From a virtual designer toy shop-a-thon, speculative monument redesign, new films from Yemen, an opera based on a cult film, shape-shifting architectural paintings, a micro-festival of interdisciplinary performance art, a new dance commission on liminal space, and more — here are the best at-home and by appointment cultural events this weekend.
Friday, March 19
Artist Talk: Sandow Birk. A Zoom conversation with artist Sandow Birk, master printer Paul Mullowney, and gallerist Catharine Clark as they discuss their collaborative work on Birk’s Imaginary Monuments (2007–ongoing) series of drawings and etchings. Imaginary Monuments depicts historical texts housed within proposed monuments that honor or enshrine the text’s topic, conveying in words and images the complex and sometime conflicting histories and opinions behind subjects such as the judicial system, incarceration, economics, capitalism, trade, immigration, slavery, freedom of speech, treaties, governance, social justice, and civil rights. If you’re in SF, Imaginary Monuments is on view at the Minnesota Street Project Atrium through March 27. Friday, March 19, 1-2pm; free; minnesotastreetprojectadjacent.com.
#DKECon at DKE Toys on Zoom. DKE Toys is having their first annual live virtual event this weekend. The DKE Toys booth will be set up in the warehouse and available to all via a live continuous Zoom webinar style meeting throughout the weekend, while the online store remains open 24/7 for the duration of the show. Programming will include surprise releases, artist interviews, artist studio tours, giveaways, special guests, contests and more. Friday, March 19, noon-8pm; Saturday, March 20, 10am-7pm; Sunday, March 21, 10am-7pm; free; dketoys.com/dkecon.htm.
Yemeni Filmmakers at the Benton Museum. March 19 marks the seventh year of the war in Yemen, a date commemorated in this special screening of short films by seven Yemeni filmmakers. This screening begins with the premiere of the videos Conflict Is More Profitable Than Peace and مهجر // Mahjar by the Yemeni-Bosnian multimedia artist and filmmaker Alia Ali. Ali, currently featured in the Benton Museum of Art’s Project Series, will then discuss her work—and discourses of Yemeni futurism—with Dave Serio, the film curator at the Arab American National Museum. Friday, March 19, at 4:30 pm; after the openeing night event, six further films will be available for viewing for 48 hours on the same platform; pomona.edu/museum.
Breaking the Waves at L.A. Opera. Missy Mazzoli’s compelling adaptation of Lars Von Trierʼs 1996 cinematic masterpiece reaches new audiences through an emotional filmed performance. Winner of the 2017 award for “Best New Opera” by the Music Critics Association of North America, Mazzoli’s first large-scale opera is already recognized as one of the most powerful music-theater pieces of our time. On demand March 19 – April 12; free; laopera.org.
Saturday, March 20
Ray Beldner: Pretty How Town and Mela M.: A Discrete Prismatic Array of Color on Cathedral Satellite Beacon # 7 at LAUNCH. With an affinity for scale, color, and texture, each artist makes uniquely colorful, phantasmagoric wood sculptures inspired by the art and architectural forms they see around them. Each of them posits idealized worlds and possibilities and taps into the deeper archetypal and existential drives that have always inspired the artist, as well as the scientist, to go further into the exploration of our world and the cosmos. LAUNCH L.A., 170 S. La Brea, Mid-Wilshire; opening reception, Saturday, March 20, 1-7pm; on view through April 17; launchla.org.
Performance Art: EVERYONE WAS INVITED: The Hyphenate Art and Life of Kate Johnson at 18th Street Arts Center. At the start of spring on March 20, 2021, and for the one-year anniversary of Johnson’s passing, join an online experience of performances, memories and interaction in her honor. Johnson was the host of 20 years of in-person experiences, she loved to stage parties, melding together the salon with the need for mutual understanding. Everyone was invited. She was, at her core, a uniquely 21st century arts-based practitioner. Now dozens of interdisciplinary artists come together to manifest Johnson’s legacy. Saturday, March 20, 5pm; free; 18thstreet.org.
Shattered Glass at Jeffrey Deitch. Curated by Melahn Frierson and AJ Girard, Shattered Glass gathers a group of 40 international artists of color whose subjects don’t ask, but rather demand to take up space. Subjects whose gaze unflinchingly holds the viewer. Figures literally walk off the canvas, asking for more than a life beyond subjugation. The artwork gathered for this exhibition introduces a new narrative altogether, and intends to shatter the glass of the long existing power structures in the art world. Jeffrey Deitch, 925 N. Orange Dr., Hollywood; March 20 – May 22; free; deitch.com.
Ana Serrano: a sense of place at Bermudez Projects. With exacting precision and attention to detail, Serrano makes cardboard constructions of dwellings and urban landscapes. A first generation Mexican American, Serrano is inspired by the dual cultural contexts of her upbringing. Utilizing cardboard, paper, wood, and acrylic, these artworks capture – with fantastic realism – the memory, emotions, and history associated with two iconic Los Angeles neighborhoods: Downey and South Los Angeles. Bermudez Projects, 1225 Cypress Ave., Mt. Washington; rsvp to timed opening reception, Saturday, March 20, 5-8pm; free; on view by appointment through April 24; free; instagram.com/bermudezprojects.
The Betweens at L.A. Dance Project. The exclusive digital premiere of The Betweens, a new work by Jermaine Spivey & Spenser Theberge in collaboration with the dancers. The Betweens was filmed in a single shot on stage, the camera floating in and out of the movement with the dancers, giving viewers the sensation that they are there, part of the performance. Saturday, March 20, 5pm; $19.99-$24.99 (24 hour screening pass); ladanceproject.org.
Sunday, March 21
Art at the Rendon Salon Series: Episode 1: Room 43. A live Zoom-based discussion series with the artists, actors, musicians, and dancers behind the multidimensional productions Hidden Rooms, Stories, and Rhythms of the City at the historic Rendon Hotel. Beginning with Room 43, each episode will focus on the art and performances that have taken place in individual rooms at The Rendon, revealing/exposing how its community of creatives helped bring the historic hotel back to life. Sunday, March 21, 6-7pm; free; artattherendon.com.