Art that captures souls and art that confronts mischievous spirits, dance that undermines order, art and poetry that deconstruct U.S. nationalism, art that de-propagandizes Soviet culture, dance that activates public spaces, a free digital theater festival, a show of artistic smells based on dreams, post-pop painting explosions, and more arts to explore this week.
Thursday, November 11
SeenUNseen curated by Alison Saar at L.A. Louver. The group exhibition builds its energy around the idea of Spirit Portraiture — the belief that spirits can be captured in visual form. The advent of popular photography ushered in manipulations of image that could “capture” spirits and evoke other phenomenal presences on film. Extending this idea into the present day, the artists gathered here are believers, agitators, healers, and mediums, channeling power and narrative from history, folklore, politics, and ancestral inheritance. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice: November 11 – January 8; free; lalouver.com.
Milka Djordjevich: CORPS at REDCAT (IRL & Virtual). Exploring how labor and gender are addressed under the lens of regimented movement, the work aims to unravel and disorient the militaristic conditioning of groups “keeping together in time.” The work reveals similarities across traditional, combative, ritualistic, athletic, and folk movement forms. Over time, methodical systems of labor and cooperation rally into a procession of distorted collectivity. Moving with a steady urgency, the performers yo-yo between collapsing and rectifying, creating an ever-changing engine on a pathway to unruliness. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; in-person performances: Thursday-Saturday, November 11-13, 8:30pm; $25; on-demand stream: Saturday, November 13; $15; redcat.org.
Friday, November 12
Hank Willis Thomas: Another Justice: Divided We Stand, at Kayne Griffin. Comprising large-scale sculptures and mixed media quilted works, the exhibition of new work continues Thomas’ exploration of American iconography, color theory, and language. Thomas’ recent works investigate the fabric of our nation — literally and figuratively — through the deconstruction and reconstruction of U.S. flags and striped prison uniforms. In drawing attention to the similarities of these materials, the artist navigates the complexity of distinguishing patriotism from nationalism. 1201 S. La Brea, Hollywood; November 12 – January 8; free; kaynegriffin.com.
Jacob Jonas The Company: At Work, at the Water Garden (Outdoor). The L.A.-based dance company is acclaimed for site-specific works mixing contemporary ballet, breakdance, and acrobatic movement, and will bring its visceral storytelling dance performance to the Water Garden’s outdoor oasis, transforming it into an open-air venue over two nights to host At Work. The performance will also feature a live 17-piece orchestra music conducted and composed by Steve Hackman; and Sweetpea will offer a selection of small plates. 1620 26th St., Santa Monica; Friday-Saturday, November 12-13; 7:30pm; $50; jacobjonas.com.
RE:Encuentro 2021: National Virtual Latina/o/x Theatre Festival at Latino Theater Company (Virtual). A dynamic ten-day virtual festival filled with discussions, showcases, and reflections to hold space for actionable discussions that engage the Latina/o/x theater communities, Re-Encuentro will feature 16 virtual play performances and six public virtual panels with Latina/o/x companies across the United States with various opportunities for the community to engage with the artists. November 12-21; free; latinotheaterco.org.
Dreaming in Smell by Bernardo Fleming at the Institute for Art and Olfaction. In this first solo exhibition of Bernardo Fleming’s olfactory work, he presents a series of collaborative perfumes that interpret a number of his dreams. In a site-specific installation, the visitor must navigate and physically interact with the objects, generating an intimate connection with the dreams themselves, captured – as they are – in cotton. 932 Chung King Road., Chinatown; Opening reception: Friday, November 12, 6-8pm; free; artandolfaction.org.
Getty Theater Lab: After Iphigenia, at the Getty Villa. Ignited by Euripides’ Iphigenia plays, the acclaimed Critical Mass Performance Group presents a kaleidoscopic meditation on the theme of sacrifice. This work-in-progress mines the mysterious story of Iphigenia — a young girl sacrificed by her father, Agamemnon — in the context of our era’s personal and communal moment of calamity, loss, and transcendence. 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades; Friday, November 12, 7:30pm; Saturday, November 13, 3pm & 7:30pm; Sunday, November 14, 3pm; $7; getty.edu.
Saturday, November 13
Jen Stark: Light Spectrum at Wilding Cran. Through her continued exploration of evolution, infinity, fractals, consciousness, ecology, mimetic topography, and sacred geometries, Stark harnesses her aesthetic to transform these complex ideas into approachable and engaging works of art. Featuring new vibrant, multi-layered, psychedelic works ranging from sculpture and painting to light installation and interactive animation, Light Spectrum aims to conceptualize the mysterious visual systems of pattern, light, and color that govern our everyday lives. 1700 S. Santa Fe, downtown: November 13 – December 23; free; wildingcran.com.
Marnie Weber: Songs Forevermore, at Odd Ark LA. A special project by artist Marnie Weber, Songs Forevermore is an installation and record release exhibition of 250 hand-collaged and painted unique LP covers for the vinyl album soundtrack of Weber’s visionary feature film The Day of Forevermore. The film is a modern fairy tale in which a daughter (Colette Weber Shaw) struggles to find freedom from her imposing mother, an elderly demented witch (Marnie Weber), on the mysterious farm of Forevermore Acres — a rundown junk strewn ranch full of aged witches and misfit monsters filmed at the legendary Zorthian Ranch. For the occasion, Weber’s film The Day of Forevermore will be available online for free viewing through December 4. 7101 N. Figueroa, Highland Park; Opening reception: Saturday, November 13, 3-6pm; on view through December 6; free; oddarkla.com.
Donna Sternberg & Dancers: Art Speaks at Culver City City Hall Courtyard (Outdoor). The company known for poetic, evocative and engagingly eccentric site-specific dance performances activates the Culver City City Hall’s courtyard grounds and architecture — and especially its works of public art — in a series of outdoor vignettes and transitions through this shared civic space. Wear comfy shows, you’ll be walking along with the company. 9770 Culver Blvd, Culver City; Saturday-Sunday, November 13-14; 3pm; free; dsdancers.com.
Daniel Ingroff: Reservoir at Tyler Park Presents. Ingroff approaches image-making as the process of constructing and reconstructing narratives, experiences, memories, and dreams. His paintings often start from photographic source material, such as the artist’s personal collection of internet and iPhone images or vintage books, photographs, and magazines. There is a sense that each painting serves as a portrait of its subject, at times close friends of the artist, but also as an introspective examination of psychological or emotional states. 4043 W. Sunset Blvd.; E. Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, November 13, 5-8pm; on view through January 8; free; tylerparkpresents.com.
Olive Wood Workshop Exhibition and Auction at Luis De Jesus (IRL & Virtual). In June 2021, 400 beloved olive trees at Barnsdall Art Park were carefully pruned, and every larger piece was saved. The Barnsdall Olive Wood Workshop was established to transform those logs into original objects created by a group of renowned Los Angeles artists, designers, architects, and landscape architects. Those unique items will be displayed and sold to benefit the site and its foundational work in Los Angeles arts. Exhibition: Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, 1110 Mateo St., downtown; Opening reception: Saturday, November 13, 3-7pm; on view through December 4; after the opening, the work will be available through online auction sales; barnsdall.org/olive-wood-workshop.
Sunday, November 14
The Chanterelles Are Waning: A Vaginal Davis-style Los Angeles Bike Tour at ICA LA (Outdoor). ICA LA invites you to a bike tour of Downtown Los Angeles to discover the city through the lens and memory of artist Vaginal Davis — an iconic cultural figure whose work, rooted in performance, adopts notions of freakiness to dismantle cultural norms around gender, sexuality, and race. Davis was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently resides in Berlin, Germany. In collaboration with Davis, ICA LA will have a free ‘zine featuring several bike/walk routes accompanied by an audio playlist with recordings of the artist describing neighborhoods where she would bike, perform, and play in her years in Los Angeles. The ride is approximately 7.5 miles long with several stops. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown; Sunday, November 14, 1-4pm (ride begins at 2pm); free; bring your own bike; theicala.org.
Pop-Up Magazine at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel. Pop-Up Magazine is a live magazine, a multimedia storytelling spectacle performed onstage at grand, historic venues across North America. Contributors present unforgettable true stories with sound, illustration, animation, film, and photography all mixed together, and an original score performed onstage by our musical collaborators, Magik*Magik Orchestra. In the last 18 months, Pop-Up Magazine experimented with new experiential storytelling formats, and their long-awaited return to theaters will build on these new experiences feature stories about disguises, good questions, celebrations, awkward dates, lost memories, dance contests, therapists, apparitions, escapes and more. 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sunday, November 14, 7:30pm; $39; popupmagazine.com.
Questionable History, at the Wende Museum. What is history? What are historical facts? How do we experience our own past and the history of the world? In times of culture wars about monuments and history education, this exhibition asks questions about the character of historical knowledge and the stories we tell about the past. Facts do matter, while the ways we interpret them are often subjective and open to debate or the cause of social discord. Alongside art and artifacts from the Wende collection, this exhibition presents contemporary work that reexamines the legacy of Lenin’s image. 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City; Opening reception, performances and panels: Sunday, November 14, 10am-5pm; on view through March 20; free; wendemuseum.org.
Tuesday, November 16
Disrupt the Fowler: DEFER. (Virtual). DEFER is renowned as one of the pioneering members of the original Los Angeles graffiti scene. Though his name has become synonymous with West Coast street art, his distinct, flowing handstyle and spontaneous typographic “spiritual language” are equally grounded in fine art spaces, such as L.A. Louver, the Getty Research Institute, and LACMA. Learn more about how he built his career and what inspires his art, including Asian calligraphy, the Mexican American community of Los Angeles, and the use of stream-of-consciousness to weave deeper social and political commentaries into his work. Tuesday, November 16, 11am; free; fowler.ucla.edu.
Wednesday, November 17
The Poetics of Art and Intervention, at the Getty (Virtual). Getty curator LeRonn Brooks brings together Claudia Rankine, Monica Youn, and Jess Row to discuss the role of artists as cultural curators, and how visual art, poetry, criticism, and other forms of cultural production have the power to confront the ideological and political systems that “define” communities, national borders, and social values, and yet are still rooted in systems of bias, injustice, and race. How, for example, are contemporary writers, artists, and thinkers reimagining the relationship between the idea of art canons and “belonging,” and the reality of historical exclusion? Wednesday, November 17, 4pm; free; getty.edu.
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