arts calendar los angelesWomen behind the lens in new photography and radical filmmaking, performance art eliciting meaning through repetition, dance about gentle masculinity, site-specific dance in secret Venice canals, queer avatars in tech spaces, late night adventures at the museum, sisterhood in comedy, an outsider artist’s first major solar show, an art show against cancer, a benefit gala you can attend in your pajamas, opera about spiritual possession, close encounters of the butterfly kind, a wild one-man confessional stage show, how to use scent to capture history, and for International Women’s Day, a multi-part series highlighting Afghan women who use art in their struggle for freedom and equality.

women lens arts calendar

Jamie Johnson’s Growing Up Travelling at Leica Gallery

Thursday, March 2

Broad Strokes II at Leica Gallery. Four solo projects assembled in dialogue explore in different ways—from the documentary to the almost metaphysical—the dynamic portrayal of women’s lives and the power of women behind the camera. Kathryn Boyd Brolin’s The Desert is a Woman embodies the thoughtful melancholy of the arid landscape; Jamie Johnson’s Growing Up Travelling empathetically documents the culture of Irish caravan communities; Madison Krieger’s #[email protected]&*$! is a stylized portrait-exploration of 1960s exploitation films; and Lisa McCord’s Rohan Switch presents decades of photographs of her grandparents’ Arkansas farm. 8783 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood; Opening reception: Thursday, March 2, 6-8pm; On view through April 24; free;

theatre dybbuk: The Villainy You Teach

theatre dybbuk: The Villainy You Teach at LACE. The character of Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice has long been a source of debate as to its antisemitism vs empathy. At the center of this debate is a speech in which the Shylock character proclaims his humanity while defending his vengeful desires (If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?). This theatre dybbuk production unpacks this speech through heightened theatricality and repetition, in a durational drop-in performance in the library of the Philosophical Research Society, with refreshments in the courtyard. Philosophical Research Society, 3910 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz; Thursday, March 2, 7pm; $20-$35;

women lens arts calendar

Agnes Varda’s One Sings the Other Doesn’t (1977) at the Academy Museum

Enter the VardaVerse: Women’s Liberation through Film 1971-77 at the Academy Museum. Celebrating the prolific feminist filmmaker Agnès Varda—especially from 1971, when Varda joined the Manifeste des 343 French petition by women who obtained illegal abortions, through 1977, when her One Sings, The Other Doesn’t beautifully showcased an intense female friendship through the lens of the women’s movement—this series looks to radical works made by women in Belgium, Canada, Cuba, France, West Germany, Italy, Lebanon, the former People’s Republic of the Congo, and the United States to place Varda’s films in dialogue with her international contemporaries. 6067 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile: Screenings March 2-April 8; $12;

Shamel Pitts: Touch of RED at Freud Playhouse

Friday, March 3

Shamel Pitts | TRIBE: Touch of RED at Freud Playhouse. Guggenheim Fellow, performance artist, choreographer, dancer, and spoken word artist Shamel Pitts brings to the stage Touch of RED, a new evening-length performance work that consists of a duet for two men inside of a contemporary ring. The work investigates how Black men can allow themselves to soften, even under extreme pressure and heat. The confined space references a futuristic and voyeuristic gladiator entertainment site in which a heat path between the two performers builds, not out of aggression or combat, but within an enhanced electrifying effeminacy that heals. 245 Charles E. Young Dr., Westwood; Friday-Saturday, March 3-4, 8pm; $38;

Andy Warhol: from Ladies and Gentlemen, 1975 (Honor Fraser Gallery)

Make Me Feel Mighty Real: Drag/Tech and the Queer Avatar at Honor Fraser Gallery. a group exhibition surveying the conceptual and aesthetic proliferation of avatars in queer creative practices and the pervasive technological fantasies they have engendered. The exhibition features over 40 artists and chronicles seven decades of experimentation in photography, painting, film, performance, and animation to champion the tools and techniques that queer artists have pioneered to build community, cruise utopia, and enact unruly hybridity online and IRL. 2622 La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Opening reception: Friday, March 3, 6-8pm; On view through May 27; free;

Late Night at the Skirball (Photo by Timothy Norris)

Late Night with Fabric of a Nation at the Skirball. Grab a drink, dance to a live set by Dublab DJ Wadood, and check out the landmark exhibition Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories before it closes. Poets, musicians, and dancers from Get Lit and UCLA’s Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture (RAP Lab) will perform collaborative new works inside the Fabric of a Nation gallery. Together with the artworks on display, these performances probe the central questions asked in the exhibition: What is American? and Who is American? This after-hours event also features food truck fare from Dina’s Dumplings and Oaxaca on Wheels, crafting, and the opportunity to contribute your very own square to a Skirball community quilt. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Friday, March 3, 6:30-10pm; $10;

Skylight Theatre

Saturday, March 4

Erlina Ortiz: La Egoista at Skylight Theatre. Josefina is a stand-up comic on the rise who takes nothing seriously. Her younger sister Betsaida, on the other hand, takes everything seriously. When a sudden diagnosis upends Betsaida’s life, they’re thrown together to rediscover all the affection, friction, and humor that still fuels their relationship. The 2022 National Latina Playwrights Award-winner thrillingly combines stand-up and theater to explore the bonds between sisters, the cost of healthcare, and the hilariously fine line between selfish and selfless. 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave, Los Feliz; Performance March 4-April 9; $15-$31;

home LA: Venice, 2023

home LA: Venice, 2023. A site-specific interdisciplinary performance event with artists Stephanie Dai, Young Joon Kwak & Kim Ye, Emily Marchand, Jobel Medina, and Flora Wiegmann & Maya Gurantz at the long-time canal-side home of Mark Mack and Faiza Alhassoun. Venice unfolds as a melange of lite salon-style moments of dance, performance art, music, sound, drama, activism, humor, and house party vibes with artist work that responds to this family home, its modernist architecture, and the history of Abbot Kinney’s “Venice of America.” Venice canals location with ticket purchase; March 4-5, 4-6:30pm; $35;

b. Robert Moore at Thinkspace Projects

Marissa Reyes: Fighting Fickle Feelings For You; Roja: Asco; b. Robert Moore’s Out The Mud: A Black American Rite Of Passage; and F Cancer benefit at Thinkspace Projects. Moore strips away subjective assumptions, to provoke thoughtful new narratives of African and African American diaspora. Reyes examines representations of the female body to articulate sites of agency and resistance to surveillance and shame. Roja’s work asks questions with unsettling answers. F Cancer is a group exhibition benefiting the American Cancer Society, bringing some of the gallery’s most beloved artists together in honor of an irreplaceable member of the family and their current battle with the disease. 4207 W. Jefferson Blvd. West Adams; Opening reception: Saturday, March 4, 6-10pm; On view through March 25; free;

The Horse at Long Beach Opera

The Horse at Long Beach Opera. Choreographer and dancer Chris Emile offers meditative and captivating experience driven forward by a raucous, irreverent original score and soundscape by Cody Perkins and astonishing vocals by cross-genre performer Alexis Vaughn. Evoking the supernatural experience of spiritual possession, combining somatic practice with theology and research into the origins of ballet, Emile reassesses how traditional balletic training regards the role of the performer/dancer. The resulting work embodies ancestral knowledge, reverence for African religions, and the human-divine connection while reclaiming the relationship between body and spirit as all are invited to witness and experience in this shared catharsis. Rancho Los Cerritos, 4600 Virginia Rd., Long Beach; Performances March 4-5, 11-12; 7:30pm; $55-$125;

NHM Butterfly Pavilion

Sunday, March 5

Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural History Museum. Wonder takes flight as the season’s most enchanting tradition is back at NHM. Walk among hundreds of butterflies in this annual springtime exhibition featuring a spectrum of butterfly species, colorful native plants, and plenty of natural light to set off the shimmer. With lots of flight space and a variety of resting spots, come get one of the best views in Los Angeles of these amazing insects. 900 Exposition Blvd., Expo Park; March 5-August 13; $8;

LA Center of Photography (Photo by Leba Marquez)

Backyard Conversations at LA Center of Photography. LACP imagines a dynamic hub that empowers the photography community to capture, interpret, and reimagine the individual pursuits, cultural conflicts, and creative combustion that shape Los Angeles and influence the world. In that spirit, their new salon series seeks to foster conversation among professionals and audiences about the relationships between viewpoints, technologies, and histories. Tonight’s conversation features artists Ken Gonzales-Day, Jessica Bethel, and William Camargo, with LACP executive director Rotem Rozental, PhD. Private Hollywood Hills residence, address with rsvp; Sunday, March 5, 11am-1pm; $20/$10 members;

Stay Home and Read a Book

The Stay Home and Read a Book Ball at the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Everyone’s favorite annual benefit, with the most casual dress code, invites you to snuggle up in bed with a comfy classic, or visit your local park with the newest best-seller. Choose your own literary adventure wherever you are, dust off your to-read stack, and dive in. You can support the LA Public Library by donating online and sharing what you’re reading and where you’re reading it. In lieu of a step and repeat, you’re encouraged to post photos of yourselves reading, your favorite book nook, your best fuzzy slippers, or that dazzling personal charcuterie board, using the hashtag #StayHomeandRead and tagging the @LibraryFoundLA. Anytime you like on Sunday, March 5;

Scent Culture Theory 202 at Institute for Art and Olfaction

Monday, March 6

Scent Culture Theory 202: Tools for Aromatic Auto-Ethnography at the Institute for Art and Olfaction (Virtual). How does your nose help you collect data about your world? How do you record those sensations? What’s the value in recording such personal and ephemeral data? This course offers tools for applying those questions to real-world environments for data collection. IAO will explore how that data can be used and presented in both academic and artistic ways. These techniques are valuable skills for perfumers, scent artists, and academics, but most importantly, for anyone interested in exploring the world around them in new ways. Monday, March 6, 9-10:30am; $25;

Mitch Hara: Mutant Olive 2.0 (Photo by Sierra M. Scott-Malo)

Tuesday, March 7

Mutant Olive 2.0 at the Hudson Guild Theater. Writer/performer Mitch Hara returns to L.A. with a newer and even more outrageous version of his hilarious, heart-wrenching, multiple award-winning signature play. Father and son forgiveness is at the core of Hara’s manic, brave, tour-de-force performance as Adam Astra, an actor whose past seems to constantly seep into his present. Set during what turns out to be a truly cringe-worthy audition for a role in Hamilton: Unplugged, the more than a little autobiographical character relays tales of his soul-sucking childhood, monstrous substance abuse, rampant sex, crashed cars, an out of body experience, and a famous black cape—even as he tries out for his dream role. 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Tuesdays through April 11, 8pm; $20;

Shamsia Hassani at USC Visions & Voices

Wednesday, March 8

Birds of No Nation at USC Visions & Voices. A three-part series celebrating International Women’s Day, that explores the powerful role the arts and creativity play in global struggles for women’s rights. The first event presents a unique chance for students and the public to meet and create with Afghan graffiti artist and muralist Shamsia Hassani as she enacts large-scale art in an open outdoor setting at Alumni Park. An exiled art professor from the University of Kabul, Hassani is known for her depictions of Afghan women defying traditional gender roles. The second session is for USC students only; they are invited to participate in an intimate workshop led by Afghan American photographer Gazelle Samizay.

Gazelle Samizay at USC Visions & Voices

The public is invited back for the day’s culmination—a dynamic conversation at Doheny Memorial Library, featuring Hassani and Samizay with renowned journalist and human rights activist Najiba Ayubi. Their talk about art, creativity, and politics in light of women’s experiences in Afghanistan and global struggles for women’s equality and civil rights will be moderated by USC Dornsife professor of political science Eliz Sanasarian. Wednesday March 8, 12pm at Alumni Park; 7pm at Doheny Memorial Library, USC campus; free;

Birds of No Nation: Afghan Women on Art, Gender, Freedom, and Exile at USC Visions & Voices

At the Skirball: Bisa Butler: To God and Truth, 2019 (Photo credit-Museum of Fine Arts Boston)

Marissa Reyes at Thinkspace Projects

Roja at Thinkspace Projects






























































































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