LOS ANGELES — This week, the Hammer Museum hosts a game festival, celebrated cabaret singer Joey Arias brings his Billie Holiday tribute to REDCAT, the mini-golf course is reimagined as a site for art, and more.
UCLA Game Art Festival
When: Wednesday, November 18, 7–10:30pm
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles)
Gaming may be a multi-billon dollar industry, but most of the revenue and attention go to a handful of blockbuster titles. Now in its fourth year, the UCLA Game Art Festival aims to highlight a selection of independent and multi-disciplinary games that fall outside of the gaming mainstream. Held in the courtyard of the Hammer Museum, this year’s program features a diverse group of more than 40 projects, including those that explore gender, immigration, food, and theater. These range from Theo Triantafyllidis’s interactive installation “TL;DR [the shape of the internet (Orgy)],” to Jeremy Bailey’s VR gender-play game “Penis Paint,” to Nick Crockett’s “Sneaky Cactus,” in which living cacti serve as game controllers.
Joey Arias: Billie Holiday Centennial
When: Thursday, November 19 — Sunday, November 22
Where: REDCAT (631 West 2nd Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Downtown New York cabaret singer and drag performer Joey Arias has had a long and storied five-decade career. He joined famed improv group The Groundlings when he was just 16, backed-up David Bowie on Saturday Night Live in 1979, and later starred in Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity in Las Vegas. One of his most enduring roles, however, is legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, who he has been faithfully channeling since the early 1990s. In honor of Holiday’s birth a century ago, Arias brings his celebrated performance to REDCAT for four nights this week.
When: Friday, November 20 & Saturday, November 21, 8:30pm
Where: Espace DBD / Rachel Rosenthal Company (2847 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverlywood, Los Angeles)
When Rachel Rosenthal passed away earlier this year at the age of 88, the world lost a pioneer of avant-garde performance. Fortunately, the Rachel Rosenthal Company soldiers on, and this weekend they present the last two shows of 2015 for their TOHUBOHU! Extreme Theatre Ensemble. Derived from a French term denoting chaos and disorder, TOHUBOHU! embraces the unexpected and accidental, staging improvisational performances that are never scripted or repeated.
Karen Finley: Love Field
When: Opens Saturday, November 21, 7–11pm
Where: Coagula Curatorial (974 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles)
Karen Finley emerged from the San Francisco punk/performance art scene in the late 1970s and has been pushing boundaries ever since. She has smeared her nude body with chocolate, imagined the sexual life of Laura Bush, and was famously one of the NEA Four, whose government grants were vetoed based on “decency” grounds in 1990. In conjunction with her sold out performances at the Broad Museum, Coagula Curatorial presents Love Field, an exhibition of work related to the Kennedy assassination. Finley uses familiar images, such as stills from the Zapruder Film and Warhol’s portraits of Jackie, to explore memory, tragedy, and trauma.
Arroyo Seco Garden Golf Classic
When: Sunday, November 22, 2–5pm
Where: Diana (3048 Cazador Street, Glassell Park, Los Angeles)
Over the past few months, in backyards and public parks across LA’s East Side, a sprawling mini-golf course has slowly taken form. Organized by Katie Bode, the Arroyo Seco Garden Golf Classic comprises 18 artist-designed mini-golf holes that also function as sculptural interventions in the everyday environment. Designed by Orr Herz and Michelle Carla Handel, the last two holes to be unveiled this Sunday consider the playful aspects of both sports and art-making.
An Erik Frydenborg Omnibus
When: Opens Sunday, November 22, 4–7pm
Where: The Pit II (918 Ruberta Ave. Glendale, California)
This weekend, The Pit opens its second exhibition space, appropriately named The Pit II, with An Erik Frydenborg Omnibus. Combining elements of painting and sculpture, Frydenborg’s brightly-colored, human-sized constructions resemble mass-market sci-fi paperbacks, capturing a sense of what the future looked like to previous generations.