This week, one artist interrupts the cool demeanor of a corporate lobby, and another invades a seating area at LACMA.
5. Secret passageways
The new downtown gallery MAMA has an exciting space with corridors and small side rooms. Right now, for its inaugural show, Mattia Biagi’s tar-covered plants are on fake grass in a white room to the right of the entrance. Balloons surround a neoclassical lawn sculpture in Alia Penner's installation in the main gallery. Then, if you follow the taped-up paper printout that says “exhibition continues” down a narrow hallway, you end up in a cavernous, dark, brick-walled space. Richard David Sigmund’s colored wood pyramid is there, lit from below. 1242 Palmetto St., dwntwn.; through Jan. 24. (213) 256-0036, mama.gallery.
4. Park creature
Anna Sew Hoy’s Look-see sculpture has been in WeHo's Kings Road Park for nine months now, but something about starting a new year makes park-going seem more the thing to do. The sculpture is grayish and rocklike, with a mirror for a head that makes it look like an awkward kind of Cyclops. 1000 N. Kings Road, W. Hlywd.; through April 12. (310) 559-0166, laxart.org.
3. Surfers and rockers
New York–based British photographer Nick Waplington went to Huntington Beach on Aug. 31, 1986, to cover the Surf Pro Championships. But a riot broke out, so that became his subject. A bright orange, burning car keeps showing up in his images, against sand and palm trees. It’s confusing to look at, hard to figure out what’s happening. Back then, the Los Angeles Times reported that the riot was not caused by the surf competition but was set off by aggressive police reaction to two men under some bleachers who were intent on peeling the swimsuits off two women. At Little Big Man Gallery, Waplington’s photos of the riot hang like posters among his other street photos and images of British punk scenes. 801 Mateo St., dwntwn.; through Jan. 7. email@example.com, littlebigmangallery.com.
2. Bold interruption
Right now, half the tables are missing from underneath LACMA’s BP Pavilion, yards from Chris Burden’s army of street lamps. They’re gone because Christine Corday has installed two mammoth steel curves from her Protoist series there. The artist, who’s from the East Coast but lived in both Spain and Japan for years, will let these sculptures rust, accumulate fingerprints and react to the weather. In certain places, it looks as if some animal has been gnawing at the steel. It’s a lot less sleek than art that’s been in and around that pavilion in the past. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., through April 5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.
1. Lobby art for the voyeur
In a glass case in the glass-walled lobby of the Equitable Life Building on Wilshire Boulevard, artist Jennifer Moon has installed a series of monitors and headphones to create Will You Still Love Me: Learning to Love Yourself, It Is the Greatest Love of All. One monitor shows live footage of her kitchen, others her bedroom, bathroom, living room, office and car. At any given time, you can stop by the big, relatively impersonal lobby and look into Moon’s life. The day I was there, the artist was at her desk, balancing her checkbook, listening to Kelly Clarkson’s “Dark Side” and singing along occasionally (“Do you love even with my dark side?”). 3435 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown; through Feb. 20. (818) 421-7974, equitablevitrines.com.
Catherine Wagley on Twitter:
Public Spectacle, L.A. Weekly's arts & culture blog, on Facebook and Twitter: