Bringing together 12 artists from Reykjavik, Seoul, Tallahassee and other likely places, the “DREAM(land)” show at Jail gallery takes the tip of the escapist-fantasy-in-art iceberg and lets it melt all over your head. Video intermingles with drawing, hangs near sculpture, stands beside collage, each thing proposing a different Wonderland — animated, pixilated, crenellated, encrusted, whatever. Be forewarned: Less lucid dreaming than nightmaring goes on here, and it’s obvious the anxieties of the day weigh heavily on these sensitive souls. The best of these, such as Gregory Kucera, are able to turn the ominous (in his case, the last five mega-hurricanes) into the beautiful (five little whorls, suspended like icing on invisible cakes) — or, in Jim Roche’s video rant about avoiding the flu, the hilarious. But the most spectacular works are the gentlest: Leigh Salgado’s exquisitely lacey cutouts, all pretty in pink, and the haunting, endearing hand-animated video of Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir. What’s coolest about “DREAM(land),” though, is the vast stylistic and emotional range it opens up throughout the realm of the hypnogogic. Jail, 965 N. Vignes St., No. 5A, dwntwn.; Wed.-Sat., noon-6 p.m.; thru June 14. (213) 621-9567.“It’s the Money, Stupid!” advances a rather simpler, harsher premise: Money may be the root of all evil, but — perhaps as a result — it makes for great art. Physically. Coins and especially bills are visual phenomena, loaded with patriotic and propagandistic symbols, larded with counterfeit-stumping filigree, confined to tiny spaces and done up on both sides. At this show in the Sherry Frumkin Gallery, eight artists — also from various points around the globe — spend time on money in different manners, all keenly aware of its provocative power, and all simultaneously seduced by its visual impact and determined to turn that impact back on the monster itself. Not surprisingly, collage is the most frequent weapon of choice, but when someone like JSG Boggs — infamous for his remarkably precise hand-drawn approximations of real and not-yet-real bills — gets going, all bets are off. Briton Robin Clark also has a way with the greenback, but he can afford to, what with its current rate against the pound sterling. Sherry Frumkin Gallery, 3026 Airport Ave., Studio 21, Santa Monica; Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; thru June 14. (310) 397-7493.
IngibjÃ¶rg BirgisdÃ³ttir, Seven Sisters (2008)