A still from Rachel Mason's The Lives of Hamilton Fish
A still from Rachel Mason's The Lives of Hamilton Fish
Courtesy of the artist

5 Art Shows You Should See in L.A. This Week

A serial killer's life converges with the life of a politician in a screening at LACMA this week, and two small sentinels stand guard over an exhibition in Koreatown. 

5. Dancing the robot
Every Friday this summer, three dancers in suspenders and dress shirts will be shuffling paper efficiently and mimicking machines as they move around the Herman Miller office furniture installed in the Kings Road Schindler House. They’re participating in an exhibition called “The New Creativity.” So are the group of artists and architects whose newly made machines fill the exhibition's final gallery. These machines are fledgling attempts to take back the tools of “creativity,” so that artists no longer need to rely on Apple products or other mass-marketable innovations to do tech-savvy work. Peter Vikar‘s drawing machine is a work in progress — right now, it mostly makes ink lines up and down a smooth white sheet. The furniture in Greg Lynn’s incessantly rotating, miniature room was designed to defy gravity. 835 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood; through Aug. 16. (323) 651-1510, makcenter.org.

4. Hidden struggle
In the only video playing in Ana Prvacki’s current exhibition at 1301PE, a quartet plays inside a shimmering, silvery tent set up against a concrete floor. All you can see from the outside is the tent's exterior. But the musicians' elbows and bodies keep pushing up against and poking at the thin fabric, so it looks as if some strange, rhythmic battle is happening inside. It's transfixing to watch. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; through July 11. (323) 938-5822, 1301pe.com

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3. FOMO in snow
The group of bulbous, bodylike sculptures in Rachel Harrison’s "Three Young Framers" exhibition at Regen Projects often have selfie sticks attached to them. One green sculpture holds a phone with a matching green battery sign visible on its screen. This has been New York–based Harrison’s thing for a while: making abstract, oddly colored bodies out of polystyrene and cement and then attaching everyday objects to them (vacuums, a bust of Abe Lincoln). But in this show, which seems to be so much about wanting to “be there” and be seen, the series of casual small photographs in a side gallery may be most affecting. Called FOMO, which stands for “fear of missing out,” the images show flurries of footprints in slush and snow. It feels like the photographer is almost always just catching up, snapping photos of the evidence of events she missed. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; through July 18. (310) 276-5424, regenprojects.com

2. Guard dogs
The plaster half-moons and triangles stacked in the center of “Abecedarian,” Rachelle Rojany’s exhibition at Commonwealth and Council, are meant to be moved. If you go on Saturdays, Rojany will be there to help with the rearranging, so visitors can make patterns across the floor. All the while, two small, doglike creatures will stand by like sentinels on wall-mounted shelves. The one with the pointy ears and exposed leather tail is remarkably commanding, especially when you stare at him head on. 3006 W. Seventh St., #220, Koreatown; through June 27. (213) 703-9077, commonwealthandcouncil.com

1. Fish out of water
Artist Rachel Mason’s The Lives of Hamilton Fish is a film and a live performance. The artist sings onstage as a fantastic costume drama set in the 1930s plays out on a screen behind her. The idea for the film grew out of a coincidence: A serial killer named Hamilton Fish and a statesman with the same name both died on the same day in 1936. On that day, articles about the two deaths appeared together on the front page of a Hudson Valley, New York, paper. In Mason’s retelling, she inhabits the psyches of both men and lets the facts of their lives blur together and veer toward fantasy: There are dances in gazebos, strangely painted faces, songs about fish out of water and meditations on self-doubt. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., June 23, 7:30 p.m. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.

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