People in Pain in 1988, she put titles from movies that hadn't come out yet (Full Metal Jacket, Fatal Attraction) on shiny, black sheets of vinyl crinkled so that they looked like trash bags, then lit the title with blue neon from behind. Two parts of People in Pain are in "Bad Influence" at Michael Thibault Gallery, a cynically flashy show of artworks from the 1980s, which proves skepticism can be seductive. 3311 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; through Aug. 30. (323) 487-1644, michaelthibaultgallery.com.
Gretchen Bender, who died too young in 2004, was obsessed with mass media, mainstream movies included, calling it all a "cannibalistic river." She had a great urge to get out ahead of the current or reroute the river in some way. When she made