At-home culture seekers will find plenty to love in this weekend’s video-heavy lineup of homebound arts picks. With special screenings, conversations, book talks, theatrical and musical productions, new documentary film, and enhanced online presentations (plus a couple of safety-conscious in-person gallery trips), here are the best ways to get your arts on this weekend.
Thursday, August 6
Terry Allen’s MOMO Lo Mismo livestream and artist conversation at L.A. Louver. Watch a full-length livestream of Allen’s large-scale multi-media work MOMO Lo Mismo (2010) — imagining the psychological state of French artist, actor, and writer Antonin Artaud during a bleak and rather nightmarish 17-day transoceanic journey. The work is part film, part sculpture as a number of video screens hang from the ceiling, theatrically presenting overlapping channels and projections. Following the 30-minute screening, there will be a live Q&A with the artist. Thursday, August 6, 2pm; free; lalouver.com.
Christopher Richmond’s Hyperway (Spectre) with Q&A at the Hammer. This online program includes an extended excerpt from Hyperway, 2018, by Los Angeles–based video artist Christopher Richmond, followed by a conversation between the artist and Hammer Museum curatorial assistant Nicholas Barlow. Known for working with Hollywood style production values to present surrealist, sci-fi inflected narratives, Richmond’s new work offers a psychedelic respite from an estranged relationship to reality. Thursday, August 6, 5pm; free; hammer.ucla.edu.
Karolina Waclawiak in conversation with Roxane Gay at Skylight Books. Karolina Waclawiak’s novel Life Events, follows the adventures of a woman on the road — literally — to escaping her suffocating anxiety and annui. As she encounters a cast of eccentric characters that take on the auspices of quirky spirit-guides in her quest to get comfortable with human mortality, she inevitably discovers that the real road to love and the meaning of life runs through herself. Thursday, August 6, 6:30pm; free; skylightbooks.com.
Friday, August 7
You Never Had It – An Evening with Bukowski. Imagine that you spent a whole night drinking, smoking, and talking about sex with iconically subversive writer Charles Bukowski and his then-fiancee, at his home, in 1981 when he was at the pinnacle of his legend. Imagine that you filmed the whole thing — and then lost the tapes. Now imagine, you find those tapes in a dusty box in the garage almost 35 years later. This is the scenario surrounding the new documentary from producer and journalist Silvia Bizio and director Matteo Borgardt. The vintage footage, an extraordinary time capsule, is now accompanied by present-day reflection on the impact of the conversation, and the author’s globally enduring legacy following his death in 1994. Opening August 7 on demand; in Los Angeles with Laemmle Theatres. laemmle.com.
Ballots Over Broadway. An all-star roster performs Broadway classics and new surprises, in a Zoom concert to support Higher Heights for America’s work electing Black women, and Field Team 6’s efforts registering new Democratic voters in battleground states. Presented by Feminists in Action and Momtivist, with HODG, Civic Sundays, Persist Happy Hour, and Face the Music, this benefit features an evening of musical performances by stars of stage and screen, hosted by Chris Mann, with special guest Rep. Katie Porter. Friday, August 7, 8pm; tickets start at $25; ballotsoverbroadway.
Saturday, August 8
The World’s Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia at Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth LA. Editors Christopher M. Reeves and Aaron Walker appear in conversation with Tosh Berman, discussing their new book The World’s Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia (Soberscove Press). The first book devoted to the philosophies and recollections of the Sinfonia, the book — and accompanying playlist, compiled by Chris Reeves and Aaron Walker, complete with playlist notes — reconstructs the aggressively avant-garde musical group’s cheeky claim to fame as “the world’s worst orchestra.” Saturday, August 8 at 5pm; artbook.com.
Young Playwrights Festival at The Blank Theatre. This year’s edition of the theater’s annual summer festival features 13 plays to be presented on streaming channels over five weeks. Each June, the company chooses the best plays by playwrights ages 9-19 from a nationwide competition, and sees them through to fruition with the support and involvement of a cadre of professional actors and production experts from stage and screen. These are their stories. Saturday, August 8 – Saturday, September 19; Festival Pass (13 Plays), $40 / Single Viewer Weekly Pass, $10; theblank.com.
Sunday, August 9
Bael: Requiem at Gallery 30 South. Bael is a self-taught English artist whose influences include Art Nouveau, Anime, Egon Schiele and Nagel as he pursues an expressionist, post-illustration vision of empowered mystery, emotionally haunting, hyper-stylized portraits that are both graphically grabby and rich with nuance. Gallery 30 South, 30 S. Wilson Ave., Pasadena; Thursday-Sunday, noon-6pm, August 3 – 20; Socially distanced opening reception: Sunday, August 9, 3-6pm; free; gallery30south.com.
Paul McCarthy at Hauser & Wirth (online and in Gstaad). The gallery’s current online exhibition A&E Drawing Session, Santa Anita presents a new series of large scale drawings from McCarthy along with salient video content. This is on the occasion of the more sweeping survey exhibition Alpine Stories and other Dystopias now installed at Gstaad’s Tarmak 22 — comprising drawings, photographs, sculptures, and video work from the series Heidi, White Snow, Caribbean Pirates, and PROPO in a lively examination of McCarthy’s decades-long obsessions with both Disney “magic” and the mythology of the Swiss Alps. As it turns out, themes of purity and delusion, fantasies of whiteness and commerce, are rich in these overlapping spheres of imagery and iconography. hauserwirth.com.
5,471 miles at Blum & Poe. As gallery spaces began reopening to visitors, both the gallery’s Los Angeles and Tokyo spaces re-opened their doors (by appointment only of course). To mark this hopeful yet unfamiliar milestone, the gallery opened a pair of exhibitions at each location, focusing on the work of artists working mostly in each city. It is 5,471 miles from L.A. to Tokyo. In essence a really strong summer group show, there is an undercurrent of melancholy and mystery that pervades the selections. “The curatorial theme is a paradox,” states the gallery materials, “in that it is both an internationally minded twin-city exhibition but is also inherently restricted [because] of the pandemic. The exhibition in each city is defined equally by the works that are there as by those that are not there.” Blum & Poe, 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; by appointment, Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm; through August 15; blumandpoe.com.