This week, a new gallery debuts on Melrose, a film by and about a lover of life screens in West Adams and a light show plays out in a corner in Culver City.
5. Mind games
When artist James Turrell rented out Ocean Park's old Mendota Hotel in 1966, he famously turned the rooms into perfect, white boxes with no outside light sources. Then he started experimenting, projecting different colored lights and trying to change the way the space felt. Some of his experiments resulted in his Cross-Corner Projection series, where he would project two planes of light into a corner in such a way that it would look like there was a solid shape in the room with you, or it would look like there was an opening you could fall into. The effect would change as you moved around. Sometimes, the light seemed to be inside the room and sometimes it seemed to be shining in from some mysterious portal to the outside. One early Cross-Corner Projection, a pinkish-orange one shaped like tetrahedron, is on view now at Nye+Brown in Culver City. 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd.; through Feb. 23. (310) 559-5215, nyeplusbrown.com.
4. Hashtag worthy
Adam Mars' “Public Privates” paintings hang on Melrose in the front window of Gusford, a gallery that opened just last week. Mars attached faux bricks to wood panels, painted the bricks single colors, then spray-painted phrases across each. The words “I loved you then I googled you” are on blue, “Retardashians” on soft pink, “Re-re-re-re-re-rehab” on pastel green and “We're so dumb we don't even care” on hot pink. The pithy, flashy, half-trashiness of these paintings feels at home on that block, next door to Golden Apple Comics and across the street from Hot Wings Cafe and Anarkali, the Indian restaurant with pink neon steeples towering above its awning. 7016 Melrose Ave.; through (310) 600-7734, gusfordgallery.com.
3. Life enjoyer
Guan Rong, who calls herself an artist and “life enjoyer,” will be screening Am I Not Here?, a documentary about herself, at the Velaslavasay Panorama theater on Valentine's Day. She began the film with Singapore-based artist Mike HJ Chang, its director, in 2008, to commemorate the 10 years she had spent in the United States (she is Chinese American). She laughs throughout the trailer while defacing photographs of herself and riding a bike with a satellite dish labeled “the moon” attached to her back, making fun out of nothing and everything. The event will be followed by a Valentine's party in the theater's garden, and Guan's drawings and artist's books will be on view. 1122 W. 24th St.; Thurs., Feb. 14, 8 p.m.; $10. (213) 746-2166, panoramaonview.org.
Up next: a storefront jungle
2. Storefront jungle
Sarah Cromarty's exhibition at Anna Meliksetian/M.J. Briggs storefront gallery, called “Tyger Tyger,” is a jungle fantasy. Moss-covered trees and almost-nude figures cut out of layered cardboard extend from scraggy wood surfaces, and the figures — even when female — have long, thick beards. One falls backward toward the ground; some have body parts put together like puzzle pieces. Green strings of yarn interspersed with costume jewels and thin chains fall from wall sculptures down to the floor. 313 N. Fairfax Ave.; through Jan. 19. mjbriggs.com.
1. A park like no other
Ulu Braun's panoramic film The Park takes up one long wall of Young Projects' cavernous Pacific Design Center space. In it, you see a bright red, Olympic-size track with a fictional cityscape in the background. A gang of bikers light a bonfire beside the track, while a runner reclines in the middle of a lane, two naked women in a nearby sandpit look like they're in the middle of a porn shoot, and more, as the camera slowly gives a 360-degree view of the scene. Berlin-based Braun lifts most of his images from German television, so the figures all move back and forth, like animated gifs, only somehow more natural. The Park is just one of 15 virtuosic films included in the Young Projects show. Pacific Design Center, Space B210, 8687 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd.; through March 1; (323) 377-1102; youngprojectsgallery.com.