This week, a flood inspires a Venice exhibition, and a show of lamps takes a sinister turn in Glendale.
Film without a story
Artist Margaret Honda made her film Spectrum Reverse Spectrum without a camera. She exposed high-resolution 70mm print stock to colored light, to make an ambiguous, abstract moving picture. To make Color Correction, she took the color correction tapes from a Hollywood feature — the identity of which remains unknown — and used them to make her own feature-length film, which once corresponded to a story but now is all color. Watching quickly becomes a meditative experience. L.A. Filmforum and the Hammer host a screening of Honda’s work this week. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed., July 6, 7:30 p.m. (also Sun., Aug. 7, 2 p.m.) (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.
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A shelf in Alison Saar’s show at L.A. Louver contains glass jars of mysterious, yellowish liquids. Ladles dangle from the shelf and barely visible etchings on the glass depict a face and other things. There are five jars to represent the five rivers of the underworld. Nearby, a wood sculpture shows a nude woman hugging herself; her hips jut out. Another wood-sculpted woman balances an oversized suitcase full of goods on her head as she stands on a raft that doesn’t look big enough to support her heavy load. The Mississippi flood of 1927, which displaced a disproportionate number of black Southerners, inspired Saar’s show, a haunting, darkly nostalgic meditation on survival. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice; through July 1. (310) 822-4955, lalouver.com.
Look to the sky
The Finley, the apartment gallery that’s open all the time to anyone who happens by the building’s street-facing window, features friendly skies right now. Justin Hansch painted them, light white puffs above bright, optimistic blue. It’s funny, especially in an oft-sunny place like L.A., to peer inside a window and see more blue sky. Hansch has installed abstractions — looser, goofier collections of marks — beneath his cloud paintings. One of these abstractions looks particularly overcast, dark and bulgy enough to tamp the pleasantness of blue skies. 4627 Finley Ave., Los Feliz; through July 31. (617) 794-4530, thefinleygallery.artcodeinc.com.
Let there be light
A variety of experimental light fixtures feature in "Madames Electrics," the show artist Shana Lutker organized at the Pit. “A show of lamps,” Lutker calls it in her letter-as–press release, saying, “Lamps remind us of figures, and the figures glow with light.” Maria Candanoza made a hand out of wax, each finger serving as a wick. Jamie Isenstein suspended lampshades and light bulbs over massive piles of sand. The lamp Julian Hoeber made looks intentionally like a gallows, two bulbs hovering from the two arms of a pinewood stand. “Let there be light” starts to seem like an ominous notion. 918 Ruberta Ave., Glendale; through July 24. the-pit.la.
A torso that’s made of sand and half in ruins sits atop a plank. Two clear shelves made with silicon and hand sanitizer hang on the wall. And a urethane sheet hovers over two aluminum sawhorses. The show “No I Am No Singular Instrument” at Various Small Fires looks, altogether, like a tastefully assembled construction site. It’s hard to keep track of who made what (Ellen Schafer made the shelves and sawhorses, while Hans-Jacob Schmidt made the sandy ruins), because everything blurs together. Brian Khek used aluminum and drywall to make cabinets that, inexplicably, hold brown eggs. 812 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; through July 9. (310) 426-8040, vsf.la.