LOS ANGELES — This week, a group show tackles ocean pollution, a documentary on the photographer who shot Che screens, camp and kitsch comes to 356 Mission with the Seth Bogart Show, and more.
Gyre: The Plastic Ocean
When: Opens Wednesday, September 2, 12–5pm
Where: USC Fisher Museum of Art (823 Exposition Blvd, University Park, Los Angeles)
Located in the North Pacific Ocean lies the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling mass of mostly plastic trash that is estimated to be as small as the size of Texas (not that small), or as large as twice the size of the United States depending on who you ask. Composed of very small bits of plastic, much of it is invisible to the naked eye, but its effects are wide-ranging as it enters the food chain through consumption by small sea creatures. Gyre: The Plastic Ocean features 25 artists who use debris to create artworks that explore this phenomenon and the consequences of our disposable culture. An accompanying National Geographic film provides a scientific perspective.
When: Wednesday, September 2, 7pm
Where: Goethe-Institut (5750 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)
Kicking off the Goethe-Institut’s German Punk and Underground Film Festival is 1983 cult-classic Decoder. Featuring Christiane F., William S. Burroughs, and Genesis P. Orridge (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV), this “cyber-punk political thriller” is set in a dystopian future where Muzak is employed as a form of mind control. The film’s protagonist — played by FM Einheit of legendary industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten — discovers that “decoded” Muzak can be used to foment rebellion, offering a way to break the chains of conformity.
Decoder Trailer (via youtube)
The Seth Bogart Show
When: Opens Thursday, September 3, 7pm
Where: 356 Mission (356 S. Mission Road, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles)
Since the early aughts, Seth Bogart has been churning out fun, trashy tunes, first as a member of Bay Area queer electro act Gravy Train!!! and later as the leader of bubblegum punk group Hunx and his Punx. His creative endeavors extend to visual artwork, film, and fashion, including his line Wacky Wacko which has been worn by Miley Cyrus and original Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna. The Seth Bogart Show at 356 Mission is sure to present his campy vision of pop culture’s underbelly, mixing ’50s girl groups, sci-fi, and cartoons into one delightful stew.
When: Thursday, September 3 & Friday, September 4, 7:30pm
Where: Joan (4300 West Jefferson Boulevard #1, West Adams, Los Angeles)
The Harmers uses the setting of a radio call-in show to examine contemporary issues of class, gender, and sexuality. Eschewing a straightforward narrative, however, the live performance features slapstick, experimental vocals and music to portray the conflict between “a lipstick feminist, an intoxicated maid, and a shock-jock.” Friday night’s performance will be followed by a live podcast with artist Max Maslansky of KCHUNG’s Riffin.
When: Friday, September 4, 7pm
Where: Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) (628 Alamitos Ave, Long Beach, California)
Virtually everyone is familiar with the iconic photograph of Che Guevara that has been featured on everything from t-shirts to posters to street murals. But not as many people know who took the photo. Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, better known as Korda, was a fashion photographer before becoming state photographer for post-Revolutionary Cuba. In conjunction with MOLAA’s current exhibition of Korda’s work, the museum will be screening Kordavision, Hector Cruz Sandoval’s 2005 documentary on the under-recognized lensman behind one of the 20th century’s most recognized images.
Dan Levenson: SKZ Painting Storage
When: Opens Saturday, September 5, 6–8pm
Where: Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects (6006 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, California)
The modern artistic movements of the early 20th century often viewed formal and technical exploration as a step towards creating a utopia. Artist Dan Levenson toys with this premise in his first solo exhibition at Susanne Vielmetter. For SKZ Painting Storage, Levenson has created an involved narrative about a fictional group of Swiss art students. The paintings in the show are supposedly the results of a compositional exercise, now deteriorating and forgotten after years of neglect. To enhance the fiction, Levenson has also “re-created” the art school’s studio, complete with paint-splattered floor, student lockers, storage racks, and work tables.