If last week was an exercise in the making of appointments and the seeing of real people again in the art world, this week sees a bit of a fallback to the virtual — and to talks and performances. A panoply of engaging conversations, topical panels and other streamed presentations explore a diverse array of ideas; and international dance, classical theater, video art, and in-museum performance films round out a slate of at-home offerings. Plus a further round of new IRL gallery shows open, and some especially intriguing cross-platform hybrids activate unusual locations.
Thursday, September 17
Talk: Calida Rawles at LACMA. Presented in conjunction with View From Here — an exhibition of artworks recently acquired by the museum despite its physical transitions — a series of conversations between artists and LACMA curators and educators explore how these artworks function historically in an encyclopedic collection. This week’s conversation is between LACMA Curator of Contemporary Art Christine Y. Kim, and increasingly celebrated L.A.-based painter Calida Rawles, whose work has recently graced the walls of Various Small Fires, the cover of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ novel The Water Dancer, and the pages of the New York Times. Thursday, September 17, noon; lacma.org.
Theater: Table Top Shakespeare at CAP UCLA. In 2016, UCLA presented Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare, which offered wittily condensed versions of all 36 of Shakespeare’s plays over six days at Royce Hall. Now a new iteration once again shares all 36 plays — except in this time of quarantine and zoom, six performers restage the project online direct from their own kitchen tables, being each currently isolated in different places including Sheffield, London, and Berlin. Thursdays – Sundays, September 17 – November 15, noon; cap.ucla.edu.
Online Exhibition: Jules Muck: Let the Cats Out at Gabba Gallery. Gabba Gallery has been building excitement for this exhibition of new paintings and timed print releases from the absolutely one of a kind painter, muralist, provocateur, and cat lover Jules Muck (aka Muckrock). Her fresh and funked up takes on pop culture and social critique radiate out from her Venice stomping grounds across the city, country, world. Now a series of new, of the moment works lets the animals out and audiences in. The exhibition goes live at 11am on Thursday, September 17; gabbagallery.com.
Panel and Exhibition: To Protect and Serve?: Five Decades of Posters Protesting Police Violence at 18th Street Arts Center. 18th Street Arts Center’s Santa Monica Airport location and its online presence combine to present a powerful exhibition surveying five decades of posters protesting police violence. Organized by the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG), To Protect & Serve? features graphics created from Los Angeles to New York, from Mexico to Bangladesh, and from Europe to Africa. The exhibition includes posters addressing policing as political repression, racial and gender profiling, the school to prison pipeline, immigration raids, militarization of law enforcement, and organizing resistance. A panel discussion with civil rights attorney Cindy Pánuco, community organizer Kianna Smith, and community organizer Kwazi Nkrumah, moderated by CSPG founder Carol Wells, kicks off the presentation. Discussion: Thursday, September 17, 4pm, via Zoom; on view by appointment through October 2; 18thstreet.org.
Talk: George Clinton and Franklin Sirmans at PAMM. A virtual conversation and studio tour with iconic musical genius George Clinton, of Parliament and Funkadelic Records, and Perez Art Museum Miami Director Franklin Sirmans, in which Clinton will share his studio space and introduce his visual art practice, including the series of work he has created in quarantine over the past six months. Thursday, September 17, 4pm; live on Facebook and YouTube; pamm.org.
Streaming: Performance Films at The Broad. The new and upcoming programming surrounding the museum’s 5th anniversary on September 20 starts with the release of “L.A. Intersections: Music, Language, Movement.” Musical, spoken word and dance artists directly engage with the exhibition and public spaces of the still-closed museum, featuring performances from artists such as San Cha, Sudan Archives, Georgia Anne Muldrow, serpentwithfeet and Mike Tyus. Beginning Thursday, September 17; free; thebroad.org.
Friday, September 18
Exhibition: Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio at Commonwealth and Council. Aparicio’s Espinas Amorosas/Loving Thorns investigates the collective trauma and memory embedded in the material/ecological record of human and nonhuman lives. Numerous ceramic sculptures cling to the rubber tapestries in veiny, organic reliefs. Commonwealth and Council, 3006 W. 7th St., Koreatown; on view by appointment, September 18 – October 24; commonwealthandcouncil.com.
Black Motion Pictures Conversation Series at REDCAT. Organized by Gabrielle Civil, Black Motion Pictures is a series of video interviews with radical Black creatives about race, performance, and representation. Spanning a broad range of topics — Black punk music, heritage sites, re-enactments, queer ancestors — the series launches with transdisciplinary artist Anna Martine Whitehead, and conversation prompts include “How is Black performance marked or archived? How does Black performance relate to time (to historicity or ephemerality)? What is a Black motion picture?” Future guests: artist and designer Kelly Walters, film curator and programmer Jheanelle Brown, and performance artist Sola Bamis. September 18, October 14, November 13, and December 16; 8pm; free; redcat.org.
Saturday, September 19
Online Symposium: 6 Degrees. Art + Practice and Craft Contemporary co-present 6°, a single-day, virtual symposium bringing together six L.A. non-profit art organizations to address systemic racism in the art world. With the current uprising against police brutality, systemic oppression, and the elevation of the Black Lives Matter movement, arts organizations are also using this moment to discuss how racial inequality affects the internal dynamics of the art world. The participating institutions are Art + Practice, Craft Contemporary, ICALA, Materials & Applications, NAVEL, and The Underground Museum. Each institution will present a dynamic program from their own viewpoint, from discussing the barriers in the formal arts education system to conducting a brainstorming session on how to restructure the non-profit model. Saturday, September 19, 10am-5pm; free; 6degrees.la.
Art Talk: CRYPTIK at the Fowler. CRYPTIK’s signature calligraphy appears in massive public artworks across the globe, creating everyday sacred spaces intended to reconnect us with the sacred within ourselves. CRYPTIK coined the term “mantradala” to signify an exploration of how art can be used as a tool for meditation, introspection, and trance induction, and to help us understand our connection to one another, the planet, and the universe. Join the Fowler for a rare peek into the extremely private artist’s studio and garden, and learn about the diverse philosophies and ancient wisdom traditions that inspire him. Saturday, September 19, noon; fowler.ucla.edu.
Exhibition: Mark Steven Greenfield: Black Madonna at William Turner Gallery. Greenfield’s oeuvre explores aspects of the African American experience in American culture, often critiquing and offering unique perspectives on a society still grappling with the consequences of slavery and racial injustice. The exhibition highlights a striking new series of seventeen Black Madonna paintings, which re-imagine these unique religious icons, that began appearing in the 13th and 14th centuries in churches throughout Medieval Europe. The origin and purpose of the Black Madonnas in religious iconography are somewhat of a mystery and the subject of much scholarly debate, which inspired Greenfield to infuse them with his own contemporary meaning and perspective. William Turner Gallery, Bergamot Station Art Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; on view by appointment September 19 – November 28; williamturnergallery.com.
Art Festival: Other Places Art Fair. OPaf represents the growing movement of art spaces fluid in definition and bonded by an intention to operate in other places outside traditional contemporary art systems. OPaf 2020 features 43 art project spaces from the U.S. and Mexico in an alternative art fair structure designed specifically for these unconventional projects. As the organizers recently shared with the Weekly, “OPaf (when it happens IRL at Battery Leary-Merriam in San Pedro) is by design a pretty “hands-off” affair — meaning, simply, our goal as a fair representing alternative art spaces is to provide the freedom to participants to present themselves however they see fit while responding to the site. When the pandemic forced us to move to an online version of the event, we decided to treat the OPaf website like the physical site — as a gathering place for participants to respond to.” OPaf 2020 also includes online iterations of OPaBf (Other Places art Book fair) curated by The Fulcrum Press, and OPPPAFFF (Other Places Projects Performances and Fun Food Fair) organized by Asha Bukojemsky. The awarding of the first annual OPaf Prize, a cash prize for best booth presented at the conclusion of OPaf 2020 on October 31, will be selected at random. Opening events online: September 19 & 20; on view online through October 31; opaf.info.
Virtual Wild Art Party at Maiden L.A. Wild Art Group’s Wild Art Party is a series of rambunctious performance events showing uninhibited, cutting edge artworks, a chance to present raw, unfettered artwork outside of more traditional programs. For the audience it is a night to be introduced to new artists, new ideas shown through new modes of expression, dancing and fun. This virtual edition of Wild Art Party celebrates African American artists in Los Angeles who are creating work around social justice, art & activism. A panel discussion with the artists and L.A.-based scholars and curators launches a night of streaming performances, as part of the ongoing Maiden L.A. arts festival. Saturday, September 19, Discussion, 7pm; Performances, 8 – 11pm; free; maiden.la.
Exhibition: Linda Stark: Hearts at David Kordansky Gallery. This acclaimed gallery expands its footprint into a proper compound designed by art world go-to architects of wHY, and inaugurates its new space with one of the most anticipated shows of the year. Over the course of three decades, Los Angeles-based Linda Stark has produced a body of painting in which material experimentation and concentrated symbolic energy go hand in hand. As the exhibition’s title suggests, the paintings in Hearts frequently address how hearts occupy the literal and figurative centers of human and animal life, but they also appear in a wide range of social and narrative contexts. Emphasizing the physical, even sculptural, qualities of paint as much as its visual or color-based ones, Stark creates objects that reflect the multivalent potential of the heart as vessel and beacon, physical organ and mystical source. David Kordansky Gallery, 5130 W. Edgewood Pl., Mid-city; open by appointment September 19 – October 24; davidkordanskygallery.com.
Virtual Opening: Charlotte Schmid-Maybach and Sheinina Lolita Raj at Lois Lambert Gallery. A conceptually rigorous portfolio exploring conventions of ethnicity through a series of costumed self-portraiture features Raj arrayed in the traditional finery of diverse nations. Raj’s own crossborder heritage and intercontinental family history first inspired her to embark on this serial self-transformation is revealed as ethnically morphic as she successively embodies both the epitome and increasing obsolescence of race-based constructs of identity — the better to illustrate not only what makes us each unique, but also what we all share. Charlotte Schmid-Maybach is a photographer and mixed media artist based in Los Angeles, whose background as an archaeological photographer in Pakistan and years as a newspaper photojournalist inform her impactful artwork. Lois Lambert Gallery, Bergamot Station Art Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Virtual Opening Reception, Artist Talk & Walkthrough: Saturday, September 19, 7-9pm; on view by appointment through November 12; loislambertgallery.com.
Sunday, September 20
Streaming Video Art: Mise-en-Scene Festival. L.A. Art Documents presents: L.A. Mise-En-Scène Video Art Festival, an online exhibition featuring experimental cinema and video art works curated by the producers of L.A. Art Documents, Jason Jenn and Vojislav Radovanović. Mise-en-scène is a film-making term that translates originally from French to “placing on stage,” used to describe the arrangement of everything that appears in the framing of the camera — actors, lighting, décor, props, costumes. Together these elements convey the important visual storytelling aspects of cinema. The theme of 2020’s festival is TAROT and each week a new program consisting of around 10 video art pieces have been presented as a Reading, with the videos representing the cards in a classic tarot spread. Streaming now through Sunday, September 20 only; laartdocuments.com/videoartfestival.
Streaming Dance Festival: Erasing Borders. The Indo-american Arts Council is dedicated to promoting, showcasing and building an awareness of the arts and artists whose heritage lies in the Indian subcontinent in the performing arts, visual arts, literary arts and folk arts. For this week’s festival, 11 dance artists from around the world showcase the best of contemporary Indian movement arts. Streaming September 20 – 27; free; iaac.us/erasing-borders-dance-festival-2020.