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Nancy Holt, sunlight in “Sun Tunnels” (1976), from ‘Troublemakers’ (via

LOS ANGELES — This week, there’s a surreal haunted house at Machine Project, a multivenue biennial that focuses on Latin America, a lecture by legendary feminist artist Faith Wilding, and more.

 Faith Wilding Lecture

When: Tuesday, September 29, 6–8pm
Where: University of Southern California (USC) (University Park Campus, Wong Auditorium, Harris Hall, University Park, Los Angeles)

Faith Wilding was instrumental in the founding of feminist art programs at both Fresno State College and CalArts in the early 1970s as well a contributor to seminal 1972 feminist installation “Womanhouse.” Her practice ranges from performance to painting, and her recent works and publications have focused on issues of cyberfeminism and biotechnology. She’s experiencing something of a comeback now, with two exhibitions focusing on her work: a retrospective at the Armory and a show of late ’70s watercolors at Loudhailer. See the legendary artist in person when she gives a talk at USC tonight.

Faith Wilding, “Red Tongue” (1979), oil on canvas, 63 x 53 inches (approx) (via photo by Clare Britt)

 Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art

When: Tuesday, September 29, 8pm
Where: The Theatre at Ace Hotel (929 S. Broadway, Downtown, Los Angeles)

In the late 1960s and early ’70s a group of artists turned away from the pristine white cubes of the metropolitan gallery scene and began making large-scale artworks in the desolate landscape of the American West. Artists like Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Walter De Maria, and Nancy Holt created monumental, awe-inspiring earthworks that provided an alternative to an art world that had become too safe, self-satisfied, and market-oriented for its own good. Now that much of this work has been canonized — including Heizer’s “Levitated Mass,” one of the crowd-pleasers at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art — it may be hard to see how radical these artists were at the time. James Crump‘s new documentary Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art seeks to recapture the movement’s initial irreverent energy through interviews, archival footage, and aerial photography. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Crump and Philippe Vergne, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Bettina Hubby, “Thanks for the Mammaries, the Facebook Feed” (via

 Bettina Hubby: Thanks for the Mammaries, the Facebook Feed

When: Opens Thursday, October 1, 6–8pm
Where: Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) (6775 Santa Monica Boulevard #5, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

When artist Bettina Hubby was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to reach out to her Facebook community to solicit “boob-related imagery.” The resulting installation Thanks for the Mammaries, the Facebook Feed features more than 100 submissions that use humor, collaborative solidarity, and a DIY spirit to respond to Hubby’s illness and subsequent double mastectomy. Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) will inaugurate its new space with this large-scale work that highlights the power of community in overcoming adversity.

Patrick Michael Ballard, “Return to Foreverhouse” (via

 Return to Foreverhouse

When: Begins Friday, October 2, 3pm
Where: Machine Project (1200 D North Alvarado Street, Echo Park, Los Angeles)

Just in time for the Halloween season, artist Patrick Michael Ballard has created “Return to Foreverhouse,” an escape room / interactive performance space that is more strange and fantastical than it is scary. With the help of a colorful cast of zany characters and bizarre props, groups of up to 6 participants must work together to find their way out of the space that recalls the surreal sets of kids’ TV shows like H R Pufnstuf and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.  Check here for complete showtimes and tickets, which must be purchased in advance.


When: Saturday, October 3, 5–7pm
Where: The Institute for Art and Olfaction (932 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles)

Ghost Smell Kit (via

The boundaries of art have steadily been expanding over the past century or so to encompass concepts, experiences, and websites. The latest frontier is scent. Hosted by the Institute for Art and Olfaction, Phantosmia is a self-guided car tour of some of LA’s most haunted spots and their associated smells. Breathe in the gardenia fragrance of the doomed actress who jumped to her death from the Hollywood sign in 1932; inhale the lingering aroma of Rudy Valentino’s long-dead horse; or sniff the sad, saccharine cheap perfume of a nameless showgirl. For $5, participants can purchase a limited-edition map of all the locations, or, for $60, get a set of scented vials containing all 13 haunted bouquets prepared by the Smelly Vials Perfume Club, along with the map. Or you can just show up for free to have a drink and hear ghost stories for the kick-off party at IAO’s Chinatown location.

 SUR: biennial

When: Opens Saturday, October 3, 6–9pm
Where: Torrance Art Museum (3320 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, California)

SUR:biennial (via

The third SUR:biennial features artists who have been influenced by the artistic traditions of Mexico, and Central and South America. Looking beyond rigid geographic boundaries, the exhibition “seeks to explore notions of globalization and exchange that take place in the ambiguous geographical, cultural, and artistic borderlands between Los Angeles and ‘the South.’” In addition to the Torrance Art Museum, the biennial will be held at three other venues — Manhattan Beach Art Center, Rio Hondo College Art Gallery, and Cerritos College Art Gallery — bridging traditional centers of Latino culture like East LA, with areas that have less of a history of exhibiting Latino art, such as the South Bay.

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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.