From an online and IRL print fair, to an online and video-projection indie art show, more than one offering of streaming interdisciplinary film and performance art, a new documentary on one of America’s greatest living photographers, art galleries by appointment and on front lawns, a social critique conversation series, and a cross-platform project by Meshell Ndegeocello honoring the evolving legacy of James Baldwin — here’s what on your arts calendar this week.
Thursday, October 8
IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair. The International Fine Print Dealers Association hosts its international print month in a really smart hybrid of virtual and IRL programming. Besides an eclectic slate of virtual exhibitions and Zoomy daily live events with printmakers, print curators, artists, and collectors, 70 of the 100 Fine Art Print Fair exhibitors from around the world will open their galleries and studios for in-person “booth” tours. In Los Angeles, this means: Cirrus Gallery & Editions (Downtown), Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Mixografia (Downtown), and The Lapis Press (Culver City), which are all open by appointment. Online and IRL, October 7-November 1, various times, locations, and zoom; fineartprintfair.org.
REDCAT New Original Works Festival, Week One. The 17th Annual NOW Festival kicks off with a program of three works. Musician and performance artist Davia Spain takes a deep dive into a journey of self-actualization, asserting that there is a connection between self-love and ecological justice. Actress and writer Simone Moore’s The Divorce Comedy is an exploration into the absurdity, isolation, and loss of identity of an Afro-Jamaican immigrant woman’s experience in marriage and divorce, and features an original short film by Arthur Jafa. Performance artist Alex Alpharaoh’s bold reimagining of Shakespeare’s Othello is set in Los Angeles’ Koreatown during the ‘92 Uprising. Each work screens each night. Password-protected streaming, Thursday, October 8 – Saturday, October 10, 8:30pm; $15; redcat.org.
Friday, October 9
NOT REAL ART Grants Exhibition. Always searching for new ways to aid artists in their creative endeavors, in 2019 they founded a grant program, with cash prizes and ongoing career support awarded to six artists annually with no strings attached. The class of 2020 recipients will be showcased in the NOT REAL ART virtual exhibition opening online and via a public art video installation in partnership with Helms Bakery District and the Culver City Arts Foundation. Online exhibition goes live, Thursday, October 8, 7pm; Video program runs Friday, October 9 – Friday, October 16, 7pm-2am nightly; Helms Bakery, 8745 Washington Blvd, Culver City; notrealart.com.
F11 and Be There: The Photography of Burk Uzzle. For 65 years and counting, Burk Uzzle has created some of the most iconic photographs in American history. From the time he was hired by LIFE magazine at age 23 (actually, from even earlier, when he was a high school student who found himself delivering papers on his bike route which often bore his own pictures on their front pages), Uzzle has contributed to American history with majestic, intimate fine art and photojournalism. His coverage of the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the communal living on the edges of the Woodstock festival, and the people, landscapes, and architecture of America’s small towns and back roads, engage with civil rights, race, and social justice.
Now from Director Jethro Waters — himself a writer, producer, editor, and cinematographer — comes the new documentary F11 and Be There, which in addition to a richness of wide-ranging interviews with Uzzle, plentiful archival materials, and behind the scenes creative-process footage, is also a gorgeously produced film in itself. Warm and evocative cinematography, quirky and wonderful animated interstitials, lavish use of interesting music, and interviews with Uzzle’s subjects combine for a thoughtful and frequently profound and emotional portrait of an artist who has never been more engaged with his craft and message. Opens at Laemmle’s streaming service on Friday, October 9; laemmle.com.
Saturday, October 10
Yasmine Nasser Diaz: Soft Powers at Ochi Projects. This body of work, also exhibited at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, MI, reflects on coming-of age nostalgia and Yemeni-American girlhood. The notion of soft power is understood as the ability to attract and co-opt, rather than coerce. Reframing this concept within her work, Diaz considers the covert skills that many begin to develop as children. The exhibition showcases new silk-based fiber etchings that utilize photographic images depicting intimate moments of leisure amongst familiar company. Ochi Projects, 3301 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; October 10 – November 21, by appointment; ochigallery.com.
OPaF Talks: Jaklin Romine and Emily Barker. The Other Places Art Fair is still happening at unusual locations across the city, and through unconventional means in the online sphere. This evening, this pair of interdisciplinary artists discuss accessibility, the Americans with Disabilities Act, able-passing privilege, and how disability gives and takes away opportunities, within the context of their respective art practices. Saturday, October 10, 6pm; OPaf.info.
Common Ground at Embed Gallery. Through paintings, photographs, sculptures and videos, 11:11 Arts’ new multicultural, multi-generational group exhibition explores the reality of a single planet that is humanity’s most divided territory and our damaged common ground. On opening night, curators Suvan Geer and Sandra Mueller will discuss with the exhibiting artists how their artworks speak to the earth as a shared terrain. Further topical conversations and workshops happen throughout the run of the exhibition. Embed Gallery/Toolbox LA, 9410 Owensmouth Ave., Chatsworth; virtual reception & conversation: Saturday, October 10, 1-2:30pm; on view October 3 – November 14, by appointment; 1111acc.org/commonground.
Sunday, October 11
The Intersection: Woke Black Folk, A Performance by Funmilola Fagbamila at USC Visions & Voices. Scholar, activist, playwright, artist, and one of the original organizers of Black Lives Matter Funmilola Fagbamila will perform The Intersection: Woke Black Folk, her acclaimed one-woman stage play about the complexities of Black political identity and how humans navigate difference. The Intersection premiered at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles in 2018 and has toured across the Netherlands, England, France, and Brazil. The performance will be followed by a conversation with Fagbamila led by award-winning photojournalist, producer, author, and USC professor Miki Turner. Sunday, October 11, 5pm; free; visionsandvoices.usc.edu.
Nina Katchadourian: Monument to the Unelected at Grand Central Art Center. This temporary installation, consisting of 58 lawn signs bearing the names of losing candidates from every presidential election in American history, coincides with this year’s presidential election. Working with designer Evan Gaffney, Katchadourian created a series of signs bearing the names of individuals who ran for president and lost. As the artist states, “These markers tend to crop up in the weeks leading up to an election, after which they disappear, with some of the names going on to take office and others being largely forgotten.” This election cycle the work will be shown in four locations simultaneously – Pace, New York, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and Grand Central Art Center. In the last two instances, the work will be installed in the front yards of residential homes. Once results are official, a new 59th sign with the name of the losing candidate of the 2020 Presidential Election will be added. October 6 – November 17, on the lawn at 896 S. Oakwood St., Orange; grandcentralartcenter.com.
10 Questions: Reckoning at UCLA School of the Arts. What is Justice? What is Power? What is Kindness? Hope, Humor, Loss, Love? What Matters? This fall, the School of the Arts and Architecture returns with 10 Questions: Reckoning, the third installment of the annual event series that invites the public to join UCLA students in the virtual classroom to engage in vibrant conversation alongside leading faculty and distinguished alumni from across the university — an especially urgent idea with COVID-19, the climate crisis, social and political turmoil, and, of course, a presidential election on everyone’s minds. Mondays at 7pm, October 5 – December 7; arts.ucla.edu.
Meshell Ndegeocello: Chapter and Verse: The Gospel of James Baldwin. Inspired by James Baldwin’s truth-telling treatise on justice in America, The Fire Next Time, and our endlessly changing world, Chapter & Verse: The Gospel of James Baldwin is a 21st century “ritual tool kit for justice. A call for revolution. A gift during turbulent times.” Ndegeocello and her collaborators have enacted this project to experience in three ways. Call 1-833-4-BALDWIN to discover songs, meditations, and chants to ease your mind any time, day or night, when you need it most. See visual testimonies of Baldwin’s text with original music created by Meshell and her artistic collaborators, including Suné Woods, Nicholas Galanin, Adebukola Bodunrin, and Charlotte Brathwaite. Read and download a monthly broadsheet featuring Baldwin’s words and calls to action. Through December 2020, online and on your phones; cap.ucla.edu.
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