A weekend of conversations, exhibitions, audio experiences and dance-based performances that all center around ideas of mindful engagement with nature, the built environment, social responsibility, and our all-too-human ideas of heaven.
Thursday, February 18
Ellen Reid: SOUNDWALK. A free, GPS-enabled work of public art that uses music featuring Kronos Quartet to illuminate the natural environment of L.A.’s Griffith Park. The experience is guided by the listener: the path you choose dictates the music you hear, and no two visits will be exactly the same. After downloading the free app, enabling location services, and putting on your headphones, you can explore the park, triggering musical cells that are carefully crafted to harmonize with the park’s landscape and attractions. Self-guided through Griffith Park; beginning February 18; free; ellenreidsoundwalk.com.
Conversation: Antwaun Sargent on Black Queer Utopia. Aperture presents writer Antwaun Sargent and artists Shikeith and Naima Green, as they discuss the ways Black queer artists are redefining the notion of utopia. As Sargent explains in his essay “The Future Will See You Now,” Black queer artists are using photography in defiance of the “straight imagination,” and in doing so, creating their own narratives of desire and relief. Thursday, February 18, 4pm PT; free; aperture.org.
Discussion: Lorcan O’Herlihy + Frances Anderton discuss Architecture Is a Social Act. A livestream about the LOHA architecture firm’s latest monograph. The pair will talk about Lorcan’s work, and how he navigates tight budgets and stakeholder needs to integrate common space. He will also share insights into 410 Rossmore, his latest Los Angeles project, where he will add five new floors of co-living space to the 90-year-old apartment building in Hancock Park. Thursday, February 18, 6:30pm; free; helmsbakerydistrict.com.
Friday, February 19
Ballet: Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet. This passionate and contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic story of love and conflict is set in the not-too-distant future in “The Verona Institute.” Here “difficult” young people are mysteriously confined by a society that seeks to divide and crush their youthful spirit and individuality. The two young lovers must follow their hearts as they risk everything to be together. Filmed live at Sadler’s Wells in London especially for cinemas/streaming. Available on demand: Friday, February 19 at 5pm PT through Sunday, February 21 at 8:59pm PT; $10; kennedy-center.org.
Exhibition: Carolina Caycedo: Care Report at Oxy Arts. Care Report celebrates the expansive and often invisible power of physical, political, and domestic labor performed by womxn. The exhibition is comprised of a large scale collage of historical and recent documentation of global feminist-led environmental movements in conversation with Caycedo’s hand-labored sculpture Milk, a series of banners bearing political and spiritual statements, and the temporary mural In Yarrow We Trust portraying the powerful, healing yarrow plant. Oxy Arts, 4757 York Blvd., NELA; Opening reception and artist talk (virtual): Friday, February 19, 5pm; on view through Sunday, April 4; virtual events programming throughout the exhibition; free; oxy.edu.
Website launch: Truth in Photography. An open-ended forum for active dialogue and discussion about photography and social change, exploring issues vital to truth in image-making that are crucial to our understanding of the world today, this interactive project questions the notion of singular truth in photography by presenting multiple points of view, featuring diverse curators, photographers, critics, and historians, and integrating vernacular photography, photojournalism, and fine art. An important component of the project is the ability for visitors to upload their own photos to the website through the website’s Share Your Truth page. Continuing the work of Documentary Arts to present essential perspectives on historical issues and contemporary life, this project is undertaken in collaboration with Magnum Photos, Aperture Foundation, and International Center of Photography. Website launches February 19, 6am PT; truthinphotography.org.
Saturday, February 20
Exhibition: PRIMA-VERA at Baxter-Hodiak House. On the cusp of spring, at the end of a seemingly endless dark tunnel, PRIMA-VERA brings together the work of international artists in an exuberant, design-friendly group exhibition at the historic Baxter-Hodiak House. First restored by Lloyd Wright and later, in 1950, by John Lautner for the actress Anne Baxter, Frank Lloyd Wright’s granddaughter, the house is a sculptural treasure in its own right, especially with this exhibition activating its most charismatic architectural attributes. Baxter-Hodiak House, 8650 Pine Tree Place, West Hollywood; opening reception: Saturday, February 20, 2-8pm; on view by appointment through February 28; free; amorservices.com/primavera.
Panel Discussion: Manufacturing Nature. A conversation exploring artists’ connection with nature, flora, or fauna by using found materials, abstracted printing processes, documentation, and illustration, as Nature is re-printed and re-grown through their work. The pandemic has changed access to nature and the landscape. These artists explore their connection with nature, flora, or fauna by using found materials, abstracted printing processes, documentation, and illustration. Nature is re-printed and re-grown through their work. LA Art Core; Saturday, February 20, 3-5pm; free; facebook.com/la.artcore/events.
Exhibition: Vanessa Prager: Static, at Diane Rosenstein Gallery. Prager’s new paintings pack a sensory and emotional impact, redefining perception in a high-def world. Her impasto pieces resist the quick take and allow us to discover the hidden treasure of the work itself. In this time of pandemic, when screens dominate as a means to work, play, connect and exist, Prager is the analog compass directing us back to the tangible. With big, heavy, drippy canvases and what can only be referred to as extreme painting, Prager rejects artificial crispness and reminds us how an abstract work can help us locate feelings. Diane Rosenstein, 831 N. Highland, Hollywood; on view by appointment, February 20 – April 10; dianerosenstein.com.
Sunday, February 21
Conversation: Ai Weiwei at the Skirball. Presented in association with the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Trace, in this rare speaking engagement, celebrated visual artist, filmmaker, and political activist Ai Weiwei explores his vast body of work in the context of social justice. In this virtual conversation with Skirball curator Yael Lipschutz, Ai discusses how he views the interconnectivity of human suffering as stemming from cultural and economic systems that value profit rather than human life. Yet Ai Weiwei, in his own words, reminds us that although the world’s problems are deep and complex, “we hope for the better.” Sunday, February 21, 11am; free; available to view on the Skirball’s YouTube following the premiere; skirball.org.
Dance: Ligia Lewis: deader than dead at The Hammer. In her practice Lewis takes on a variety of roles — choreographer, director, dancer, performer — staging her work in different types of venues, including theaters, galleries, and museums. She carefully considers how the site of presentation shapes the experience of her work, how a body is ultimately seen. Each of her pieces explores genre through different forms of physical expression and a rotating cast of performers. Though Lewis focuses primarily on the point of friction between tragedy and comedy, melodrama and stasis, her work vacillates between the familiar and the unfamiliar.
With rigor and detail, she utilizes the entire figure of the body as a space to develop expressive concepts. This piece is a reconfigured version of what she had planned to execute in the museums’ spaces during the pandemic-postponed Made in L.A. 2020, now presented instead as a spliced, multi-channel video. This afternoon, movement artist and scholar Mlondi Zondi joins Lewis in conversation, followed by a screening of deader than dead. Sunday, February 21, 1pm; free; hammer.ucla.edu.
Virtual Exhibition: A+D Awards 2020. The A+D Design Awards came about as a means of providing a platform for excellence across architecture and design disciplines. Categories like: Desk, Street, Body, Wall, Floor or Ceiling, Paper, Screen, School, Bigger than a Model, and Bigger than a Street give a sense of the breadth of the winning ideas and seductive prototypes. For example, the On The Street category was open to any type of work experienced on the street, this ranged from fashion, skateboards, cars, vehicles and transportation, to street art, etc. An innovative and scrumptiously designed three-pod VR portal (available by appointment for VR tours) is hosted at a supplemental website contextualizes wherein “installations” of the projects and related media in three distinct environments, from the hypnotic to the quirky and surreal, reside with the stylistic flair you’d expect from a design experience. Now live at awards.aplusd.org.
Exhibition: Nature/Supernature at Japan House. The Japanese have long revered their natural landscape, celebrating its bounty and the beauty of the changing seasons in art, literature, travel and annual festivities. The power of nature has also been a central focus in Japanese culture, rooted in the belief that supernatural forces and beings are at work in all aspects of the natural realm. An appreciation of the natural landscape features prominently in the woodblock prints of the Edo (1603-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) periods. By the 19th century, many prints featured views of people interacting with the natural landscape, such as picnics under cherry blossoms or moon-viewing gatherings. Views of regional beauty spots and famous temples and shrines encouraged people to travel – or at least to dream of travel. This exhibition of over 60 Japanese prints from the Scripps College collection features works by some of Japan’s finest artists, like Hokusai and Hiroshige. Online through May 31, events and programming throughout, including a curator’s talk on Monday, February 22; japanhousela.com.