There are strange limbs and skinlike canvases on view downtown this week, a group of girls do improv on the Eastside, and experimental poetry fills a Hollywood gallery.
5. Break on through
Girl Crush, a troupe of artist-actor-comedians specializing in long-form improv, is sort of radical, maybe in a Parker Posey–meets–Hélène Cixous kind of way (is that meeting even possible?). They’re the kind of women who quote early improv guru Viola Spolin about losing balance to "break through the walls that keep us from the unknown” — and also say things like “Come crush with us.” At the Women’s Center for Creative Work’s new headquarters, an open workshop from 3 to 5 p.m. is followed by a performance at 7. 2425 Glover Place, Cypress Park; Sun., June 7, 7 p.m.; $5. womenscenterforcreativework.com.
4. Banned from television
Artist Dawn Kasper scrawled the seven words you’re not allowed to say on network television — “tits,” “cunt,” etc. — onto boards that hang in her current show at newly renovated Redling Fine Art. Called “The Age of Anxiety,” the show also includes a corner filled with recording equipment, evidence of the occasional performances Kasper has been doing since the show opened. But one key highlight is not in the gallery at all: Redling now has an archive of Kasper’s past performance on its website. You click on “artists,” then “Dawn Kasper” and then “exhibitions” to watch footage of her in a white suit rearranging a drum set intently and illogically, or masked and making music and drawings on a slowly moving pickup truck. 6757 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; through July 3. (323) 378-5238, redlingfineart.com.
3. Stack o’ legs
Stewart Uoo’s sculpture Security Window Grill XI is a steel contraption such as you might see over a city apartment window, but embellished with little pink balls of silicone and human hair, which makes it seem too bodily and whimsical to really scare anyone off. It appears in the Box’s group show “Mirror Effect,” co-organized by artists Kate Costello and Liz Craft. Everything in the show is bodily in a catch-you-off-guard kind of way. Janine Antoni’s to compose is a trio of creamy white resin limbs: a skeleton leg on top of a healthy-looking, skin-covered leg on top of a tree stump. 805 Traction Ave., downtown; through June 20. (213) 625-1747, theboxla.com.
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2. Drought-appropriate sink design
The beige-colored sink that’s installed on top of a pile of rocks outside Harmony Murphy Gallery is barely dripping. It has a shell-shaped basin and sand-encrusted faucet. Kathryn O’Halloran and Erica Mahinay made this together, after one of them found the sink abandoned street-side. But everything else in their two-person show “Saline Communion” they made separately. Mahinay did the pieced-together canvases of silky, sometimes skinlike fabric. O’Halloran made the mysterious, rough, white wall sconces and paired the towels with vessels. It’s a weird mix of delicate, decorative impulses and DIY rawness. 679 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown; through June 27. (213) 265-7066, harmonymurphygallery.com.
1. Interpreting Gertrude Stein
Crass expat poet Gertrude Stein has always been known for her progressive associations: her mentorship of Hemingway, her support of Picasso and Matisse, her Paris salons. So it’s fitting that Eve Fowler, an L.A. artist who has been showing the work of other artists in her East Hollywood home and elsewhere for the past few years, would be drawn to Stein. But Fowler’s progressive community is less male and modernist, more fluid in its thinking about gender and power than Stein’s. It’s interesting how well Stein’s words, which fill Fowler’s current show at newly opened Mier Gallery, translate to this newer context. “The difference is spreading,” says a neon sign you see when you enter the gallery. Then text paintings, posters and collages overlay vinyl text about the “feeling of words” that wraps around the gallery's walls. “Rub her coke,” say brass letters embedded into a gorgeous black walnut disc laid on the floor. 1107 Greenacre Ave., Hollywood; through July 3. (323) 498-5957, miergallery.com.