This week, one artist dresses as a clown and another shows that sloppiness can happily coexist with polish.
Twice each year, the MAK Center hosts young artists from outside the United States, giving them an apartment they can stay in for three months while working on a project based on Los Angeles. The spring-summer residency just ended and Copenhagen-based Maria von Hausswolff is showing the four-minute film noir she made. It delves into suicide, scandal, murder and romance. Vienna-based Björn Kämmerer made a 16mm film inspired by the "bad guy" targets used for shooting practice. 1137 S. Cochran Ave., Mid-Wilshire; Opening Thurs., Sept. 4, 7-9 p.m.; on view through Sept. 7. (323) 651-1510, makcenter.org.
4. Comedy on the cheap
"Television history" will be made again, Machine Project is saying about its 11.5-minute "pay-per-view stand-up special" that airs on its website Sunday. But I think that's a joke. Amateur comedians Claire Titelman, who joked about current affairs on Chelsea Lately last year, and Cliff Hengst, who once impersonated Whitney Houston, are performing. Watching costs 25 cents. 1200-D N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Sun., Aug. 31, 8 p.m. (213) 483-8761, machineproject.com.
3. Messy and clean
Images repeat in Liz Walsh's show "Shadow Force," up now at the newly opened, artist-run Last Projects. You see the same weird, ghostly psychedelic group in the print on the far wall and in the game-like, animated video playing in the monitor above the little table that holds the press release. You see the same patterns on the monitor as you do in the yarn samplers Walsh has hung on the wall. But there's no consistency in the polish. Sometimes, images and patterns are crisp; sometimes they're slapdash. It's as if Walsh is willing to be slick when the urge hits, and sloppy when she just doesn't feel like caring or overworking. 6546 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 215, Hlywd.; through Sept. 11. (323) 356-4225, lastprojects.org.
2. Clowning around
Most of the performances taking place during "Putilandia," a one-night event at Human Resources, have fantastically catchy titles. Sexuality-probing performer and painter Sofia Moreno's Kake, Kake, Kake compares the way food is fetishized to the way trans bodies are fetishized. Marcel Alcala's Marcel as Clown involves Alcala, dressed as a clown, posing for photographs and causing a scene with another performer, also dressed as a clown. 410 Cottage Home St., Elysian Park; Wednesday, Sept. 3, 8:30 p.m. (213) 290-4752, humanresourcesla.com.
1. Softening the anarchist
The David Smith exhibition that LACMA put on in 2011 was full of competent metal sculptures, made by the sculptor from the 1940s to the 1960s. It was called "Cubes and Anarchy," a very macho, modernist title. L.A. artist Evan Holloway, who's poked at the over-confident grandeur of modernists before, took a notebook with him to Smith's show. He sketched Smith's sculptures from the side; seen from this angle, they lose their boldness. Now, suddenly, they're compelling because they're wispy, delicate and sweet. Holloway's drawings are part of the Armory Center for the Arts' current show, "The Fifth Wall." 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; through Dec. 14. (626) 792-5101; armoryarts.org.
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