Other than our over-excited neighborhood fireworks aficionados, it seems like people are understandably not in the mood for much of a celebration this Fourth of July. And with gatherings discouraged and bars and beaches closed, this weekend is starting to look a lot like any other in the new normal — mostly at home, with a very few, very careful off-site exceptions. To help, we found streaming video and audio art, photo-based viewing rooms, a tech-forward VR eco-art show, an ongoing family story, a timely second look artist documentary and a nationwide activist art project that’s not so much out there as up there.
Thursday, July 2
Radio Booth Session 4: Permanent Jet Lag at OCMA: Artists York Chang and Daniel R. Small perform a streaming radio-play that takes the form of a series of phone interviews with a molecular biologist who found himself marooned in an airplane for 12 days at the onset of the pandemic. Chang has always been interested the falsified archive format, with previous works finding innovative ways to insert counterfactualism into codified histories in the most cheeky and disarming ways — often through their believability reaching profound levels of obscure truth. Now this performance encapsulates and distills the stages of grief and the inflections of fear, confusion, dark humor and emotional limbo we have all since come to know only too well. OCMA’s Instagram; Thursday, July 2, 11 a.m.; ocmaexpand.org.
July programs at Bridge Projects: Beginning July 2 in a discussion with Dublin-based artist Siobhán McDonald about the role of art in science and conservation, the salon-style, conversation-centric Bridge Projects launches a series of remote cultural events for July. Upcoming events include thematic poetry reading (July 3) and a conversation with Los Angeles-based artist Patty Wickman on the spiritual and art historical threads in her affecting landscape paintings (July 9). Continuing the theme of botanical allegory, they also present an illustrated talk with Getty curator Bryan C. Keene on the illuminations traditions of the garden in Medieval and Renaissance art (July 11), and a discussion on the Live Oak and Other Indigenous Trees of California with Tongva Elder, Julia Bogany (July 18). Bridge Projects online; bridgeprojects.com.
Friday, July 3
#XMAP: In Plain Sight. Produced by a coalition of 80 artists fighting migrant detention and the culture of incarceration, this weekend’s rather epic project is both a nationwide intervention and still something of a secret, but here’s a hint: on July 3rd and 4th, be sure to look up. Follow along at xmap.us and on Instagram.
The Whitney Museum streams Kota Ezawa’s National Anthem. A watercolor animation showing NFL players taking a knee during the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the work addresses a host of issues prevalent in Ezawa’s work, including celebrity, race, violence, politics and the role of the media in shaping cultural debate. Friday, July 3 at 4 p.m. Pacific, streaming through Sunday, July 5 at 7 p.m. Pacific; whitney.org.
Saturday, July 4
Endless Summer at the Morrison Hotel Gallery. This ongoing virtual exhibition reminds us, in a way, of what we are missing — both right now because of everything, and in the lovely haze of our memories and nostalgia for groovier rock n roll times. Through a perfect collection of classic, even iconic photographs by stars like Henry Diltz, Guy Webster, Lynn Goldsmith, Pattie Boyd, Timothy White, Walter Iooss and Norman Seeff, the gallery offers candid and editorial portraits of the stars and stylish entourages that made the spirit of 1966 come alive in the world of sea, sex, and sun, baseball, the Beatles, and Pat Benatar, convertibles, cocktails and classic rock. Visit online at morrisonhotelgallery.com.
Sunday, July 5
Artificial Ecologies at Supercollider. A virtual reality exhibition curated by Isabel Beavers and featuring work by Beavers, Maru García, Richelle Gribble, Julian Stein, asking questions about art’s relationship with the natural world. The selected artists “consider the ubiquity of artificial materials, positionalities and relationships between humans, non-humans, more-than humans and…the impact of climate on local biodiversities.” The exhibition itself debuts the gallery’s newly renovated IRL/VR portal presentation space, itself modeling the kind of hybrid future under discussion. Virtual opening reception: Sunday, July 5, 7-8 p.m.; on view July 5-August 30 in the multiverse; supercolliderart.com.
Jenny Holzer: Trucks and Truisms at Sprueth Magers. From her Truisms (1977-79) to It is Guns (2018-19) and Expose (2020), Jenny Holzer has spent the last 40 years presenting her inimitable text-based work in public spaces, lampooning our cultural fidelity to wealth, maleness, whiteness and power. This new flash and video-based photographic survey looks at the evolution of Holzer’s messages, both in terms of message and medium. What began as a wheat-paste poster campaign on New York City streets, has since expanded to include LED, marble, and projection installations — including on trucks driven through the streets of New York, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago — as well as more specific, pointed messages directed at the social ills of the present day. View online through July 12 at spruethmagers.com.
Milton Glaser: To Inform & Delight on VOD. With the recent passing of artist and design legend Milton Glaser, now is a good time to revisit Wendy Keys’ wonderful 2008 biographical documentary. Best known for co-founding New York magazine and creating the I 🖤 NY campaign, the film offers audiences a much richer appreciation for the eclectic artistry and salty cultural insights of one of the great modern visual arts masters — in his own words. Watch on demand via the Kino Lorber platform; kinolorber.com.
Antonio & Isaac Pelayo: The American Dream at Bruce Lurie Gallery. Antonio Pelayo and Isaac Pelayo (father and son) each possess their own unique approach to mixing realism, fantasy, technique and personal narrative in portraits and scenes from their own lives, the broader Latinx experience in America, and the allure of pop culture. Across the works featured in The American Dream, their portraits serve as a glimpse into the lived reality in their community, juxtaposed against prevailing narratives that often exclude and misunderstand the manifestations of history. Bruce Lurie Gallery, 2736 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; open by appointment through July 31; luriegallery.com.