Rachel Mason, still from "The Lives of Hamilton Fish" (2014) (via lacma.org)

Rachel Mason, still from ‘The Lives of Hamilton Fish’ (2014) (via lacma.org)

LOS ANGELES — This week, there’s a multimedia shadow play at a historic railway station, a poetry reading by a punk pioneer, a meditation walk in remembrance of those lost to AIDS, and much more.

 The Lives of Hamilton Fish by Rachel Mason

When: Tuesday, June 23, 7:30pm
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. Take the case of two men named Hamilton Fish — one a well-respected congressman, the other a notorious serial killer nicknamed “the Brooklyn Vampire” — who died within a day of each other in 1936. Rachel Mason’s cinematic rock-opera The Lives of Hamilton Fish tells the story of this remarkable, historical coincidence through film, live performance, and music. Although the visuals reveal a debt to “Tommy” and Ziggy Stardust, the songs written by Mason share a kinship with classic American murder ballads, creating a unique theatrical experience.

Matthew Brannon, "Certain Snakes" billboard (2015) (via nomadicdivision.org)

Matthew Brannon, “Certain Snakes” billboard (2015) (via nomadicdivision.org)

 The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project Culminating Weekend

When: Wednesday, Jun 24 – Sunday, June 28
Where: various locations around Los Angeles

Organized by artist Zoe Crosher and Los Angeles Nomadic Division’s (LAND) director Shamim M. Momin, The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project began in Fall 2013 as billboards designed by Shana Lutker popped up alongside highways in Florida. Since then, the project has moved steadily westward, as new billboards by Mario Ybarra Jr., Sanford Biggers, Eve Fowler, and others have been erected along the route to Los Angeles. This weekend marks the project’s conclusion and features a series of events that explore Los Angeles’s “history, development, and continuing evolution.” Highlights include a film screening at the Velaslavasay Panorama, a panel discussion and book signing for Both Sides of Sunset at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), and an Esotouric bus tour of Weird West Adams. Check out the full schedule here.

Miwa Matreyek, still from "Myth and Infrastructure (2010) (via metro.net)

Miwa Matreyek, still from “Myth and Infrastructure” (2010) (via metro.net)

 Metro Art Presents: Miwa Matreyek

When: Friday, June 26, 8pm & 9:30pm
Where: Union Station (800 N Alameda, Downtown, Los Angeles)

In her multimedia performances, artist Miwa Matreyek updates the centuries-old art form of the shadow play, which has roots in cultures around the world from Indonesia to China, and more recently France. She combines her own shadow with animations and contemporary music to create fantastical and surreal spectacles. Downtown LA’s historic Union Station provides a fitting venue for two entrancing works: “Myth and Infrastructure,” and “This World Made Itself.” Each showing at 8 and 9:30pm will feature both works.

 Exene Cervenka and Kristine McKenna in Conversation

Page  from the personal journal of Exene Cervenka 1974-1976 (via sloanprojects.com)

Page from the personal journal of Exene Cervenka 1974–1976 (via sloanprojects.com) (click to enlarge)

When: Saturday, June 27, 11am
Where: Sloan Projects (Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave, Gallery B5, Santa Monica, California)

As a founding member of seminal Los Angeles punk band X, Exene Cervenka has had a major influence on LA’s cultural landscape since the late 1970s. She is also an accomplished poet and visual artist, and her current show at Sloan Projects, The Dust of Sunlight, collects over forty years of her journals and collages. This Saturday, the gallery hosts a poetry reading followed by a discussion between Cervenka and Kristine McKenna, a critic and curator who was one of the first journalists to chronicle the early LA punk scene.

Yozmit, downtown LA (via yozmit.com)

Yozmit in downtown Los Angeles (via yozmit.com)

 Meditation Walk by Yozmit

When: Saturday, June 27, 3–6pm
Where: Plummer Park (7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, California)

In conjunction with West Hollywood’s One City One Pride Day of Theatre, New York-based artist Yozmit will be performing a meditation walk in Plummer Park in remembrance of those lost to AIDS. Wearing an outfit inspired by the red AIDS ribbon, this is the latest in a series of walks by the artist, who has staged similar performances in Brooklyn, Miami, Joshua Tree, and South Korea. Each time, Yozmit wears a different baroque outfit, transforming an everyday activity into an extraordinary event.

Artwork by Corazon del Sol (via theboxla.com)

Artwork by Corazon del Sol (via theboxla.com)

 Let Power Take a Female Form

When: Opens Saturday, June 27, 6–9pm
Where: The Box (805 Traction Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Let Power Take a Female Form focuses on three generations of women from one family who have made significant, but under-recognized, contributions to the artistic life of Los Angeles. Eugenia Butler was a maverick gallerist, whose short-lived gallery was one of the first in LA to show conceptual and non-object oriented artists like John Baldessari, Allen Ruppersberg, and James Lee Byars. Butler’s daughter, Eugenia P. Butler, was a pioneering conceptual artist whose early spare works were often described as “invisible sculpture,” later branching out into furniture design. Her daughter, artist Corazon del Sol, continues the family legacy, and will be presenting a conceptual art video game among other works.

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.