From a cat video festival, to a vampire ball, to Fluxus-related performances and more, here are the 14 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!
"Whenever you eat a salad, you are performing a piece," Alison Knowles says, and this evening she reprises her infamous 1962 performance piece, Proposition #2: Make a Salad, in which her cutting and slicing of vegetables is amplified before she serves the massive, ephemeral creation to the audience as part of Fluxus Spotlight. ("This performance's salad will be vegan and gluten-free," L.A. Phil notes helpfully.) The work is a quintessential example of the Fluxus impetus — seemingly spontaneous art that is about the process of invention — and related cryptic event scores that are closer to artistic pranks than to traditional music-making. L.A. Percussion Quartet and dozens of percussionists hammer out the world premiere of Ryoji Ikeda's 100 Cymbals, a convulsive, epic work that should be both visually and musically striking. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.; Fri., Feb. 15, 8 p.m.; $15. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James
Reclaiming Their Space
Opened in 2017 inside Glendale's renovated Downtown Central Library, and co-curated by photographer Ara Oshagan and his wife, Anahid, ReflectSpace exhibits art that explores not only historical atrocities and marginalized communities but modern-day injustices. Incorporating both contemporary art and technology alongside archival materials, past displays have covered the Holocaust, Armenian genocide, WWII's Japanese-American internment camps and the U.S.-Mexico border. Group show "Erasure: Native American Genocide: A Legacy" features artists Gerald Clarke, Mercedes Dorame, River Garza, Pamela J. Peters and William Wilson, who represent the Cahuilla, Gabrielino-Tongva, Navajo and other tribes, and who use photography, found objects and mixed-media to delve into the traditions, stereotypes and current political context of their indigenous roots. The library's PassageWay includes serigraphs by additional artists Votan Henriquez, Randy Kemp, Douglas Miles, Felicia Montes, Kimberly Robertson and Marianne Sadowski from Self Help Graphics. Glendale Downtown Central Library, 222 E. Harvard St.; opening reception, Fri., Feb. 15, 7-9 p.m.; thru April 14, Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m.; free. (818) 548-2021, glendaleca.gov/government/departments/library-arts-culture/downtown-central-library. —Siran Babayan
An annual gathering that focuses on pop culture and comic books, the Long Beach Comic Expo returns to the Long Beach Convention Center. An army of writers, artists, publishers, actors, scientists and cosplayers — including Javier Hernandez, Susan Lee, Herbert Jefferson, Jacqueline Goehner, Agnes Garbowska, Patrick Owsley and Joel Adams — will take part in signings and panel discussions. Several dozen artists, publishers and small presses will display their work, and there will be a cosplay contest, film screenings, and a Space Expo that marries pop culture with hard science. Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Sat., Feb. 16, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 17, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $25-$60. (562) 436-3636, longbeachcomicexpo.com. —Falling James
Brunch at Bergamot
Because the five art fairs in town this weekend are threatening to use up your whole quota of art-viewing time, and because you have to brunch somewhere, the roughly 20 galleries at Bergamot Station are here for you. From 10 a.m. to noon today, they'll all be open, with new and ongoing exhibitions; more specifically, they'll have brunch spreads (which may or may not include morning cocktails). Highlights include Dora de Larios and John Humble at Craig Krull, Serena Potter at Lois Lambert, Antuan Rodriguez at Building Bridges, a gorgeous winter group show at Lora Schlesinger, Eric Croes and Sasha Pierce at Richard Heller, and a fresh take on Ed Moses at William Turner. Also, possible mimosas. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Feb. 16, 10 a.m.-noon; free. bergamotstation.com/events/2019/2/16/art-brunch. —Shana Nys Dambrot
L.A. Phil Plays Still
William Grant Still was not only a part of the Harlem Renaissance scene and one of the first African-American composers to have his work taken seriously by classical-music audiences, he was also one of the first composers to develop distinctively American forms of symphonic music, opera and ballet. Tonight, Thomas Wilkins conducts Still's influential First Symphony, a majestic work infused with strains of blues and jazz, alongside selections by Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. On Sunday afternoon, Wilkins leads a different program centered on Still's Second Symphony. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.; Sat., Feb. 16, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 17, 2 p.m.; $20-$194. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James
A Dance to Venice
Organized by dancers/choreographers Oguri and Roxanne Steinberg, Façade of Time recruited 60 dancers, movers, actors and singers, both pro and non-professional, for a series of workshops. Today they unleash that horde in a performative event that will travel from the historic Grand Canal past the iconic arcade leading to Windward Circle (the heart of the Boardwalk, with street performers, the skateboard park, tourists and locals), then culminate at the ocean at sunset. The stated intent is to illustrate Venice's diverse history and its current struggles with dueling waves of gentrification and homelessness, along with consideration of the arts as a potential source of healing friction. Starting at Venice Boulevard at the Grand Canal (route at bodyweather.org/faade-of-time); Sun., Feb. 17, 3:45-5:45 p.m., free. bodyweather.org/faade-of-time. —Ann Haskins
It's an art exhibition, it's an architectural landmark, it's a dance piece, a sound installation, performance art, and a shifting terrain of real and conceptual spaces. It's living art history, as the MAK Center Schindler House's fairly worshipped modernist architect, Rudolf Schindler, was vocal in his desire to see the home activated by the presence of artists, poets, thinkers and avant-garde bon vivants of all stripes. Curated by Maud Jacquin, Anna Milone and Sébastien Pluot in association with FLAX (France Los Angeles Cultural Exchange) and CalArts (who hosted the original House of Dust arts occupation circa 1970), "Shelter or Playground: The House of Dust" not only occupies the house's eccentric indoor-outdoor exhibition spaces but activates the property across a series of Fluxus-inflected spectacles. While the exhibition continues during regular gallery hours, each event date has a fully packed program of performances of new and classic music and movement works by artists from Merce Cunningham to Yoko Ono, Trisha Brown, Eddie Ruscha and Alison Knowles. MAK Center Schindler House, 835 N. Kings Road, WeHo; performance events 2-7 p.m. on various dates thru June 2; free during performances. MAK Center, Wed.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $10. flaxfoundation.org/initiative/shelter-or-playground. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Creatures of the Night
Always a bloody fine bash, the Endless Night Vampire Ball invites fang fans and dark denizens of all kinds to come together in their fiendish finery for a night of dance and decadence. The hosts throw these fanciful fetes all around the world, from Berlin to Paris to New York, with the main event taking place Halloween weekend in New Orleans. The L.A. event is always one of the most epic, as vamps from around the globe leave their coffins for an evening of creepy cacophony and costumed celebration. This year's theme being "Anti-Valentine's Day," patrons are invited to don their "deepest and finest reds," with aesthetic inspirations including Victorian, Edwardian, fetish, ancient cultures, Baroque, Medieval, Pagan, cloaks and Gothic splendor. Unless you want a stake through the heart, skip the superhero cosplay, jeans, T-shirts and anything boring. Globe Theatre, 740 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun., Feb. 17, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.; $30-$105. eventbrite.com/e/endless-night-los-angeles-vampire-ball-2019-anti-valentines-day-tickets-52096489001. —Lina Lecaro
When the Sixth Street Bridge was demolished, for a time a line of sentinel-like concrete pillars stood as ruins, framing views of downtown made poignant by the vantage point of both the razed and the rising. From this artist Rafa Esparza drew inspiration for his new project, a Clockshop-commissioned collaboration with painter Mario Ayala, Karla Canseco, and Beatriz Cortez, whose solo project is currently on view at the Craft Contemporary. Esparza is known for both indoor and landscape-sited adobe construction projects bringing a greater awareness of history and displacement to our shared surroundings. Through Clockshop's partnership with the state park agency at the Bowtie, Esparza's Puente involves making adobe bricks on the neglected L.A. River–adjacent location, and constructing pillars that themselves frame curated vistas of the buildings and landscape. Sturdy shoes recommended. Bowtie Project, 2780 W. Casitas Ave., Glassell Park; Sun., Feb. 17, 2:30-4:30 p.m.; free. clockshop.org/project/bowtie-aa/puente/. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Preserving Our History
This year, the UCLA Film & Television Archive is cramming its entire Festival of Preservation into one action-packed weekend instead of stretching it out over the course of a month, as it has done in the past. The film festival begins Friday morning with the bucolic 1933 musical comedy My Lips Betray before heading into darker territory with such early anti-Nazi films as The Mortal Storm and Voice in the Wind. The fest encompasses newly restored films, documentaries, short films, newsreels and cartoons. The festival closes Sunday night with a screening of L.Q. Jones' curiously strange 1975 postapocalyptic sci-fi fantasy A Boy and His Dog, based on the Harlan Ellison novella about the unusual loyalty between a futuristic wanderer (Don Johnson) and his telepathic dog. Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Feb. 17, 10 p.m.; $10 & $50. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu/events/2019/ucla-festival-of-preservation. —Falling James
Who Doesn't Love Cat Videos?
Skittish, aloof or loving to the point of annoying, there are as many different types of cat personalities as there are human ones. But these furry creatures share a universal appeal on video. Cats are cooler and more charismatic than pretty much any other animal out there, and even if you prefer dogs, when it comes to clips on social media, we all have to admit the claws have it. The 2019 edition of Cat Video Fest is sure to prove it. Started by Will Braden, this furry festival was created to bring the joy of cat videos to the masses. This curated collection of felines on film (animation, home videos and more) is guaranteed to celebrate and elevate the wonder of whiskered ones and raise money for cats in need through partnerships with local cat charities and animal welfare organizations, as well as shelters whose goal is to find homes for needy cats. Landmark Theatre, 10850 Pico Blvd., Rancho Park; Mon., Feb. 18, 7-8:15 p.m.; $15. landmarktheatres.com. —Lina Lecaro
FOOD & DRINK
Cooking the Israeli Way
Expand your gustatory horizons beyond delicatessens, falafel and babka and see what's new in the world of Israeli food with Modern Israeli Cuisine, the first in a series at the Skirball covering new developments in the world of Middle Eastern eating. Chef Lior Hillel of Bacari unveils a new dimension in lamb kebabs with beet tahini, while City of Gold consulting producer Lara Rabinovitch oversees your adventure. The series continues March 19 with pita bread and concludes April 16 with artisanal halva — nicely rounding out the culinary curiosity with which you'll finesse your life in 2019. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Tue., Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.; $40 general, $33 members. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org/programs/classes/modern-israeli-cuisine. —David Cotner
Poetry by the Sea
Writer Wally Rudolph is working on his new novel, The Ox, the Horse & the Boar, while in the spring residency at the Annenberg Beach House. A story of the evil intersectionality of racism, capitalism and environmental degradation (so not a rom-com), he's keeping public office hours during his stay (through the end of March). But this morning, he's also the special guest at the latest Poets & Writers literary round-table, an informal gathering of independent scribes who periodically gather to swap ideas and advice, and to share new and in-progress works. Rudolph's insights into both his creative and professional processes, as well as on active social engagement from an arts perspective, is just what Poets & Writers (a national organization with local chapters) was founded to achieve. Camera Obscura Art Lab, 1450 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; Wed., Feb. 20, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; free. eventbrite.com/e/poets-writers-literary-roundtable-featuring-wally-rudolph-tickets-53317785933. —Shana Nys Dambrot
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Audiences will get two chances to unlock Christiane Jatahy's fascinating puzzle box, What If They Went to Moscow? It's a multimedia theatrical piece and film loosely extrapolated from Anton Chekov's Three Sisters, in which the sisters are imagined as hosting a house party in Brazil. The filmmaker describes her work as a "mirror game between theater and cinema." Half the audience will witness the first part of the performance as live theater, while the other half is sequestered nearby to watch it on a live feed that's skewed through Jatahy's unsettling perspective. Then the groups switch places to see the work anew from a different vantage point. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Thu.-Sat., Feb. 21-23, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 24, 1 p.m.; $20 & $30. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Falling James