This week, a Mid-City gallery explores obsessive love and corporate boybands populate a fascist future state in a performance downtown.
Too many fingers
Roni Shneior’s sculpture Bloom is a tangle of ten arms with no body, only knots in the middle where they more or less meet. As part of "Place in the Sun," Shneior's show at JOAN, the sculpture sits on the floor in a corner of the room, the arms all reaching in different directions, their flesh pasty and discolored in places. Some fingers point while others are splayed — the fingers of one hand read out to touch the wall. Made of papier-mâché, ceramic, plastic, wire and more, the arms serve as the strange, tactile, aspirational and confusing centerpiece for a show that also includes Ducks (little ceramic figures with hands for feet and wigs for heads) and paintings of anthropomorphic trees and bushes. The only painting not of flora is of an eye, an all-black, vacant, pupil-less thing that protrudes from a grainy canvas. None of the figures depicted in this show actually seem able to see, just to reach, droop or grope. 4300 W. Jefferson Blvd., #1, West Adams; through June 4. (323) 641-0454, joanlosangeles.org.
The second show ever hosted by three-month-old Mid-City gallery HILDE explores obsessive love, albeit loosely. Called “The Edge of Doom,” the exhibition includes work by nine artists, among them Sam Spano. His painting, The Hunter, depicts a pensive dog with a pig’s face standing on its hind legs and holding a handgun in one paw. A pink rose falls in front of the dog, amidst a swirl of color. Perhaps the creature is on a vengeance mission? A purple ocean oscillates inside a delicate orifice in a large painting by Kristy Luck, and Louis Fratino depicts an ecosystem inside a tall, dense tree; a woman holding onto a branch near the top is either sucking up or spitting out a steady stream of white liquid and man with a rainbow-colored sleeves climbs toward her from below. Leaves look like pointed needles. 4727 W. Washington Blvd., Mid-City; through May 27. (914) 482-8532, hilde.co.
Snails on the wall
Brody Albert attached his plaster-cast snail colonies right into the walls of Garden, an artist-run apartment gallery, painting them white so they blend in. The show, “Weird Rain,” set out to grapple with global warming and our “relatedness to all things” in our ecosystem. Artists Jennifer Moon and laub made hand-blown glass enema bags so that they could give each other fecal matter transplants; these sit on a minimal shelf, their elegance contrasting their function. Rob Reynolds painted a disappearing glacier. Sarah Manuwal’s photography, flora fluid fantasy #1, depicts pink hands with fleshy spikes all over them (“alien hands,” according to the press release), caressing and groping the green leaves of house plants. The hands look tentative, perhaps because they come from a post-apocalyptic future in which greenery isn’t a thing. 1328 Kellam Ave., Echo Park; through July 6, open by appointment. (323) 863-5428, gardenspace.la.
Our current climate
In the months since Donald Trump’s election, artists and curators have tried to address “our current political moment” in art exhibition settings. Some, like the collective who built a tree house on the U.S. Mexico border, have done a decent job; others have more or less failed (the Desert X extravaganza made only vague efforts to tackle immigration and walls). This weekend, a number of curators will convene at Clockshop for a talk called “Counter-Inaugural,” about how artists, curators and organizations can effectively respond to the political system. Panelists include Anne Ellegood and Erin Christovale, both working on curating the next Hammer Biennial, and the collective What, How & for Whom (WHW), a Croatian group that recently curated the Istanbul Biennial. They’ve assembled a reading list for those hardcore participants who want to do homework before discussing the relevance of artwork in the era of Trump. 2806 Clearwater St., Elysian Valley; Tue., May 30, 7:30 p.m.; $5 donation. (323) 522-6014, clockshop.org.
Queer mutant underground
For the past seven years, performance artist Alexandro Segade has been using boy bands as a vehicle to understand corporate corruption, terrorism and a potential future fascist state. He’ll complete the cycle of performances this week with Future St. at the Broad. California has become Clonofornia, a homosexual police state largely inhabited by clones, where corporate boy bands and holographic talking heads dominate. It’s a world where right-wing figures like Peter Thiel have outsized control, and a pastiche of sci-fi, cartoon and dystopian influences (Blade Runner meets Lara Croft meets Spirited Away). There will be live music, costumes and possibly an uprising, as an underground consisting of “queer mutants” and “ancient feminists” try to overthrow the world order. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu., June 1, 8:30 p.m.; $25. (213) 232-6200, thebroad.org.