This week’s arts calendar features so many art talks it’s like a symposium, plus live and streaming theater, sound baths and art-based self-care, avant-garde DIY artist-made short films, a pioneer of pre-post-digital art, fairytale lights in the forest, and violins that survived the unimaginable but still play the sweetest music.
Thursday, November 18
Catfish Dreamin’ Artist Talk with Neelanjana Banerjee and Kate Lain at the Armory (Virtual). A presentation and conversation between author Neelanjana Banerjee and filmmaker Kate Lain. The artists will discuss their individual practices and their respective contributions to the online program connected to Alison Saar’s Catfish Dreamin’, currently on view in the Armory’s front garden. Thursday, November 18, 6pm; free; armoryarts.org.
Journey and Sacred Site: Buddhism and Beyond with Dr. Adriana Proser at Bridge Projects (Virtual). As part of the programming around the gallery’s current exhibition We Are All Guests Here, this lecture explores how in Buddhism, as in many religions, pilgrimage to a sacred site has special significance. Sites linked to the life and experiences of the Buddha are especially meaningful, but others that historically hold import for Hindus and Jains are sometimes shared by Buddhists. The sacred journey has long provided important fodder for both Asian artists and this talk uses visually stunning and diverse works to illustrate the practice of Pilgrimage in Asia. Adriana Proser is Mr. and Mrs. John Quincy Scott Curator of Asian Art at the Walters Art Museum. Thursday, November 18, 6pm; free; bridgeprojects.com.
Roger Guenveur Smith: Otto Frank at Temple Israel of Hollywood (Live & Virtual). Roger Guenveur Smith’s solo performance of Otto Frank, inspired by the father of diarist Anne Frank, is the latest in a remarkable body of work for stage and screen from the award-winning actor, writer, and director. In the tradition of his Rodney King (Netflix), Smith’s Otto Frank mines the man beneath the myth to create an intimate meditation on our present moment through a rigorous examination of the not-so-distant past. 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; also streaming; Thursday, November 18, 7:30pm; donation; arts.tioh.org.
Friday, November 19
tend to care & open dialogue facilitated by Lani Trock and Summer Bowie at Philosophical Research Society. A durational performance, occurring throughout Trock’s current PRS exhibition, during which the installation will evolve and shift shape as a living, breathing, ever-blossoming garden & sanctuary, mirroring the mycelial networks of web3. on 11.19.21, Lani Trock will engage with this process as a public performance co-facilitated by Summer Bowie & Tulpa, followed by open dialogue, a safe space to discuss and share our somatic, spiritual and philosophical experiences, through meaningful conversations together in community. 3910 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz; Friday, November 19, 3pm; free; eventbrite.com.
Text Love a Muse at 2220 Arts + Archives. A night of short films curated by Mathew Timmons of Insert Blanc Press, featuring a selection of short films by filmmakers and artists, many working in a DIY context, including Jay Erker, Ben Rodkin, Erica Ryan Stallones, Asher Hartman, Daniel Newman, Julie Orser and Mathew Timmons, followed by a reception and a live set from DJ Kind. Grunts and groans, nonsensical chanting and paralanguage, or simple words read off a teleprompter directly to camera — we give meaning to the text and the text gives meaning to us. We breathe in and exhale the joyful noise of ongoing production, the fiddling and tweaking of an ephemeral presence that is intimated yet eludes resolution. 2220 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park, Friday, November 19, 8pm; free; insertblancpress.net.
Saturday, November 20
The Un-Private Collection: Nathaniel Mary Quinn and Arthur Lewis at The Broad. In conjunction with Since Unveiling: Selected Acquisitions of a Decade, The Broad presents a conversation with Broad collection artist Nathaniel Mary Quinn and Arthur Lewis, Partner and Creative Director of UTA Fine Arts and UTA Artist Space. In Quinn’s art, he collects materials from many sources—the internet, magazines, and old family albums—to create abstracted faces of those he has lost. The resulting works of charcoal, gouache, and pastel resemble collage but are rendered by hand. Quinn’s Pure Insecurity (2019) and C’mo’ And Walk With Me (2019), recently acquired by the museum, are featured in Since Unveiling: Selected Acquisitions of a Decade, a new collection exhibition opening today. Oculus Hall at the Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Saturday, November 20, 2pm; $15; thebroad.org.
Lee Mullican: Computer Joy at Marc Selwyn Fine Art. A groundbreaking exhibition of paintings and computer-generated works by Lee Mullican (1919-1998). Projections of Mullican’s digital works will be displayed in their native digital format for the first time alongside a selection of the artist’s paintings from 1966-1985. By pairing Mullican’s digital works with his canvases, Computer Joy explores the links among Mullican’s innovations in mid-century painting, his computer based inventions of the 1980s, and developments in 21st century digital technology. 9953 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; November 20 – January 8; free; marcselwynfineart.com.
Benjamin Styer: Crystal Piano Rain at Moskowtiz Bayse. Informed by dreams and passing visions, misremembered art historical moments, misheard musical fragments, and a pervasive sense of improvisational discovery, Benjamin Styer’s recent paintings expand and deepen the artist’s universe. Working for the past several years in a variety of visual modes and media, all bound to an ever-evolving mythology. History serves as a source signal for Styer, a devourer of images, folk traditions, and visual tropes; he becomes an interpreter of individual and collective memory, and the uneven terrain connecting the two. 743 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, November 20, 6-9pm; on view through December 23; free; moskowitzbayse.com.
Sunday, November 21
Enchanted Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens (Outdoor). Enchanted Forest of Light is an interactive, nighttime experience unlike anything else in Los Angeles, featuring a one-mile walk through unique lighting experiences in some of the most beloved areas of Descanso Gardens. New this year will be an entire town of magical stained glass creations built in the Rose Garden by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin. Popular returning favorites returning include sparkling, swirling installations from HYBYCOZO on the Main Lawn, Flower Power on the Promenade and exquisite lighting effects in the Ancient Forest. 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge; November 21 – January 9; 5:30–10pm; $25-35; descansogardens.org.
Violins of Hope at the Holocaust Museum. An exhibit featuring restored instruments that survived the Holocaust, and were returned to music by renowned Tel Aviv violinmakers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein. Each possessing a unique story of survival, these instruments represent the vanished communities lost in the Holocaust, standing as a poignant reminder of the vibrant culture that once existed. A stirring testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of music, Violins of Hope is a collection of instruments that tell remarkable stories of the defiance, resilience, and legacy of Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. The opening will feature live music performed on one of these unique instruments and a historical presentation. 100 The Grove Dr.; Fairfax district; Opening reception: Sunday, November 21, 2pm; on view through January 8; free; holocaustmuseumla.org.