This week, a theorist sings soliloquies downtown and a Hollywood gallery debuts an exhibition in miniature, including mini protest posters.
Q&A sing along
Writer-theorist Wayne Koestenbaum will play piano and sing soliloquies at REDCAT this week. Koestenbaum, crass in an obsessively thoughtful way, recently authored Humiliation, a book that begins with an anecdote about a strip search, and he has been preparing his musical performance for the past year or so. He composes his songs stream-of-consciousness style (e.g., “What words does this Chopin melody bring to my mind?”). He’ll take questions after the program, singing the answers. 631 W. Second St., downtown; Fri., Oct. 16, 8:45 p.m. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org.
Close tiny Guantanamo
Magnifying glasses currently line two shelves inside the Lodge, a new East Hollywood gallery. You might need them to see the art in this show, because the art is especially small. It’s all installed on the walls of a precise, dollhouse-sized replica of the gallery itself. The mini “Lodge” sits on a pedestal, and the “Mini Show” includes tiny artworks. Some artists created scaled-down versions of larger works while others created works just for the mini Lodge. Miranda July made miniature protest signs. “Protect tiny children, not tiny guns,” says one. How interesting it could be if this became an ongoing project — teeny video installations or intricate sculpture shows. 1024 N. Western Ave., Hollywood; through Oct. 24. (323) 610-2022, thelodge.la.
“You'd be surprised how few people were willing to go outside of New York to come see you,” artist Lee Mullican said in a 1993 interview, talking about the time he spent living upstate in the 1960s. He and wife Luchita were staying right next to Ailes Spinden, the sister of Japanese sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Spinden had a kiln, so, deprived of a New York City social life, Mullican started making ceramics. He’d craft funny, eccentrically detailed figures and vessels, or masks that looked vaguely traditional. The artist, who died in 1998, is known for his controlled, detailed paintings. None of the ceramic sculptures, photos and digital work in this show, “Shatter Special,” have been seen before. Installed in a Beverly Hills showroom, the exhibition is an exuberant smorgasbord. One particularly charming table is filled with silvery gray sculptures that look like mechanical mud-men. 9960 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; through Nov. 21. equitablevitrines.com.
Video game memorial
In July 2006, three years after the United States began its armed conflict in Iraq, artist Joseph DeLappe started playing the Department of Defense’s free recruiting video game, America’s Army. His user name was “dead-in-iraq,” and as soon as he logged on he would drop his virtual weapon and start typing the names of soldiers who had died. He would keep typing until his avatar died, and start all over again once he was “reincarnated” in the next round. Other users could see what he wrote — it appeared on a message board (“Why are you doing this dead-in-iraq?” asked a user called fieryduck). DeLappe kept “playing” through 2011, and he’ll be at LACMA this week to talk about making digital memorials. NYU professor Marita Sturken, who studies memory, will join him, as will Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, who’s using his LACMA Art + Technology grant to consider the future of death memorials. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Thu., Oct. 22, 7 p.m.; RSVP required. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.
A dab of sunshine
There’s no press release for Trisha Donnelly’s current exhibition at Matthew Marks (the artist rarely releases information about her shows). What you see when you enter the gallery is a minimal, rectangular video involving moving water. It’s projected behind the front desk, and the whole space is mostly dark. Most of the skylights in the main gallery are covered to make it easier to see the off-kilter video, which sometimes resembles a landscape, sometimes a computer program. But periodically, wind will blow up the tarp covering one of the skylights and sunlight will stream in. It's fleetingly thrilling, as it is when clouds part on a stormy day. 1062 N. Orange Grove, West Hollywood; through Nov. 7. (323) 654-1830, matthewmarks.com.