U.K. artist Mark Leckey's YouTube channel is a joy to behold, and a serious threat to productivity at work. Call Leckey a video artist for simplicity's sake. But as demonstrated by “On Pleasure Bent” — his installation of recent and never-shown work opening this week at the Hammer Museum — there's a lot more to it. The finished products mostly take the form of short videos, but along the way Leckey mines every available content source (analog and digital archives, original animation, found images, live performance, painting and sculpture, projection and scripted narrative). He operates like a multimedia archaeologist, digging for artifacts in the personal and collective memory. While esoteric, Leckey's work remains cinematic because of his skill at mimicking conventions of moving images from art and commerce. The elusive relationship of reality to memory, and of identity to history, futurism and nostalgia are the true topic of Leckey's work — but viewers can expect a healthy dose of spectacle and dark humor as well. After all, this is a man whose works have depicted the existential awakening of a refrigerator and the creepy sex appeal of a chrome snare drum. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; through Dec. 8; $10 (free Thurs.). (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 31. Continues through Dec. 8, 2013
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