still from Curtis Harrington's The Wormwood Star, 1955-56 (via

Still from Curtis Harrington’s The Wormwood Star, 1955-56 (via

Everyone’s back from the holidays and there’s a ton of openings this week. Some highlights include a screening of occult shorts from female filmmakers, shows from iconic conceptual artists Bas Jan Ader and Hal Fischer, LAXArt opens their new Hollywood space, and much more.

 Avatar and Aether: Visionary Women and the Cinematic Occult

When: Thursday, January 8, 7pm
Where: MOCA Grand (250 S. Grand Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)

In conjunction with the exhibition Cameron: Songs for the Witch Woman, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the LA Film Forum present Avatar and Aether, a series of short films by and about visionary, enigmatic women. Shown here in 16mm, the films span almost six decades, ranging from Curtis Harrington’s The Wormwood Star (1955–56), a cinematic portrait of Cameron herself, to Amy Halpern’s 2012 film Elixir, which MOCA describes as “a silent ritual in which an alchemy of bodies, gestures, potions, and lactations intermingle in an intuitive, organic ceremony.” Filmmakers Halpern and Betzy Bromberg will also be present.

 LAXArt Opens in Hollywood

When: Saturday, January 10, 7–9pm
Where: LA><ART (7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Nonprofit artspace LAXArt was a longtime fixture of the Culver City Gallery scene, holding a prominent spot on S. La Cienega Boulevard for 10 years. This Saturday marks the opening of their brand new location in Hollywood, making them the latest gallery to relocate to this rapidly expanding gallery district, alongside recent arrivals like Gavlak Gallery and Various Small Fires. The evening will also feature the debut of projects by deepriver, Rochele Gomez, Eamon Ore-Giron, Slanguage, and Timo Fahler.

 Bas Jan Ader: Drifting Home

When: Opens Saturday, January 10, 6–8pm
Where: Meliksetian Briggs (313 North Fairfax Avenue, West Hollywood, California)

Bas Jan Ader, mplosion: The Artist Contemplating the Forces of Nature, 1967 (via

Bas Jan Ader, Implosion: The Artist Contemplating the Forces of Nature, 1967 (via

Bas Jan Ader was a key member of the conceptual art movement in the 1960s and 70s, yet his oeuvre is often overshadowed by the mythology surrounding his mysterious disappearance while performing his final work, In Search of the Miraculous. Forty years after he was lost at sea, Drifting Home collects video and photo works by the artist that explore themes of domesticity and intimacy. Contrary to the vision of Ader as a solitary romantic, curator Pedro de Llano focuses on the role that home and family played in the work of this Dutchman who spent the last 12 years of his life happily married in Southern California suburbia.

Hal Fischer, Gay Semiotics, 1977 (via

Hal Fischer, Gay Semiotics, 1977 (via

 Hal Fischer: Gay Semiotics

When: Opens Saturday, January 10, 4-6pm
Where: Cherry & Martin (2732 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Culver City, California)

Hal Fischer’s seminal photo series Gay Semiotics, was an important milestone in both the conceptual and queer art movements when it was first exhibited in 1977. Fischer’s photo and text works decoded the body language and sartorial ciphers he saw on view in San Francisco’s Castro and Haight-Ashbury neighborhoods. The resulting dryly comic anthropological study presents a section of gay life without sensationalizing, a radical gesture in an era when gay rights were not widely discussed, let alone accepted, by the mainstream. Often shown in an abbreviated format, this is the first time the complete series of 24 photos will be shown together in almost 40 years.

 Outside: Daniel Carlson + Alexis Rose

When: Opens Saturday, January 10, 7–10pm
Where: The Good Luck Gallery (945 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles)

A hallmark of the Southern California home is a permeable barrier between inside and out, with light, air, and flora flowing freely between the two. For their exhibition Outside, flower farmer Daniel Carlson and artist Alexis Rose take this idea to the extreme, turning Good Luck Gallery into a conservatory with plants covering the floor and creeping up the walls. Plants and seeds will be for sale, and a tea service using plants grown on site, will be held at set times.

 Mark A. Rodriguez: Cup or Lovers

When: Opens Sunday, January 11, 1–6pm
Where: Park View (836 S. Park View Street, Unit 8, Westlake, Los Angeles)

Mark A. Rodriguez‘s first show at apartment gallery Park View begins a series of exhibitions that situate his artistic production within a larger commercial project. His sculptures based on home furnishings and made from industrial and found materials confront notions of function, value and taste. They riff on minimalism, pop, and conceptualism, all with a healthy dose of humor.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.