This week, an alien-inspired concert/party happens at an iconic bowling alley, and two artists make intricate renderings of mystery plants.
5. The art star with the bloody head
In Happy Song for You, the short film made by artists Stanya Kahn and Llyn Foulkes in 2011, Foulkes appears with blood dripping down his face and a bandage over his eyes, like the gory figures in the paintings he made in the 1970s and '80s. The camera also lingers over craggy rocks, dirt and funny toys, all things that might appear in a Foulkes artwork. This will screen along with other films, such as a 1959 short starring Foulkes as a deranged, eccentric artist, when the Hammer continues its months-long series of Foulkes programming with a “Starring Llyn” night. 10899 Wilshire Blvd.; Tues., May 14, 7:30 p.m. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.
4. Spaceship lands in Eagle Rock
Machine Project, the artist-run space based out of an Echo Park storefront, has organized a “Field Guide” to L.A. architecture to go along with the Getty's big “Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future” show. Artists, performers, musicians and others have been planning events at and about local landmarks. Sound artist Anna Luisa Petrisko (aka JEEPNEYS) will be at the All Star Lanes Bowling Alley in Eagle Rock on Saturday, hosting a “celestial bowling party.” That will be followed by a parking-lot performance in the Popwagon, a trailer that doubles as a stage and, for this performance, will play the role of a spaceship. 4459 Eagle Rock Blvd.; Sat., May 11, 8 p.m. machineproject.org.
3. Fake countertops don't have to stay in the kitchen
Few materials are weirder and tackier than kitchen laminate, the kind you put on countertops to give them that faux-something look. London-based artist Steven Claydon uses laminate liberally in his new show at David Kordansky Gallery. He uses greenish and brown varieties on his frames and pedestals, and its smooth, new surfaces suggest the kind of luxury purportedly offered by bland new housing developments. The show's other objects and images — drawings of cartoon fish, a chrome relief of a lion with devil horns, the bright yellow bust of a Greek philosopher — are similarly tacky yet seductive in that way smooth new things are. 3143 S. La Cienega Blvd., Unit A; through June 22. (310) 558-3030, davidkordanskygallery.com.
2. Can a leaf have six fingers?
The Voynich Manuscript, written sometime in the 1400s or 1500s, has never been read. No one knows how to decipher the mystery language it was written in, though world-class code breakers have tried. No one knows who wrote it, or why, though theories abound. The manuscript also features a number of botanical illustrations of similarly uncertain identity. Many seem to have no real-world corollary. Artists Miljohn Ruperto and Ulrik Heltoft have digitally rendered these illustrations, using scanned images of real plants and other virtual tools to make the plants look scientifically plausible and dimensional. Then they photographed the digital renderings. On view at Thomas Solomon Gallery now, the photographs are black-and-white and so seriously displayed that you might not notice right away that some leaves look like six-fingered hands, or that certain roots look like monster limbs. 27 Bernard St., Chinatown; through June 8. (323) 275-1687, thomassolomongallery.com.
1. Barefoot at the Louvre
Photographer Nan Goldin, who studied at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts school and then migrated to New York, living in and photographing the gritty Lower East Side scene in the '70s and '80s, moved to Paris when Bush “stole the election” in 2000. Three years ago, she spent eight months running barefoot around the Louvre and climbing ladders to get close to aging masterpieces on days the museum was closed to the public. For her “Scopophilia” at Matthew Marks gallery in West Hollywood, the photographs she snapped of the Louvre's marble statues and romantic oil paintings — often featuring pretty bodies — appear alongside raw photographs she's taken of a former lover, children and friends. Goldin somehow makes the figures in old-school masterpieces look almost as vulnerable and spontaneous as the living, breathing people she's photographed. 1062 N. Orange Grove Ave.; through June 22. (323) 654-1830, matthewmarks.com.
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