This week, a bathroom in Tokyo becomes an artist's laboratory, a manmade geyser spews in a new video and hosiery makes paintings as awkward and ambivalent as human bodies.
5. Nailing it
Chicago artist Dzine grew up in an underground nail salon. His mother, a first-generation Puerto Rican immigrant, ran it out of their living room. Last year, Dzine opened his own impromptu salons in a New York gallery, a museum and an art fair, giving manicures to art-world patrons, among them actress Tilda Swinton. Now Dzine has collaborated with other artists to document nail art. His new book, Nailed, includes images from around the world — yellow nails that curl under, nails filed into perfect points or nails weighted down by jewelry. Images from the book are on view at Subliminal Projects in Echo Park. 1331 W. Sunset Blvd.; through Oct. 6. (213) 213-0078, subliminalprojects.com.
4. Desert spam
The Fly Geyser in Nevada resulted from an accident. Well drillers hoping to turn desert into farmland hit a pocket of geothermal water in 1916. Then, in the 1960s, boiling water found a weak spot in the well's wall and began spewing up. The buildup of minerals has turned the geyser into a bulbous, bubbling thing that doesn't look natural at all. Mariah Garnett filmed it as part of her new video work, Signal. She also enlisted Craigslist actors, two of whom aspire to narrate PBS documentaries, to stand on rocks on the Paiute Indian Reservation and read from her carefully edited archive of spam emails. So you'll hear actors reciting amazing lines like “You will drill her as good as Michael Phelps swims” for a while, then you'll watch the geyser aggressively spew. Signal plays in the backroom at ltd los angeles, as part of Garnett and Anton Lieberman's show “Common Era.” 7561 W. Sunset Blvd.; through Oct. 13. (323) 378-6842, ltdlosangeles.com.
3. Tokyo nights
Regen Projects, a gallery that has been based out of leased West Hollywood buildings since 1989, opened its immaculate new space off the corner of Highland and Santa Monica last weekend. The inaugural show includes work by each artist on the gallery's roster, and half the works in the main gallery — the thin, X-shaped arc Liz Larner sculpted
from maple wood, or Willem de Rooij's real and fake flowers in a chest-high vase — feel like gifts given in honor of the new space. But John Bock's installation in a small side gallery feels different. The room's floor is covered in blankets and weird handmade artifacts, like colored cardboard goggles, and there's not much space to stand. The video that plays against the back wall, shot in Tokyo in 2011, is called Bauchhöhle bauchen, which means to “spread the abdominal cavity.” In it, Bock wanders nighttime Tokyo streets and uses the various objects you see on the floor to perform operations that don't make much sense, like a stomach-turning experiment done in a
white-walled boys bathroom. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd.; through Oct. 27.
(310) 276-5424, regenprojects.com.
2. Vindictive office supplies
Robert Cumming's large-format Polaroids at Jancar Gallery, mostly made in the late '70s, turn some household items into comedians and others into demons. Two stand-alone white poles with plugs at the end of them stick out of an outlet on a table in Two Plugs Dining….. In the photograph Censor's Paper Punch, a paper puncher that looks like an open-mouthed creature hovers next to a pornographic image it's just edited, leaving a hole where a penis used to be. 961 Chung King Road; through Oct. 6. (213) 359-2504, jancargallery.com.
1. Intimacy issues
April Street's paintings and wall-hanging sculptures, on view at Carter & Citizen, have complicated body language. Made of painted cloth and pantyhose, sometimes stretched tight over canvas, sometimes drooping or woven into ropes, they have complicated relationships to each other, too. In the painting Man has always doubled himself as a means of understanding himself, stiff hosiery that's stretched across one canvas twists out, drooping across the wall that twists up to stretch across another canvas. The two canvases feel like conjoined twins that easily could have been surgically separated but decided instead to stay attached indefinitely, until they stopped noticing the other one was even there. 2648 La Cienega Ave.; through Oct. 13. (213) 359-2504 carterandcitizen.com.