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LOS ANGELES — This week, a Santa Monica mainstay re-opens on the east side, a Chicago performance artist makes his first appearance in LA, Richard Kraft unleashes “100 Walkers” on West Hollywood, and more.
The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India
When: Opens Saturday, April 18, 7–9pm
Where: Fowler Museum (UCLA North Campus, Westwood, Los Angeles)
Indian art collective Sahmat was founded in 1989 after the playwright and activist Safdar Hashmi died at the hands of political thugs. Since then, the group has been an important outlet for contemporary art in India, as well as a force for progressive political change. On view will be a range of projects from the group’s 25-year history including street performances, cultural sit-ins, and conceptual exhibitions. Also on view is Making Strange: Gagawaka + Postmortem by Vivan Sundaram, featuring two bodies of work by this founding member of Sahmat.
100 Walkers: West Hollywood
When: Saturday, April 18, 2–5:30pm
Where: Various locations, West Hollywood
Richard Kraft has performed smaller versions of his “Walkers” project in Death Valley, Charlottesville, and Las Vegas, but this Saturday, 100 bowler-hatted performers will stroll the streets of West Hollywood. Each participant in “100 Walkers” will wear a sandwich board with a picture or piece of text from a wide array of sources — children’s books, images of war, hand gestures, to name a few. The resulting serendipitous juxtapositions may provide a momentary distraction from our media-soaked urban fabric. Walkers will assemble at El Tovar parking lot (between Robertson and San Vicente) at 2pm before fanning out to walk pre-determined routes around the area.
Kim MacConnel: Avenida Revolucion
When: Opens Saturday, April 18, 3–6pm
Where: Rosamund Felsen Gallery (1923 S Santa Fe Avenue #100, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Rosamund Felsen has been a fixture of the west side art scene since the late 1970s, but this Saturday, she’ll be making the move east to the burgeoning gallery district along the Los Angeles River. The inaugural show in her new Santa Fe Avenue space will feature colorful geometric paintings from the ’80s and ’90s by Kim MacConnel that draw on Mexican and African decorative motifs, as well as the history of Western abstraction.
Keijaun Thomas: A Performance on Black Identity
When: Sunday, April 19, 6–8pm
Where: Human Resources (410 Cottage Home, Chinatown, Los Angeles)
Keijaun Thomas‘s intense performances explore the construction of black identity, “from the plantation to factory worker, from the kitchen cook to the house nanny, from the athlete to the waiter, from the broom to flour, from the thing to the object,” notes Spill Festival‘s website. Employing a range of simple but visceral media, including coffee, syrup, and textiles, Thomas makes his body the focal point of these investigations. This Sunday, Human Resources will host the first performance in LA by this Chicago-based artist.
Inaugural FEMAIL Meet Up
When: Sunday, April 19, 1–4:30pm
Where: The Situation Room (2313 Norwalk Ave, Eagle Rock, Los Angeles)
Mail art grew out of the Fluxus movement in the ’50s and ’60s as a populist, non-commercial alternative to official, market-driven systems of artistic exchange and exhibition. With an emphasis on community building and networks, Mail Art’s influence can be seen in the DIY spirit of the ’90s Riot Grrrl movement, as well as in the virtual communities of the internet. Inspired by mail art pioneer Anna Banana‘s Vile Magazine, the Women’s Center for Creative Work is sponsoring this inaugural FEMAIL Meet Up, the first in a planned series of monthly events which aims to bring together women artists interested in exploring, creating, and discussing mail art.
A Narrative Walk Along the Los Angeles River
When: Sunday, April 19, 4–8pm
Where: The Bowtie Project (2800 Casitas Avenue, Glassell Park, Los Angeles)
The Bowtie is a skinny piece of land along the Los Angeles River that Clockshop has been invited to use for experimental arts programming. Part of Clockshop’s Bowtie Project is Rosten Woo’s two-part LA River Interpretive Signage Program, the second part of which will take place this Sunday. For the event, Woo has prepared a narrative walking tour, either via pamphlet or audio guide, that discusses the site’s history and places of interest. He has also created a series of signs describing ecological and governmental issues related to the site. Daniel Wuebben will also speak about his Power-Lined project, which re-imagines power lines as sites of beauty and play.