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ArtRx LA

Jack Smith, "Flaming Creatures" (1962-63), film still, copyright Jack Smith Archive (via moca.org)
Jack Smith, ‘Flaming Creatures’ (1962–63), film still (courtesy Jack Smith Archive) (via moca.org)

LOS ANGELES — This week, there’s a chance to see pioneering body-based video art from the 1990s, an artist builds an adobe structure at LACE, the #USC7 get their own show, and more.

 BingeBody Parts I—V

When: Tuesday, July 7—Saturday, July 11, 11am–5pm daily
Where: ASHES/ASHES (2404 Wilshire Boulevard 1A, Westlake, Los Angeles)

For the past month, Ashes/Ashes has been screening one video each week of seminal body-based video works from the 1990s. If you missed one or all of these, you’re in luck, since they’ll be showing all five works this week in a program titled Binge. These include Bob Flanagan, Sheree Rose, and Mike Kelley’s 100 Reasons (1991), featuring a man’s bare buttocks being paddled 100 times, Nayland Blake’s Gorge (1998), a BDSM scenario acted out around food, and Patty Chang’s Shaved (At A Loss) (1998), which transgressively addresses feminism and scopophilia, as well as works by Cheryl Donegan and Knut Åsdam.

Work by Cheryl Donegan, Bob Flanagan & Sheree Rose & Mike Kelley, Knut Åsdam, Patty Chang, Nayland Blake (via ashesonashes.com)
Work by Cheryl Donegan, Bob Flanagan, Sheree Rose, Mike Kelley, Knut Åsdam, Patty Chang, and Nayland Blake (via ashesonashes.com)

 Rafa Esparza: i have never been here before

When: Opens Wednesday, July 8, 7–10pm
Where: LACE (6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Last summer, artist Rafa Esparza and his family molded 1,500 adobe bricks along the banks of the Los Angeles River to create Clockshop’s Con/Safos Project. Adobe walls were then created from the bricks, onto which other artists could create their own works. For his upcoming exhibition, i have never been here before, Esparza will be bringing 5,000 adobe bricks to LACE, where he will use them to construct an elliptical adobe structure over the course of his summer residency there. The work draws on a wide field of references from vernacular building traditions to Minimalism. Once completed, the structure will be used as a stage for performances by Esparza and other artists.

Rafa Esparza (via welcometolace.org)
Rafa Esparza (via welcometolace.org)

 The Motherhood Archives

When: Thursday, July 9, 7:30pm
Where: Veggie Cloud (5210 Monte Vista Street, Highland Park, Los Angeles)

Irene Lusztig’s 2013 film The Motherhood Archives lyrically weaves together over 100 educational and medical films about pregnancy and childbirth, revealing changing attitudes about motherhood. With nods to Mary Kelly and other pioneers of 1970s feminist art, the film considers “the maternal body as a site of institutional control, ideological surveillance, medical knowledge, and nationalist state intervention,” while attempting to give voice to women’s own narratives about their bodies. Filmmaker Irene Lusztig will be at the screening in person.

Irene Lusztig, "The Motherhood Archive" (2013) (via motherhoodarchives.net)
Irene Lusztig, “The Motherhood Archive” (2013) (via motherhoodarchives.net)

 Jack SmithThe Whole Fantasy

When: Thursday, July 9, 7pm
Where: The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Grand Avenue (250 S. Grand Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Underground film pioneer Jack Smith influenced countless artists and filmmakers, from John Waters to Cindy Sherman, with his twisted appropriation of Hollywood glamor and a sexually-libertine, camp aesthetic. “Jack Smith is the hidden source of practically everything that’s of any interest in the so-called experimental American theater today,” noted avant-garde playwright Richard Foreman. In conjunction with the exhibition Tongues Untied, MOCA will be screening Smith’s 1962–3 masterpiece Flaming Creatures (which was seized by police for obscenity at its premiere) alongside less well-known works Scotch Tape (1959–62) and I Was a Male Yvonne De Carlo (1967–70s).

 Recesses

recesses
Recesses at Park View (via Facebook)

When: Opens Friday, July 10, 6–9pm
Where: Park View (836 S. Park View Street, Unit 8, Westlake, Los Angeles)

The #USC7 made headlines earlier this year when they took a stand against what they felt was an unethical and misguided administration. While their action has brought much-needed attention to their situation — and the larger issue of “how the drive to make and to innovate has become yet another impetus for data-mining, subsumed within the mechanisms of our neoliberal creative economy” — their artwork has for the most part been overlooked. Group show Recesses at apartment gallery Park View aims to rectify this, bringing together the work of all 7 former USC students: Edie Fake, Ellen Schafer, George Egerton-Warburton, Julie Beaufils, Lauren Davis Fisher, Lee Relvas, and Sid M. Dueñas.

 Queer Fantasy

Jack Smith, "Untitled" (c.1958-1962/2011), Analog C-print hand printed from original color negative on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, 14 x 11 inches (via oh-wow.com)
Jack Smith, “Untitled” (c.1958–1962/2011), analog C-print hand printed from original color negative on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, 14 x 11 inches (via oh-wow.com)

When: Opens Saturday, July 11, 6–8pm
Where: OHWOW Gallery (937 N. La Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Grove, Los Angeles)

In contrast to the narrowly defined vision of “queerness” so often seen in popular media and even the art world, Queer Fantasy brings together three generations of artists who represent an expansive and heterogenous notion of “queerness.” Their varied artistic practices range from the figurative paintings of Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, to the sci-fi performances of Jacolby Satterwhite, to David Benjamin Sherry’s candy-colored landscape photographs. Other artists in the show include: A.K. Burns, Leidy Churchman, Jimmy DeSana, Mariah Garnett, Jack Smith, A.L. Steiner, and John Waters.

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