An exploration of AI-aided authorship, a poetry collection challenging itself, iconic fashion photos of the wild 90s, remembrances of occult communes past, immersive multimedia storytelling, short films by artists, theatrical sound-based documentary cinema, a queer community dance social, a hybrid NFT and papyrus personal tarot, an artist’s solemn procession and celebration of life for ICE victims, a beloved museum is ready for its post-makeover close-up, making art from your dad’s FBI file, dance-based love letter to Black women, and painters try to figure everything out.
Thursday, March 23
Ellen von Unwerth: Bombshell at Fahey/Klein Gallery. Revel in von Unwerth’s experimentations with archetypes and stereotypes that result in images that are spontaneous, playful, and alive. Her storied thirty-year career defined the aesthetic of the 90’s and 2000’s and has made her a staple of fashion photography. Crafting cinematic scenarios for her shoots, Von Unwerth’s flashy, kinky, and humorous photographs invite viewers to come along on a boisterous escapade. 148 N. La Brea, Hollywood; Opening reception: Thursday, March 23, 7-9pm; On view through April 29; free; faheykleingallery.com.
A Source Family Scrapbook Book Party and Screening at Philosophical Research Society. A special 10th anniversary screening of the The Source Family documentary and a reception in honor of the release of the new coffee table book Family: A Source Family Scrapbook (Sacred Bones/Otherworld) — an immersive view into the public and private world of the Southern California occult commune. The evening includes surprise Source Family guests, rituals, a Q&A and book-signing with Source Family archivist and author Isis Aquarian, co-author Charlie Kitchings, and film directors Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos; and a pre-event drinks and music reception. 3910 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz; Thursday, March 23, 6pm; $20; prs.org/events.html.
Ars Autopoetica at NeueHouse Venice. With GPT making headlines (and penning them too), three writers at the forefront of experimental literature discuss the poetics of AI, the power of natural language processing, and the creative prospects for human-machine co-authors. Sasha Stiles is a first-generation Kalmyk-American poet, artist, AI researcher, author, and co-founder of theVERSEverse. Allado-McDowell is a writer, speaker, musician, author, who established the Artists + Machine Intelligence program at Google AI. Damiani is a curator, writer, advisor in new media art and emerging technologies, and Executive Director of Postreality Labs. 73 Market St., Venice; Thursday, March 23, 6pm; free w/ rsvp; rsvp.neuehouse.com/arsautopoetica.
Friday, March 24
M.A. Harms: carnation, lily at Coaxial. An interactive installation that transforms Coaxial into a dingy seaside motel; pre-recorded music and videos ranging from found footage, to white-out illustrations, and stop-motion animation will bring Coaxial to life as audience members walk through the space and embody the story’s main character. Harms is a composer, performer, and instrument builder who explores the intersections between grief, gender, and sex through performance art and interdisciplinarity, imagining and creating sound using sculptural installations, found objects, electronics, mannequins, and placing equal significance on the visual experience of their work. 1815 S. Main St. downtown; Friday, March 24, 9am-6pm; Saturday-Sunday, March 25-26, 9am-9pm; free; coaxialarts.org.
Derrick C. Brown Book Release Party at Lyric Hyperion Theater. Poet Derrick C. Brown’s new release, Love Ends in a Tandem Kayak, is, “the death of Urban Outfitters poetry. It is the embrace of saying the hard thing. It is the death of stunted, academic fluffing. It is a deep dive into the battle for self-love, nude grief, and the revealed embarrassments and humor of being human. This is a weird book that purposefully jumps from humor to heartache. If you’ve got a deep wound, this book will try to hold your hand and guide you to needle and thread. It won’t be easy.” Join the author on his home turf for a signing and live show full of surprises, random friends. 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Friday, March 24, 7:30pm; $10/$23 with book; thelyrichyperion.com/tickets.
Exhalations: Films by Kalpana Subramanian at Automata. For over 20 years, Kalpana Subramanian has created a remarkable body of work spanning films, media art, children’s books, scholarship, and curatorial work. Her recent work is invested in a cinema of breath: a framework for radical cinema grounded in intersectional-feminist and decolonial thought, alternative approaches to embodiment, and what Achille Mbembe calls “the universal right to breathe.” This solo screening brings together recent and older short films from 2002 to the present day, including the entirety of her Light Mediated series. 504 Chung King Ct., Chinatown; Friday, March 24, 8pm; $12; automatala.org.
Saturday, March 25
Sam Green: 32 Sounds at the Ace Hotel Theater. Sam Green’s 32 Sounds is an immersive documentary and a profound sensory experience that explores the elemental phenomenon of sound. The film is a meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world around us. Presented in its “live cinema” form, 32 Sounds features live narration by Sam Green, accompanied by live music performed by JD Samson of Le Tigre. 32 Sounds redefines the experience of a sound bath, creating a mesmerizing and engulfing evening. 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Saturday, March 25, 8pm; $50; acehotel.com.
Justin Aversano: Smoke & Mirrors at Gabba Gallery. Smoke and Mirrors presents a timely exploration of memory, history, spiritualism and psychogeography of Aversano’s sitters with a nod to the global growing interest in technopaganism and spirituality expressed through photography. Marrying the worlds of occult and crypto, the exhibition features 78 limited edition silkscreen prints attached to NFTs that reimagine a tarot deck through the medium of photography. The 22 major arcana (gold) and 56 minor arcana (silver) portraits printed on papyrus capture Aversano’s local healers, spiritualists, creatives and family in handmade analog prints which the artist deems, “hybrid photographic neo-hieroglyphs.” 3126 Beverly Blvd., E. Hollywood; Saturday, March 25, 7-10pm; On view through April 8; free; gabbagallery.com.
Michael Hilsman: Man in Water at Various Small Fires. Hilsman works within the boundaries of classical painting to construct images populated by figures and objects that have, according to the artist, a “frayed connection to their own materiality.” Using still life, landscape and portraiture, Hilsman presents fractured narratives that incorporate dream logic and exist in an environment that is equally comical, contemplative, spiritually-charged and absurd. The recurring images in the paintings comprise a lexicon which the artist considers to be “letters in an alphabet that I myself am still trying to learn.” 812 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, March 25, 6-8pm; On view through April 29; free; vsf.la.
Ellxs | Queerchata in Community at The Mistake Room. Join us as Queerchata takes over TMR for a day of dance workshops and social dancing. Queerchata is a Latin dance organization that provides classes, teams, and events centering the trans and queer community and their friends. It is a space for movement, authenticity and exploration. Their classes and performances bring Latinx and Queer culture together to foster connection in a way that celebrates all the things that make these identities unique. This experience is part of Ellxs. Ellxs is a year-long exhibition comprising a series of experiences conceived by trans, nonbinary, gender non-conforming, and queer Latinx artists and makers. 1811 E. 20th St., downtown; Saturday, March 25, 4-9pm; wear comfy shoes; free w/ rsvp; tmr.la.
Sunday, March 26
Together In Time Celebration Weekend at the Hammer Museum. To celebrate the culmination of the Hammer’s two-decade transformation, this free, all-day event welcomes the community through the Hammer’s new main entrance and lobby featuring a large-scale artwork by Chiharu Shiota; a brand-new 5,800-square-foot gallery featuring Rita McBride’s artwork Particulates; and a new outdoor sculpture terrace featuring Sanford Biggers’ 25-foot-tall cast-bronze sculpture Oracle. Also opening is the largest presentation to date of the Hammer Contemporary Collection, filling nearly every gallery of the museum across multiple exhibitions and installations, including Together in Time: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sunday, March 26, 11am-6pm; free; hammer.ucla.edu.
Luna Anais Gallery presents Kiara Aileen Machado: Refugio en las Flores at Launch LA. Machado’s latest body of work establishes a dialogue between autobiography and a shared struggle for justice. She uses abstraction and camouflage, embedding figures within thickets of vibrantly-colored flora, with references to traditional Central American handcrafts throughout the compositions. These are woven textiles, nets, and hand-carved woodworks — muñecas quitapenas — illuminating her connection to a lineage of artistry, making, and visual culture. 170 S. La Brea, Mid-Wilshire; Opening reception: Sunday, March 26, 1-6pm; On view through May 14; free; lunaanais.com.
Debbie Allen at CAAM. Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) returns to CAAM, performing a commemorative dance presentation celebrating Nina Simone’s classic “Four Women,” which chronicles the experience of Black women from enslavement to contemporary times. See the DADA dancers interpret this pivotal work in celebration of Black women. 600 State Dr., Exposition Park; Sunday, March 26, 2pm; free; caamuseum.org.
LACE and LAND present Jackie Amézquita: Gemidos de la Tierra. Amézquita addresses the cruel and fatal reality of detainment camps that immigrants encounter upon their arrival to the U.S., creating a mobile public installation with names of immigrants that died in ICE detention centers using soil from the state where the individual died. A powerful weekend of grieving, healing, and community begins Saturday, as participants kick off a 40-mile automotive procession in DTLA that follows a route making stops at detention centers and anti-immigrant corporations across Los Angeles. On Sunday, participants will follow a further 18 miles to pro-immigrant rights and well-being organizations, concluding at MacArthur Park with a closing performance and celebration featuring Dorian Wood and Michael Corwin, and free tamales by Across Our Kitchen Tables. MacArthur Park, Sunday, March 26, 3-5pm; free; welcometolace.org.
Tuesday, March 28
Sadie Barnette at Roski Talks. Barnette’s multimedia practice illuminates her own family history as it mirrors a collective history of repression and resistance in the United States. Barnette’s adept materialization of her storied family archive from the personal to cultural and the governmental rises above a static reverence for the past; by inserting herself into the retelling, she offers a history that is alive. Her drawings, photographs, and installations collapse time and expand possibilities. Political and social structures are a jumping off point for the work, but they are not the final destination. Her use of abstraction, glitter, and the fantastical summons another dimension of human experience and imagination. Roski Graduate Building, 1262 Palmetto St., downtown; Tuesday, March 28, 7pm; free; roski.usc.edu.
Wednesday, March 29
Gajin Fujita: True Colors at L.A. Louver. A transformational new body of work by Gajin Fujita, created between 2020 and 2023, demonstrating radical technical and thematic developments in the artist’s oeuvre as he explores experimenting with shadow and line, the realm of social critique, and the incorporation of portraiture into his practice. Fujita’s distinctive combinations — Eastern and Western imagery and iconography; textual markings and graphic narrative; spray paint and gold leaf — persist and evolve, inspired by photography, memory, and the visual diaries his mother prompted him and his brothers to create while growing up. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice; Opening reception: Wednesday, March 29, 6-8pm; On view through May 6; free; lalouver.com.
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