5 Artsy Things to Do

5 Artsy Things To Do in L.A. This Week, Including a Satyr in Bed

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Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM
click to enlarge Still from Dara Friedman's film Play - COURTESY THE ARTIST AND KAYNE GRIFFIN CORCORAN
  • Courtesy the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran
  • Still from Dara Friedman's film Play

An artist sets up a mini-museum to memorialize four generations of fictional movie stars, and color swatches take on epic proportions. 

5. Video art pop-up
Emily Mast's B!RDBRA!N (Addendum), the video counterpart to her 2012 performances, includes that great scene where ritual turns into dancing and the actor in blue sweatpants and striped socks throws off his red hat and lets loose. It screens as part of "Transmission," the one-night video show hosted by 5790 Projects at Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock. The show also includes Deanna Erdmann, Elana Mann, Danial Nord and Tyler Matthew Oyer, who with Mast will talk about their work. 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; Fri., Jan. 24, 7:30-9:30 p.m. (323) 226-1617, cfaer.org.

4. Pirates and farmers at the market
Famously cranky critic Dave Hickey, who believes art has to be "look-at-able" to be interesting, said last year that he was retiring from writing about contemporary art, which is confusing given how much writing he's still doing. This week, he's signing and reading from his new book, Pirates and Farmers: Essays on Taste. "Tastes are fiercely held," he writes in the introduction, before saying he's seen fistfights over the relative quality of whores from Amsterdam versus those from Bangkok. Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, dwntwn.; Wed., Jan. 29, 7 p.m. (213) 621-1710, moca.org/rsvp.

3. Beauty inside and out
Morgan Fisher's minimal, often geometric paintings can seem pretentiously precise at first glance. Then you get up close and find out they're not. Fisher, who started filmmaking in the 1960s and painting in the '90s, based the work in his new show at International Art Objects on paint-chip combinations from the 1935 booklet Interior and Exterior Color Beauty, published by a prefab-housing company. He has reproduced the recommended color combinations on panels, each color on a separate piece of wood. In the main gallery, you'll see a long rectangle of ivory or off-yellow with three to six smaller colored rectangles attached. Get up close and look from the side, and you'll see how the parts fit together in a pleasantly wonky way, coming off the wall at slightly different angles. 6086 Comey Ave., Culver City; through March 1. (323) 965-2264, international.la.

2. Hollywood legacy
The pink makes Lenae Day's exhibition in Mark Moore's project room. There's decorative pink molding in corners and along the wall. Pink also appears on cases and bureaus holding the faux documents and keepsakes chronicling the fictional Prescott women's four generations in Hollywood. Day, in costume, plays all the women. You think Mary Pickford when you see photographs of the great-grandmother. But things get seedier as the family stays in Hollywood and, perhaps, gets fed up with restrictions. The slick poster for a movie called The Virgin Terri has the tag "nun by day, hooker by night" and makes you think of Tarantino, only less violent and a little sillier. 5790 Washington Blvd., Culver City; through Feb. 15. (310) 453-3031, markmooregallery.com.

1. Seventeen versions of coupledom

Because they switch intermittently from Super 8 to HD and from black-and-white to color, and because one character has a satyr's face and pours red wine on his naked lover, the 17 vignettes in Dara Friedman's film Play are eerie. Each features a different couple. Agam, braless in a white T-shirt, tells Juan, in only boxers, about how her mother kept her on a 1.5-meter-long leash. Juan thinks that's actually a lot of freedom. Ashish and Kimberly practice embraces in a dimly lit cabin. It's as if the scenes are building up to or taking a break from something scary, which can sometimes make the film, screening in Kayne Griffin Corcoran's back gallery, seem too absorbed in its own significance. But mostly, the couples are awkward, eccentric or charming enough to engross you. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-City; through March 8. (310) 586-6886, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.

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