LOS ANGELES — This week, a show on LA’s 100-year-old aqueduct opens, it’s the last chance to see Helen Johnson’s schizophrenic hanging canvases, there’s a zine release party for photographer Tod Seelie, and more!
Hearing Latino Voices in Contemporary Culture
When: Tuesday, March 3, 8:30pm
Where: REDCAT (631 West 2nd Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Despite the fact that the US is the largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico, and that Latinos are the largest ethnic group in California, their contributions to the fields of art and culture are often underrecognized. With this in mind, REDCAT in conjunction with KPCC’s The Frame presents Hearing Latino Voices in Contemporary Culture, a discussion about Latino influence in the region’s cultural life. Panelists include director Rodrigo García (Albert Nobbs, Nine Lives), Los Angeles County Museum of Art Associate Curator Rita Gonzalez (Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement), Center Theatre Group Associate Artistic Director Diane Rodriguez, and Jeff Chang, who has written extensively on hip-hop and race.
After the Aqueduct
When: Opens Wednesday, March 4, 7–9pm
Where: LACE (6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
Sitting next to our swimming pools behind our green manicured hedges, it’s often hard for us Angelenos to believe that we should be living in a desert. The fact that we’re not is due to the vision, deception, and underhanded manipulations of William Mulholland, who built the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913. The project diverted so much water from the Owens Valley that it essentially dried up, inspiring local farmers to attempt to destroy it in 1924. After the Aqueduct at LACE and curated by Kim Stringfellow, presents work by artists, designers, and students that address the last century of “Big Water,” while offering new solutions for the future.
Lola Rose Thompson: Spells for Improving Your Sex Life
When: Opens Thursday, March 5, 7–10pm
Where: LAST Projects (6546 Hollywood Blvd, Ste 215, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
You may remember Lola Rose Thompson as a contestant on the second season of Bravo’s Work of Art, but she’s since outgrown her role as reality-TV art star. Her latest exhibition, Spells for Improving Your Sex Life, features paintings, sculptures, and neon art that depict frantic and delirious Hollywood scenes. With a style that recalls a junk-shop James Ensor, Thompson captures the energy of the LA street life around LAST Project’s Hollywood location. The opening reception will also feature a performance by actress cum musician Jena Malone.
Tod Seelie: Outland Empire
When: Opens Saturday, March 7, 7–10pm
Where: Superchief Gallery (739 Kohler St, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Dubbed the “house photographer for the Kings County art-vandal underground” by the New York Times, photographer Tod Seelie has been documenting New York City’s cultural fringes since the late 1990s. From punk shows to warehouse parties to bicycle gangs, Seelie’s photos capture a cross section of the new millennium’s DIY subcultures. This Saturday, Superchief Gallery will be hosting a zine release party and solo show of his work. Fittingly, there will be a performance by New Jersey rap/noise/punk outfit Ho99o9 (pronounced “horror”), whose live shows channel the danger and intensity (and sometimes nudity) of the late GG Allin.
Helen Johnson: Slow Learners
When: Closes Saturday, March 7
Where: Chateau Shatto (406 W. Pico Blvd, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Painter Helen Johnson draws from a postmodern grab bag of references including cartoons, abstraction, and scientific charts, but her work still manages to feel fresh and inventive. Her large, unframed canvases hang from the ceiling on chains, allowing us to see the backs onto which she’s scrawled additional text and images. Up close, her paintings are just as compelling, as she juxtaposes trompe l’oeil illusion with an almost sculptural paint application.
Decolonizing the White Box III (for POC)
When: Saturday, March 7, 7–10pm
Where: Human Resources (410 Cottage Home Street, Chinatown, Los Angeles)
Human Resources held the first Decolonizing the White Box event last fall to address institutional racism in an overwhelmingly white art world. At a second public forum, held in response to the non-indictment in the killing of Michael Brown, a need was voiced for a discussion on these topics that would be limited to people of color. This third forum is just that, a people-of-color-only event which organizers describe as “an intimate exchange on race and representation, communities and the art market, and the (im)possibilities of artworld decolonization.”