Five Artsy Things to Do This Week, Including the Bathroom Sink
View of Robert Gober's sinks
This week, a sculptor continues his decades-long reimagining of household fixtures, an art book fair debuts and the spirit of L.A. is summoned.
5. Mystery tour
When artist Amanda Yates, who co-founded the Los Angeles Mystery Project last fall, hosts Happening Magic nights, she might banish unwanted spirits, summon wanted ones or lead participants in making totems or talismans. This weekend, as part of performance-art journal Native Strategies' two-night "Rituals and Congregations" events, Yates will channel the spirit of the city, inviting the city to speak and answer the questions of those in attendance. Also during "Rituals and Congregations," held at Human Resources L.A., artist Jane Brucker will unravel blankets and shawls in an attempt to meditate on change as cellist Mary Beth Brolin plays. Attendees will be given crocheted bookmarks so that they have something to unravel, too. 410 Cottage Home St.; Fri., Feb. 1, 7-10 p.m.; Sat. Feb. 2, 7-9 p.m. (213) 290-4752; nativestrategiesla.com.
4. Book blessings
At 1 p.m. on the first day of the inaugural L.A. art book fair, held at the Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo, artist-healer Sameer Reddy will bless books. He will infuse any book a fairgoer chooses with reiki tummo energy, which should help the fairgoer receive his or her desired results when reading. Performances and short symposia happen throughout the three-day fair, which brings together international presses such as Aperture Foundation and D.A.P., whose publications often are stunning objects. 152 N. Central Ave.; Feb. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Feb. 2, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Feb. 3, noon-6 p.m.. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.
3. Hiding place
The best way to experience JJ Peet's "Floating Heads and Time Machine" at Redling Fine Art's strip-mall gallery may be to go alone. In the eerie quiet, the darkened room feels like a closet you're hiding in. Peet has suspended a small group of steel rectangles from the ceiling in the gallery's back corner. These rectangles have long metal arms extending from them and human hair, fabric or black plastic drapes from those arms. The silent film projected large across the wall adjacent to the door takes lingering looks at some of the same objects that appear in the sculptures and, as you're watching it, you might see the shadowy figures of passersby through the black-plastic covered doors and hear their voices, their unawareness of you making you feel all the more tucked away. 6757 Santa Monica Blvd.; through Feb. 24. (323) 230-7415, redlingfineart.com.
2. Managed melodrama
Artist Guy de Cointet, a Parisian who arrived in L.A. in 1968, loved shapes. Sometimes, during his performances, which had soap opera-inspired scripts and minimalist sets, an actress would pick up a brightly colored shape and just fixate on it. In "La Existencial," a show at LACE in Hollywood of international artists inspired by de Cointet, there are circles all over the gallery's gray floor. Some are drawn in charcoal, left from a performance Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelley did on opening night. Another circle encloses Andrea Fraser's A Monument to Discarded Fantasies, a prop from a performance she did in Hamburg (footage of that performance plays in the gallery). The Monument is a ceiling-high pile of costumes made of tulle, gold and brightly colored fabric. It's dramatic yet precise and contained, as de Cointet's work always was. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; through March 3. (323) 957-1777; welcometolace.org.
1. Bathroom fixture dreamland
He began sculpting sinks in the 1980s, tilting some, warping others, but Robert Gober did not at first remember that, years before, he had a recurring dream about sinks. He had dreamed of "finding a room within my home that I didn't know existed," Gober told writer Craig Gholson in 1989. "That room was full of sinks. ... There was sunlight pouring in the room, and there was water running in all the sinks." Sunlight pours into the gallery in his new exhibition at Matthew Marks, and the sinks are half pristine, half perverse. Hairy, severed, wax-colored arms weave through the plaster gauze that holds up the otherwise smooth, enamel-covered basins. 1062 N. Orange Grove Ave.; through April 6. (323) 654-1830, matthewmarks.com.