5 Artsy Things to Do

Five Artsy Things to Do This Week, Including Three Rooms of Leaning Walls

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Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM
click to enlarge View of Margaret Haines and Orlando Tirado's "Billy + Jean" at Commonwealth and Council - PHOTO BY SOJUNG KWON
  • Photo by Sojung Kwon
  • View of Margaret Haines and Orlando Tirado's "Billy + Jean" at Commonwealth and Council

This week, a geophysicist speaks at LACMA, a long-lived gallery says goodbye and Jean Harlow and Billy the Kid's fictional marriage kind of inspires an exhibition.

5. Musical mystery

No instruments at all will be used at Dog Star 8: Almanacs, one in a series of music events happening at the Wulf this month and next. You won't know who's performing or what exactly they're performing until the night of the show, but all compositions will have something to do with almanacs. Artist-composer Casey Anderson, who's interested in the sounds stuff makes and has put on concerts in which the only instruments used are furniture, is behind the event. 1026 S. Santa Fe Ave.; Aug. 31, 8 p.m.; (213) 488-1182, thewulf.org.

4. Ad with a view

Cayetano Ferrer's new billboard says "2012" across it in Roman Numerals and looks like a movie ad. But it has as its backdrop the exact Hollywood Hills scene you'd see if no billboard obscured it at all. It had only been up above Hollywood Blvd. for a week when ad and auto commentators caught wind. Ad Week blogged that the "amazingly cool" billboard suggests "how thoroughly advertising has become part of our 'natural' world" and Cars.com said it shows you can get your "message across without diminishing the view." You have to go to the top of the Barnsdall Art Park hill then come about half way down the main drive to see the landscape pictured in Ferrer's "ad" perfectly mesh with the actual landscape. Hollywood Blvd. between Edgemont and Bernardo Streets; through Sept. 23. (310) 443-7000, madeinla.org.

3. The rock expert and LACMA's rocks

USC geophysicist Thorsten Becker researches seismic activity and geodynamics and knows a lot about rocks. As this city's most famous rocks -- mainly the 340-ton granite boulder that's the centerpiece for the sculpture Levitated Mass -- are currently at LACMA, this week, Becker will be there, too. He'll walk with visitors through Heizer's current photography exhibition "Actual Size," in which each image is blown up so big that the rock in it is as tall and wide as the rock would be in person. Becker will take advantage of this conceit and explain in detail the rock formations. 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; Tues., Sept. 4, 7 p.m.; free. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org .

2. Stripe-obsessed

Daniel Buren's trademark stripes are typically 8.75cm wide and vertical. The French artist, who began putting stripes on canvases, billboards, windows and walls in the 1960s, filled three rooms with them at L.A.'s Ace Gallery in 1989. This summer, Ace reprised Buren's Leaning Walls Installation. In three subsequent rooms, Buren has installed plywood slabs that reach from floor to ceiling and angle forward. These "leaning walls" are covered from floor to ceiling in vertical white stripes. Stand at one end and look through all three doors at once, and it looks like all three rooms are coming toward you, but not aggressively, just slightly and gently. 5514 Wilshire Blvd.; through Sept. 8. (323) 935-4411, acegallery.net.

1. Jean Harlow's bedroom and a crazy quilt

Michael McClure wrote a play called The Beard in 1968. In it, actress Jean Harlow marries outlaw Billy the Kid. At one point, Billy bites Jean's toe until it bleeds -- and the two yell and repeat themselves a lot. This confusing, sometimes violent drama partly inspired Billy + Jean, Margaret Haines and Orlando Tirado's short-lived exhibition at Commonwealth & Council. The show starts with a white-on-white print that lists every shade of white, from ivory to oyster, that Jean Harlow had in her bedroom in the film Dinner at Eight. It continues with a quilt made of shimmery wrappers and a trellis that extends out of a closet as if it's growing out of the Koreatown space's antique walls. The whole show does that: makes it hard to tell where one thing ends and another begins. 3006 W. Seventh St.; through Sept. 1. (213) 703-9077, commonwealthandcouncil.com.

Follow me on Twitter at @cgwagley, and for more arts news follow us at @LAWeeklyArts and like us on Facebook.

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