Art referencing a secular chapel installed inside a decommissioned temple, a Pride-themed poetry phone-in hotline, multimedia theater online, fresh award-winning theater outdoors, a lion of L.A. art’s final body of work, a low-rider cruise night book release party, and three events in film, art, and performance all in and about Joshua Tree.
Thursday, June 10
ART: Albert Oehlen: Tramonto Spaventoso at Gagosian at the Marciano Art Foundation. This is the first time that Oehlen’s provocative and personal response to the Rothko Chapel in Houston is being exhibited in its entirety; the first part was shown at the Serpentine Galleries, London, in 2019–20, the second at Gagosian Beverly Hills earlier this year. The paintings are installed in a custom-built octagonal structure in the Grand Theater Gallery of the Marciano Art Foundation, reflecting the layout of the original chapel. 4357 Wilshire Blvd.; Mid-City; open by appointment June 10 – July 24; free; gagosian.com.
ART TALK: Colonial Swag: African and African Diasporic Surrealism, at CAAM. In Atlantica, The Gilda Region, April Bey’s first solo museum exhibition in L.A., the Bahamian-American interdisciplinary artist presents an immersive installation that taps into Black Americans’ historical embrace of space travel and extraterrestrial visioning — a cultural movement dating back to the late 1960s and later termed Afrofuturism. Through this Afrofuturist lens and her personal experience, Bey critically explores issues within American and Bahamian cultures, including race, colonialism, decolonization, and neo-colonialism. Join Bey, musician and film director Wanlov the Kubolor, and artist Jeffrey Meris as they screen Wanlov’s music video “True Friends” to set the stage for a discussion about colonialism and the remnants still impacting Africa and the Caribbean. Live on Zoom, Thursday, June 10, 5pm; free; caamuseum.org.
STREAMING PICK: Boss Witch Productions Launch Party. An artistic production company focused on the intersection of experimental sound art, ritual performance, video art, and transmedia collaboration within natural landscapes, Boss Witch was founded in 2020 by Carmina Escobar, Madeline Falcone, and Madison Heying to establish a sustainable, artist-driven infrastructure for the creation of experimental, site-specific work that reimagines our relationship to the world around us while leaving a minimal human footprint. Boss Witch launches with three projects in 2021–2022, all related to the sacred natural, ritual, and the subversion of social constructs. Tonight’s launch party and fundraiser features performances by Carmina Escobar with Ron Athey; Dorian Wood & Isaura String Quartet; Asher Hartman feat. the Boss Witches; Jeronimo Naranjo with Jose Pablo Jimenez and Milo Tamez; Oguri & Roxanne Steinberg with Isaura String Quartet; Laura Steenberge. Live-streaming Thursday, June 10, 7pm; $25-250; bosswitchproductions.org.
Friday, June 11
POETRY: WeHo Pride Poetry Hotline. Presented by West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace & the Pride Poets, call in to get a custom poems for you or a loved ones based on the topic of your choice, written by one of the team of LGBTQ+ Pride Poets standing by at the remote Poetry Hotline. For the last two years, Pride Poets has brought together LGBTQ+ literary community and members of the public with typewriters around WeHo poems online. Poems will be written on-the-spot, and emailed or mailed to the callers. For each free call you make, an anonymous donor will contribute $15 to the LA LGBT Center. Call 202-998-3510; Friday, June 11 – Sunday, June 13, 10am – 10pm; free; pride.weho.org.
BOOK PARTY: Insert Blanc Anniversary Party Pop-Up at General Projects. The Insert Blanc Press 15th Anniversary Artisan PopUp & Patreon Membership Launch features art and design vendors, comedians, musicians and DJs, books galore and probably snacks. General Projects and Outside Gallery, 3611 Pomona St.; Friday June 11 from 5-10pm & Saturday June 12 from 2-10pm; free; insertblancpress.net.
THEATER: An Octoroon at the Fountain Theatre. The Los Angeles premiere of An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins inaugurates the new outdoor stage at the Fountain. Judith Moreland directs this production of the Obie Award winner for Best American Play — a radical, incendiary and subversively funny riff on Dion Boucicault’s once-popular 1859 mustache-twirling melodrama set on a Louisiana plantation. A spectacular collision of the antebellum South and 21st-century cultural politics, An Octoroon twists a funhouse world of larger-than-life stereotypes into blistering social commentary to create a gasp-inducing satire. 5060 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood; Low-Price Previews: June 11-13 & 16; Fri-Sun 7pm, June 18 — Sept. 19, $45; Pay-what-you-can Mondays, 7pm; fountaintheatre.com,
STREAMING: Kronos Festival. After a year’s hiatus, Kronos Performing Arts Association’s signature event returns, expanding the annual San Francisco-based event into the virtual sphere with 8 new online presentations, including 14 world premieres. All streams will be available free of charge at their website and on Facebook, and on YouTube. With works by more than 20 guest performers, the program also includes film screenings on non-performance evenings, and the offsite experience of Ellen Reid’s soundwalk in Golden Gate Park. Live June 11-18; available on-demand through August 31; online; free; kronosquartet.org.
Saturday, June 12
DANCE: Heidi Duckler’s Ebb & Flow Chinatown. Ebb & Flow is a free, site-specific community festival of local artists which integrates dance, visual arts, music, and technology to explore climate change and its impact on the environment and consequently our health. Interdisciplinary pieces created by guest dance makers will explore the relationship between nature, humanity, climate change, and health. Each piece will be performed multiple times and placed throughout the park for audience members to stroll through and observe. Augment Reality artworks will also be displayed around the park that attendees can experience through their phones. Los Angeles State Historic Park, Chinatown; Saturday & Sunday, June 12 – 13, 1pm; free; heididuckler.org.
THEATER: 1 Hour Photo at East West Players. Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s 1 Hour Photo, written and performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu and directed by Richard Wolfe is a heartfelt exploration of a life well-lived. After Pearl Harbor, a teenage Mas Yamamoto is sent to an incarceration camp, where he falls in love with “Midge” Ayukawa. At the end of the war, they go their separate ways — until they chance to meet again near the end of their lives. 1 Hour Photo employs the use of intricately crafted miniatures to explore the artifact of Mas Yamamoto’s life inside and beyond internment. vAct collaborated with a Vancouver based film production company, Brightlight Pictures, to produce a 75-minute cinematic adaptation accompanied by a live talkback with Tetsuro Shigematsu. Streaming performances, June 12 – 20, $34.99; eastwestplayers.org.
BOOK EVENT: Cruise Night Release Party. Photographer Kristin Bedford will celebrate the release of Cruise Night, her best-selling book on Mexican American Lowrider culture, with the Los Angeles Lowrider Community. From 2014 to 2019 Bedford attended hundreds of lowrider cruise nights, car shows, quinceañeras, weddings and funerals. Her images offer a new visual narrative around the lowrider tradition and invite outsiders to question prevalent societal stereotypes surrounding this urban Mexican American culture. Bedford’s photos explore the nuances of cars as mobile canvases and the legendary community that creates them. Join Bedford for a book signing, food, music, raffles, 50/50, trophies and more; books will be available for sale. 3600 Peck Rd., El Monte; Saturday, June 12, 6-10pm; free; artbook.com.
ART: John Baldessari at Sprueth Magers. The Space Between (Baldessari’s final series, completed just before his death in 2019) comprises inkjet prints on canvas that reproduce found imagery overlaid with fields of paint. These brushy passages of white and black acrylic blot out elements of each original scene, and in doing so leave particular people, objects and areas exposed. Below, lines of text bring the eye to elements within this visual network. This coincides with the gallery’s announcement of its representation of the artist’s estate. 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; on view by appointment June 12 – September 11; free; spruethmagers.com.
ART: I Am Not This Body at Tyler Park Presents. A group exhibition co-curated by artists Juliana Paciulli and Evan Whale, I Am Not This Body reflects on the battle between the physical and indefinable; things that are at once us but aren’t. The bodies in the show have been collaged, painted, cast, printed, chemically altered, cut out, and dyed. Some cast shadows and some ripple in the wind. The works are rooted in reality, but they meander through beautiful, undulating reckonings with these realities. These figures emerge from their surroundings and reach into histories, presents, and futures revealing experiences that are exquisitely human. 4043 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Feliz; opening reception Saturday, June 12, 4-7pm; on view through July 31; free; tylerparkpresents.com.
ART: Lost Then Found at Hey There Projects. Whether it’s Seonna Hong’s neo-noir spin on mid-century modernism, Richard Nickel’s Saturday-morning cartoon reimagining of 18th century decorative pottery, or John Broadley’s snarky take on the 19th century dime novel, each artist manages to infuse nostalgic subjects with a fresh vibrancy that is undeniably contemporary. 61675 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree; opening reception Saturday, June 12, 6-9pm; on view June 12 – July 9; free; heythereprojects.com.
Sunday, June 13
SCREENING: A Space Between Us at Joshua Tree Center for Photographic Arts. Project launch and film screening for A Space Between Us — a series of public artworks documenting pandemic stories from residents throughout San Bernardino County by artist Tamara Cedré in collaboration with her community. Tamara Cedré shares pandemic-related stories of local residents through video, photography, printed zine and website. Joshua Tree Lake Campground Drive-In, Joshua Tree; Sunday, June 13, 8pm; free; joshuatreephotoarts.org.