This week, Karl Haendel asks embarrassing questions meant for his dad, Rona Yefman champions female tattoo artists and MOCA delves back into the Occupy movement.
5. The situation
When Paul Pescador staged What Have I Done to Deserve This in Lincoln Heights a year and a half ago, visitors had to put on reflective orange and yellow construction-worker vests before they entered the space. Once inside, they would see a body lying on the floor wrapped in a polka-dot sheet and a black hairy figure in the corner. Pescador creates situations you can drop in on for however long you choose. He'll present a 10-hour retrospective of all his past situations at For Your Art's new space on Wilshire this weekend. 6020 Wilshire Blvd.; Sat., June 9, noon to 10 p.m. Foryourart.com.
4. Your body, yourself
“They say when you die, your body's going to testify against you,” Shanghai Kate Hellenbrand has said. One of the first female tattoo artist to carve out a reputation for herself, Shanghai Kate appears in Rona Yefman's video Dame of the World with her iconic three-mast ship tattooed on her arm. In another video by Yefman, young Caitlin G. tattoos herself on film — you see the ink going in and excess color wash away. Both videos show at Annie Wharton gallery in the Pacific Design Center as part of “Shellfish,” a two-person show with Yefman and Davida Nemeroff about rights of passage and taking control. 8687 Melrose Ave., #B-275; through June 29. (310) 903-9566, anniewhartonlosangeles.com.
3. Art and Occupy L.A., continued
The Occupy movement hit a vein for artists here. In October, an artists group staged an occupation of LACMA, in December debate rose up around the low pay and potential exploitation of artists employed for MOCA's annual gala and there have been talks since then about forming an L.A. artists union. Performing Activism, a discussion at MOCA among artist-activists Grant Kestner, Suzanne Lacey and Janet Owen Driggs, will trace artists' political activities from the Occupy movement back to the 1970s and ask, “What next?”250 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs., June 7, 7 p.m. (213) 621-1745, moca.org.
2. Dancing the daily news
Performance artist Simone Forti's father used to read the news religiously; after his death in the 1980s, Forti started to do the same. She found it difficult to imagine how these compact sentences on a page related to cataclysmic things happening in the world. But she could imagine phrases like “the dollar in freefall,” or “human waves,” used in reference to Iranian youth, as movements. So she started to dance the news, translating what she read into motion. This week, she will perform her News Animations at LAXART in Culver City as part of the L.A. biennial “Made in L.A.” 2640 S. La Cienega Blvd.; Tues., June 12, 7 p.m. (323) 868-5893, laxart.org.
1. What's mom like in bed?
“Did you ever cheat on mom?” “What is she like in bed?” “Why do you avoid conflict?” “Do you ever feel uncomfortable at parties?” Karl Haendel and a cast of other men direct these questions to their absent dads in Haendel's video Questions for My Father. It's on view at Susanne Vielmetter Projects, along with a host of careful graphite drawings by Haendel, of football players, Bob Dylan or tennis rackets. One wall-length drawing replicates a newspaper clipping about disabled-accessible lap dances. If you are the sum of your own interests, neuroses, fears and questions, Haendel's show, called “Informal Family Blackmail,” is a beautifully complex self-portrait. 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City; through June 28. (310) 837-2117, vielmetter.com.