This week, a temporary exhibition takes over Mount Wilson Observatory, an artist reflects on Hurricane Katrina and LACMA's Levitated Mass finally opens to the public.
5. The artist and the hurricane
“It is important you trust me enough to follow my thoughts but mistrust me enough to question them,” said artist Ashley Hunt when he performed Notes on the Emptying of a City in 2010. In Notes, Hunt narrates his experience of filming New Orleans as it dried up. He reflects on what justice, vulnerability, witnessing and “having a voice” mean, and the voices of those he filmed, shown on a screen beside him, interject into his monologue. He will perform Notes at the L.A. Municipal Gallery as part of “Made in L.A. 2012.” 4800 Hollywood Blvd.; Thurs., June 21, 7 p.m. (323) 660-4254, madeinla2012.org.
4. Déjà vu
For her exhibition “Correspondences” at Ambach & Rice gallery, German artist Martina Sauter photographed movies playing on her television set, focusing on obscure passing moments. Then she combined these rephotographed stills with images from her own life — a plant in her apartment, a door handle, a weather-worn wall. Looking at the pairings, you get that vague feeling of recognition, the kind you might get after glimpsing a minor celebrity at a coffee shop and trying hard to remember where you've seen her before. 6148 Wilshire Blvd.; through July 7. (323) 965-5500, ambachandrice.com.
3. Legos and accidents
Michael Wilkinson hung a scrawny copper ribbon from the ceiling for his new show at Culver City's Blum & Poe gallery. Because it's next to an 8-foot column of felt and a daunting black block that looks like a war monument made of Legos (it is made of Legos), the copper seems like an accident. It's not. Nor is the black splotch on the left breast pocket of a linen shirt that hangs on the closest wall. The tag inside that shirt says “No History,” and while Wilkinson's show overflows with historical references, most of them feel like deeply mysterious accidents posing as artifacts. 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd.; through July 7. 310-836-2062, blumandpoe.com.
2. The LACMA Rock debuts
The 340-ton rock set to be the centerpiece of Michael Heizer's public sculpture Levitated Mass rolled onto LACMA's campus March 11. Every day since, people have stopped to peek through the slits in the fence surrounding it. Last week, I saw a man watching the rock through binoculars. Finally, this Sunday, the fence will be gone, the rock will be secure above its concrete trench, and you will be able to walk down below it and see if the mass of granite really does appear to “levitate” above you. 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; Sunday, June 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.
1. An otherworldly science fair
“I believe the people of the other world have glasses they can see you with,” wrote a certain Mrs. Williams in a letter to scientists at the Mount Wilson Observatory. Her letter and others sent to Mount Wilson from the 1910s to 1930s by people eager to share otherworldly knowledge are housed at the Museum of Jurassic Technology. The MJT, along with more than 30 other organizations and artists, will participate in a two-day exhibition at the Observatory this weekend. Called “The Knowledges” and organized by artists Christina Ondrus and Elleni Sclavenitis, it should be like an exceptionally inventive science fair, with performances, an astrological orchestra and a Saturday night viewing inside the Hale telescope. Holladay Road, Pasadena; Sat., June 23, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., June 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. email@example.com, theknowledges.org.