[Update: This article previously referred to the MOCA festival curated by Mike D as a fundraiser for the museum. Mercedes sponsored the exhibit, but it was not intended as a fundraiser. The item has been corrected below.]
A festival run by a rapper, a Cadillac in a gallery, a soap opera cast with women in white, “taking account of oneself” taken to its extremes: It feels like spring.
5. So what'cha what'cha what'cha want
Until May 6, the Beastie Boy's Mike D is moonlighting as a MOCA curator. He's organized a festival of audio-video art at MOCA. Backed by Mercedes Benz, the festival has no admissions charge and will, MOCA hopes, bring in several thousand visitors. The artist line-up includes Public Fiction, which is the name of the experimental space Lauren Mackler runs in Highland Park. Mackler has orchestrated her own, quirky festival-within-a-festival at the Geffen. She'll present a panel on cults, a set by electronic improvisers NGUZUNGUZU and a broadcast by homeless, artist-run radio station KChung. 152 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo; events daily through May 6. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.
4. Prince at the Forum, revisited
Last year at this time, Prince was a third of the way through his “21 Nights” at the Forum in Inglewood. He was inviting Chaka Khan or Missy Elliott onstage and doing too many encores. This year, a mile and a half from the Forum, at Inglewood's Beacon Arts Building, artists Steve Bankhead and Jesse Benson have reprised “Prince at the Forum.” Kind of. He's assembled 22 artists to fill the Beacon with works that include a fair amount of pink, some neon, some optical illusions, some awkwardness and some suaveness. There's also a champagne brunch scheduled for this Sunday. 808 N. La Brea Ave., Inglewood; through May 6; brunch Sun., April 29, 11 a.m.; free. (310) 621-5416, beaconartsbuilding.com.
3. East Village to Easy Street
Kenny Scharf has cleaned up. His name is now a brand, and his cartoonish, pop flamboyance is slicked up and immaculately produced. You'll likely miss his gritty East Village roots if you discovered him after the early '90s. His new show at Honor Fraser pits then against now. The funny wall pieces in the entryway (assembled in 1992 of plastic deodorant bottles, used toothbrushes and other colorful trash) and the “cosmic cavern” (a garish black-lit, closet-sized disco like the ones Scharf made in the 1980s) harken back. But brand-new Fiberglas cartoon characters and a custom-painted Cadillac in the biggest galleries have all the pristine polish of success. 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd.; through May 19. (310) 837-0191, honorfraser.com.
2. Soap opera modernism
Guy de Cointet, the French-born performance artist who arrived in L.A. in 1968, loved modernism and stylish women. His performance Five Sisters, the last he staged before his too-soon death in 1983, features five lady siblings dressed in white, sitting on a white bench and talking abstractly about things women in soap operas talk about — suntans, wardrobes, themselves. The savvy, ambitious Dutch collective If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want to Be Part of Your Revolution has been touring a revival of Five Sisters. It will perform at LACMA on Friday. 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; Fri., April 27, 8 p.m., free with reservation. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.
1. OCD art
Artist Karl Haendel's short-lived new show is self-involved, self-conscious, cagey, obsessive and deceptively well organized. Haendel filled the massive, dimly lit main gallery at Human Resources L.A. with slide projectors on stilts, and 35mm slideshows of thousands of images from life and work play on the walls. You see Haendel collecting wood in a backyard somewhere, Bob Dylan circa Blonde on Blonde, Baryshnikov or a collection of pencils. All the while, that rhythmic clicking from the projectors continues, making it seem Haendel has — impossibly — imposed some order on the random influences that make up a life. 410 Cottage Home St., Chinatown; through April 28. (213) 290-4752; humanresourcesla.com.