A week filled with innovative, inter- and cross-disciplinary projects from artists, composers, filmmakers, modern dance companies, culture activists, progressive photographers, creative technologists, elevated design mavens, adventurous playwrights, experimental percussion, fantabulous fashions, empathetic documentary, mystical theater, classics of Pop art, and more.
Thursday, April 27
Artist Film Series: Alison O’Daniel at MOCA. A screening of The Tuba Thieves followed by a conversation with artists Alison O’Daniel and Charles Gaines. From 2011-13, tubas were stolen from 12 SoCal high schools. When reporters told the story, they focused on the thieves and asked the same questions: Who is doing this? Why? No one asked what happens when sound is stolen or lost, owned or delegated. The Tuba Thieves starts from these questions. It is a film about listening, but it is not tethered to the ear. It is a film about Deaf gain, hearing loss and the perception of sound in Los Angeles—by animals, plants and humans. 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thursday, April 27, 6pm; free; moca.org.
Emma O’Halloran’s TRADE / Mary Motorhead at REDCAT. A powerful double bill by acclaimed Irish composer Emma O’Halloran. In the compelling monodrama Mary Motorhead, a convicted murderer invites us to hear her secret history—the disappointments and betrayals that shaped her life—in the hope that it may shine some light upon the darkness of her actions. TRADE is the story of a rent boy and his closeted client in working-class Dublin, both trapped within their own lives. Meeting secretly in a cheap hotel, they wrestle with their own inner demons and their need for each other. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thursday-Saturday, April 27-29, 8pm; Sunday, April 30, 2pm; $49-$74; redcat.org.
Friday, April 28
Paul Taylor Dance Company at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. In a seminal piece of Americana, through the hit songs of the Andrews Sisters Company B juxtaposes the energy and enthusiasm of the early ‘40s with the human toll of World War II. The second piece is a world premiere by Resident Choreographer Lauren Lovette, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, set to the music of Michael Daugherty’s percussion concerto Dreamachine. Each performance concludes with German choreographer Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table; created between world wars, the work is one of the most iconic and celebrated anti-war dances of all time. 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown: Friday-Saturday, April 28-29, 7:30pm; Sunday, April 30, 2pm; $38; musiccenter.org.
Empowerment: Corita + Dolores at Lankershim Arts Center. DCA celebrates female ingenuity and creativity through its annual Empowerment event. Corita Kent was an American artist, designer, and educator, as well as a religious sister. Her vibrant serigraphs reflected her concerns about poverty, racism, and war, and her messages of peace and social justice continue to resonate with audiences today. Co-founder of the United Farm Workers Association, Dolores Huerta is one of the most influential labor activists of the 20th century and a leader of the Chicano civil rights movement. This event includes performing arts presentations, film screenings, and panel discussions. 5108 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hollywood; Friday, April 28, 6:30pm; Saturday-Sunday, April 29-30, 9am; free; culturela.org.
WITNESS at WACO Theater Center Gallery. In partnership with Good Mirrors and Black Women Photographers, and co-curated by Tina Knowles Lawson and Genel Ambrose, WITNESS is a visual art experience featuring work by Los Angeles-based Black women and non-binary artists who project their vision of the world, society, community, and themselves through their art. Featuring installations, portraiture, and intimately captured moving and still images across mediums, this exhibition explores the intersectional vantage point of the Black femme-identifying artist—inviting the viewer to bear witness to what they may not otherwise see on their own. 5114 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hollywood; On view through May 27; Friday-Sunday, noon-6pm; free; wacotheatercenter.com.
CultureHub presents Re-Fest at Hot Shot Muffler. An annual festival that brings artists, activists, and technologists together to explore our role in re-shaping the future. The theme for 2023 is Re-New, which critically examines our culture’s obsession with newness, reframing our relationship to creation and progress. How can we prioritize ancestral knowledge and forgotten technologies in order to renew our relationship with creation and innovation? Opening night features a group exhibition, live dance, music, and sound performances, film; and the weekend proceeds with stimulating conversations and webcast exchanges with the simultaneous New York iteration of the festival. The virtual art gallery is already open. 5507 York Blvd., Highland Park; Friday, April 28, 6-9pm; Saturday, April 29, 1-9pm; free; culturehub.org.
Saturday, April 29
Dawoud Bey: Pictures: 1976-2019 at Sean Kelly Gallery. The acclaimed artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles surveys five decades of work through the lens of five iconic series—Harlem, U.S.A. (1975-1979), Street Portraits (1988-1991), Harlem Redux (2014–2017), Night Coming Tenderly, Black (2017), and In This Here Place (2019). This presentation illuminates Bey’s foundational importance to the development of photography as fine art, historical documentation, and social practice in the United States. The exhibition coincides with Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue, on view now at the Getty Center. 1357 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, April 29, 5-7pm, conversation with Hamza Walker at 6pm; On view through June 30; free; skny.com.
Misha Kahn: Staged at Friedman Benda. Kahn’s wildly imaginative approach embraces spontaneity and non-conformity, allowing the illogical and irreverent to take over his process. He employs an entire spectrum from lo-fi and ad hoc techniques, improvisational molds and collage, to virtual reality. Unafraid to push boundaries, Kahn is driven to self-invent, adapt, and further processes in myriad mediums including metalwork, glass, wood, textiles, ceramic, casting, fiberglass, resin, and cement. The results blur all manner of boundaries—not least between art and design. 8260 Marmont Ln., West Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, April 29, 2-5pm; On view through June 2; free; friedmanbenda.com.
Autumn Breon: Protective Style at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles. Interdisciplinary, crossplatform performance artist Autumn Breon investigates the visual vocabulary of liberation through a queer Black feminist lens. presented as part of the gallery’s Performance Project, the work is inspired by the long history of community organizing and mobilizing within Black hair salons, Protective Style is a new performance by Los Angeles-based artist Autumn Breon that will seek to monumentalize the beauty salon as a sanctuary for Black women’s freedom. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown; Saturday, April 29, 7pm; free w/rsvp; hauserwirth.com.
19th Annual New Play Reading Festival at Boston Court Theater. Free readings of three exciting new works-in-progress. The Body’s Midnight by Tira Palmquist, directed by Jessica Kubzansky: Determined to put a troubling diagnosis in the rearview mirror, Anne and her husband David embark on the perfect American road trip, only to come to terms with the unexpected and unavoidable journey of their lives. Obscura By Austin Owens Kelly, directed by Michael Michetti: Finch Montgomery’s photography exhibition began as a series of photos capturing a week-long family gathering at their childhood home in Elmhurst, Illinois. In the midst of shooting this series, their father took his own life. Here is where by vasanti saxena, directed by Katherine Chou: In the aftermath of 9/11, two sisters receive an unexpected package that brings them to the intersection of their uncertain present and their grandmother’s past in wartime Nanjing. 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Saturday-Sunday, April 29-30; free w/rsvp; bostoncourtpasadena.org.
Sunday, April 30
DesoDuo: Trails and Topographies at Automata. Automata’s Tapetail series welcomes contemporary percussion duet DesoDuo for Trails and Typographies. Based in Southern California, DesoDuo’s practice centers on “the unearthing of practices and resonances into handcrafted performances.” DesoDuo has a wide variety of projects including compositions of their own, commissions of contemporary composers, such as Laura Steenberge and Gillian Perry, as well as improvisational music co-created together. Their newest project combines two individual practices that each member does in their solo work and creates a new cooperative and coexisting score and performance. 504 Chung King Ct., Chinatown; Sunday, April 30, 7pm; $18; automatala.org.
Smorgasburg Art Fair at ROW DTLA. Curated by Art Share L.A. and Shadow Box Gallery, enjoy artisan vendors all day long, including ceramicists, painters, woodworkers and more, amid the food-based bounty of the open-air setting. Performances and live painting by: Ella Beyer, Runson Willis the Third, James Russell ft Via Diocares & Deliberated, Hendy Foote & Thee Rockafarians, Vyal One, and Asylm. 777 S. Alameda St., downtown; Sunday, April 30, 10am-4pm; free; artsharela.org.
Tuesday, May 2
Tim Walker: Wonderful Things at the Getty Center. Journey into the fantastical worlds created by internationally acclaimed fashion photographer Tim Walker. The exhibition pays tribute to Walker’s distinctive contribution to image-making while also highlighting the work of his creative collaborators: set designers, stylists, makeup artists, models, and muses. At the heart of the show is a new series of photographs directly influenced by his research into the collections of the Getty Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London. A free opening day conversation between the artist, curator Susanna Brown, and fashion editor Sara Moonves examines Walker’s fascinating images, in person and online, Tuesday, May 2, 7pm. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; On view through August 20; free; getty.edu.
Pop Up Magazine: One More Time at the Theater at Ace Hotel. Imagine a comedy show, podcast, play, concert, and film—all wrapped into one night. In this impressive multimedia experience, renowned and emerging filmmakers, podcast producers, writers, artists, and more present true stories about the world around us. Featuring illustration, sound, animation, photography, film, and an original score performed live by our musical collaborators Magik*Magik Orchestra. This will be the series’ final show, featuring some of our favorite stories from over the years on their bittersweet farewell tour. 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Tuesday, May 2, 7:30pm; $39-$59; popupmagazine.com.
Peter Wohlleben in conversation with Sandra Tsing Loh at ALOUD. In 2016, The Hidden Life of Trees began the conversation that trees can communicate with each other. Wohlleben’s best-selling book changed the way we looked at ourselves and our environment. Now, after eight years, he follows up his groundbreaking work with The Power of Trees: How Ancient Forests Can Save Us, if We Let Them. This time, Wohlleben delves even further into the life of trees describing how they pass knowledge to succeeding generations while also discussing their ability to survive climate change. The Power of Trees is a love letter to the forest and a passionate argument for protecting nature’s boundless diversity, not only for the trees, but also for us. Central Library, 630 W. 5th St., downtown; Tuesday, May 2, 7pm; free; lfla.org.
Wednesday, May 3
Organización Secreta Teatro: Pueblo Espiritu at Latino Theater Company. A collective creation from Organización Secreta Teatro with direction and original idea by Rocío Carrillo offer an emotional experience in a powerful, dialogue-free performance by Organización Secreta Teatro. Five strangers flee from the Covid pandemic and government restrictions, finding themselves in a forest heath. Exhausted and fearful, they must confront their mistrust and potential sickness while reimagining the world based on survival. 514 S. Spring St., downtown; Performances May 3-7; $48; latinotheaterco.org.
Tom Wesselmann: Intimate Spaces at Gagosian Gallery. A defining artist of U.S. Pop art, Wesselmann produced innovative mixed-media paintings that brought the energy of commercial culture to still lifes, interiors, landscapes, and nudes. The exhibition concentrates on the artist’s primary subject, the female nude, with key works from Great American Nudes (1961-73) and subsequent series. Inspired by Henri Matisse’s odalisques, Wesselmann employed a saturated palette, clearly defined contours, and interlocking positive and negative shapes. The paintings are set in domestic interiors and often incorporate collage and assemblage elements, appearing highly contemporary in their provocative discontinuities of style. Wesselmann’s nudes became icons of the 1960s sexual revolution. 456 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills; Opening reception: Wednesday, May 3, 6-8pm; On view through June 16; free; gagosian.com.
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