DAVID KORDANSKY GALLERY/ FREDRIK NILSEN)