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Edgardo Aragón, ‘Exterminio’ (via steveturner.la)

LOS ANGELES — This week, there’s a vintage cat film festival, Allen Rupperberg’s colorful phonetic translation of Allen Ginberg’s “Howl,” war games in the desert, and more.

 Intercat ’69

When: Wednesday, May 6, 10pm
Where: The Cinefamily (611 North Fairfax Avenue, Fairfax District, Los Angeles)

Although the current cat video phenomenon may seem like a product of our internet age, its roots can be traced back to 1969 when veteran underground actress and filmmaker Pola Chapelle organized the First International Cat Film Festival, or Intercat. The original program was five hours long, and included feline-themed films by such cinematic luminaries as Roberto Rossellini, Maya Deren, Standish Lawder, and Saul Bass. This abbreviated version presented by the Lost & Found Film Club is a greatest hits of ten 16mm films, featuring prototypes of Maru, Li’l Bub, and Grumpy Cat.

 The Singing Posters: Allen Ruppersberg

When: Opens Thursday, May 7
Where: Skirball Cultural Center (2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Brentwood, Los Angeles)

Allen Ruppersberg’s The Singing Posters is an homage to and reinterpretation of Allen Ginsberg’s seminal poem “Howl” (1955–56) for a contemporary audience. The artist began by transcribing the poem phonetically, and then had the text printed onto 200 brightly colored posters by the now defunct Colby Poster Company, whose iconic signs lined LA roadways for decades. The resulting work bridges high and low culture, poetry and advertising, encouraging viewers to see — and read aloud — this modern classic with fresh eyes and ears.

Allen Ruppersberg, ‘The Singing Posters’ (via skirball.org)

 Edgardo Aragón: Exterminio

When: Opens, Saturday, May 9, 7–9pm
Where: Steve Turner (6830 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Oaxaca-based artist Edgardo Aragón uses the rural Mexican landscape as a backdrop for explorations of his country’s complicated and often violent history. Exterminio presents a video and accompanying collages, drawings, and photos that focus on a secret program orchestrated by the Mexican government in the 1970s to dump the bodies of political dissidents into the Pacific Ocean from planes.

Michael Parker’s “Steam Egg” (via armoryarts.org)

 After Victor Papanek: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be

When: Opens Saturday, May 9, 6–8pm
Where: Armory Center for the Arts (145 N. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, California)

Pioneering designer Victor Papanek championed human-centered, ecologically responsible, socially conscious design long before these became fashionable buzzwords. After Victor Papanek: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be looks at his legacy as manifested in social practice-based contemporary art. The show looks at his plans and drawings as jumping off points for a number of artists and collectives who have created their own interpretations of his work. Featured artists include Michael Parker, Robby Herbst, Ken Ehrlich & Mathias Heyden, and Olga Koumoundouros, among others.

Cameron, “Black Egg” (n.d.), paint on cardboard, 11 × 8 inches (via x-traonline.org)

 X-TRA Spring Launch: The Conversation

When: Saturday, May 9, 3pm
Where: The Box (805 Traction Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)

For the launch of the spring issue of X-TRA, The Box will be hosting a discussion based around Catherine Wagley’s essay “The Conversation: The Young Female Artist as Historian.” The essay considers the challenges that younger generations of female artists and curators face in engaging with the work of their predecessors. Joining Wagley will be curator Yael Lipschutz, who organized the Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MOCA) recent Marjorie Cameron exhibition, writer Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, author of a book on Lee Lozano’s Dropout Piece, and artist Corazon del Sol, daughter of artist Eugenia P. Butler and granddaughter of gallerist Eugenia Butler.

Lior Shvil, ‘Protocol X’ (via highdeserttestsites.com)

 Lior Shvil: Protocol X

When: Saturday, May 9, 3–7pm; Sunday, May 10, 3–7pm
Where: High Desert Test Sites (Iron Age Road, Wonder Valley, California)

The 29 Palms Marine Base in the desert east of Los Angeles is home to “Urban Combat Training Facilities,” a Hollywood-worthy fabricated stage set where soldiers practice war games. It is fitting then that artist Lior Shvil is presenting his Protocol X in nearby Wonder Valley. The performance involves 24 participants who create a form of political theater using army training protocols in a simulated counter-insurgency exercise.

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This week, a Frank Stella is installed as a public artwork in NYC, the women behind some iconic buildings, looting Cambodia, fighting anti-boycott laws, and more.

Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he is a frequent contributor to Daily Serving, and Glasstire.