British artist Nathaniel Mellors likes to question the idea of highbrow society through his quirky, multidisciplinary brand of art, while still managing to entertain viewers. His new video installation, “Hammer Projects: Nathaniel Mellors,” pokes fun at the art world while addressing its very real institutional exclusion of struggling artists. Co-produced by L.A.-based studio Commonwealth Projects, short film The Sophisticated Neanderthal Interview reveals Mellors' delightfully cheeky perspective on creative expression, with a Neanderthal smoking multicolored Nat Shermans while opining on the state of art today. Filmed in Griffith Park's famous Bronson Caves, the interview takes an unexpected turn when the “Upper Paleolithic,” fur-clad polymath starts raving about Sporgo, the fictional powers-that-be who own the caves and decide which cave paintings are worthy of display. The project asks whether it's possible, in a cultural milieu often overrun by über-serious, overeducated intellectuals, to make room for untrained creative types who are naturally predisposed to making impressive art. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Sat., Jan. 18-June 1, Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission starting Feb. 9. (310) 443-7000,

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 18. Continues through May 25, 2014
(Expired: 05/25/14)

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