LOS ANGELES — This week there’s a screening of a seldom-seen film directed by Neil Young, a photography show capturing Hollywood in the 1970s opens, 20 years of work from a “skeptical, queer, eco-feminist, androgyne” artist goes on view, and more.
When: Tuesday, June 30, 11pm
Where: The Cinefamily (611 North Fairfax Avenue, Fairfax District, Los Angeles)
No matter what kind of film you would expect classic rocker Neil Young to make, Human Highway probably isn’t it. This 1982 apocalyptic comedy directed by Young (under pseudonym Bernard Shakey) and Dean Stockwell takes place at a gas station-diner on the eve of nuclear armageddon. The cast includes Russ Tamblyn, Dennis Hopper, and Young as a goofball mechanic-cum-rockstar, as well as Devo playing nuclear garbage men. Part David Lynch, part Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and part Repo Man, Human Highway is a visionary and idiosyncratic cinematic experience, presented at Cinefamily in a newly restored Director’s Cut.
Ave Pildas: Hollywood Boulevard in the 1970s
When: Opens Wednesday, July 1, 7–10pm
Where: Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) (6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
Like New York’s St. Mark’s Place or San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury, Hollywood Boulevard was once vibrant, gritty, and exhilarating — a far cry from the theme park it has become. Between 1972 and 1975, Ave Pildas took thousands of black-and-white photos along the Walk of Fame, capturing the destitute and the dreamers, the starry-eyed kids and wizened grannies who populated the area. “At that time people were saying the country was tilted to the West and all the crazies rolled towards California,” says Pildas, “They stopped just short of the ocean and landed in Hollywood.”
Robert Adams: Green/Gray: Photographs in the Los Angeles Basin
When: Closes Thursday, July 2
Where: Matthew Marks Gallery (7818 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, California)
Offering a different perspective on LA than Ave Pildas’s Hollywood street photos (above), Matthew Marks presents Robert Adams: Green/Gray. Working between 1978 and 1985, Adams turned his camera to the outskirts of Los Angeles, to the areas where the expanding metropolis encroached upon the surrounding wilderness. In many images, only hints of civilization are seen — such as a power line cutting through an otherwise bucolic landscape — as harbingers of things to come.
A.L. Steiner: Come & Go
When: Opens Thursday, July 2, 6–8pm
Where: Blum & Poe (2727 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Culver City, California)
Many gallery press releases are inscrutable collections of art speak, but Blum & Poe minces no words in describing its first exhibition of work by A.L. Steiner. “Between the interlude of state-sanctioned exploitation and violence, the Amerikkkin project of mass incarceration and slavery, the uncertain future of California’s viability, and planetary implosion, A.L. Steiner presents an overview of her photo archive from 1995–2015,” it reads. Across a wide spectrum that incorporates photography, video, and performance, Steiner shows us a way of living and thinking outside of restrictive, dominant paradigms. Come & Go will also feature live performances by Brave Accepter on July 11, Jibade-Khalil Huffman on August 15, and YACHT on August 22.
KCHUNG’s Mixed Feelings 4th of July Party
When: Saturday, July 4, 3pm
Where: Pehrspace (325 Glendale Boulevard, Echo Park, Los Angeles)
For some of us, the 4th of July is an opportunity to celebrate the birthday of the greatest nation on earth. Others feel conflicted over our country’s unfulfilled promises of liberty and justice for all. And then others just want to grill meat, drink beer, and blow stuff up. Luckily KCHUNG will be hosting a Mixed Feelings 4th of July Party at Pehrspace to explore our conflicted emotions about the holiday. The evening will include performances from Margie Schnibbe, Bedroom Witch, and softdrink, as well as the Passive-Agressive Mixtape dedication hour hosted by Panda McFloo.
Lookin’ Back in Front of Me: Selected Works of Mark Steven Greenfield, 1974–2014
When: Closes Sunday, July 5
Where: California African American Museum (600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles)
Mark Steven Greenfield has long been known as an advocate for local visual artists, as director of both the Watts Towers Arts Center and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, but he is also an accomplished artist himself. Lookin’ Back in Front of Me collects forty years of his diverse artistic output, from abstract paintings based on the Science of Creative Intelligence, to figurative works inspired by Sun Ra and P-Funk, to explorations of gang culture and American interpretations of African spirituality.