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LOS ANGELES — This week, a multi-venue screening of the works of filmmaker Chantal Akerman begins, a Marilyn Minter retrospective opens, artist Paul Ramirez Jonas invites you to make a promise, and more.
Chantal Akerman: Contre l’Oubli/Against Oblivion
When: Wednesday, March 30–Tuesday, April 19
Where: The Cinefamily (611 North Fairfax Avenue, Fairfax District, Los Angeles), and other venues
Hailed as “arguably the most important European director of her generation” by Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman, Chantal Akerman, who died last fall at the age of 65, was a seminal figure in avant-garde and feminist cinema. Contre l’Oubli/Against Oblivion is a multi-venue retrospective of the Belgian director’s oeuvre, including her most well-known early films Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, and Je tu il Elle, as well as documentaries on influential choreographer Pina Bausch, and the brutal murder of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas (Sud). Cinefamily has the lion’s share of the programming, with additional screenings at Redcat, LA Film Forum, Fahrenheit, VeggieCloud, & Human Resources.
Annamaria Ajmone: De La
When: Thursday, March 31, 7–9pm
Where: Night Gallery (2276 East 16th Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Experimental filmmaker Michael Snow’s La Région Centrale (1971) is a three-hour film made with the aid of a robotic camera that scans, twists, and spins around a desolate, rocky landscape. In response to Snow’s synth-laden soundtrack for the film, Italian dancer and choreographer Annamaria Ajmone will present “De La,” an improvisational performance that considers the entirety of the gallery as a stage. Disregarding the traditional barriers between performer and spectators, she breaks into their space and enlists them as collaborators.
Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty
When: Opens Saturday, April 2, 11am–5pm
Where: Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) (850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, California)
As the title of her almost four-decade retrospective — Pretty/Dirty — suggests, Marilyn Minter’s glossy photo-realistic paintings are studies in contradiction. Her fashion-influenced images of female bodies slathered in paint and glitter are seductive and repulsive at the same time. “I’m trying to make you feel all these things when you look,” the artist says, “the pleasure of looking but also the shame, because you want to look even though the images make you hate yourself.” Instead of casting judgment or moralizing, Minter is more interested in reflecting what she sees in popular visual culture, and letting us draw our own conclusions.
Lawrence Weiner: Made to Be
When: Opens Saturday, April 2, 4–6pm
Where: Regen Projects (6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
In 1968, Lawrence Weiner abandoned object making and embraced language as the fundamental element of his artwork, a decision that has shaped his artistic trajectory for the past five decades. As a pioneering practitioner of conceptual art, Wiener liberated words and ideas from the physical world, allowing each person who encounters his works to have a different relationship with them.
Made to Be is his ninth exhibition with Regen Projects, and something of a homecoming for Weiner, who was the first artist the gallery showed in 1989 with its inaugural exhibition Assuming the Position.
Paul Ramirez Jonas: Public Trust
When: Saturday, April 2, 7–10pm
Where: Grand Central Art Center (125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, California)
Paul Ramirez Jonas creates interactive performances that engage their audience by asking them to perform simple but meaningful acts such as making a wish, or casting a magic spell. For his current exhibition at the Grand Central Art Center, Public Trust, he invites participants to make a promise and seal it by swearing over a holy or civic book, or having it certified by a witness. The promises will then be posted anonymously alongside other forms of public promises: political pledges, weather predictions, and economic speculations.
Andrea Fraser and Helmut Draxler: Services
When: Sunday, April 3
Where: LAXART (7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
Twenty years ago, artist Andrea Fraser and curator Helmut Draxler organized the exhibition Services: The Conditions and Relations of Service Provision in Contemporary Project Oriented Artistic Practice, a milestone in institutional critique. This Sunday, LAXART revisits Services with a reading of the transcripts of the working group sessions that preceded the original exhibition, alongside video documentation. Two days later, Fraser will discuss the project with art historian Rhea Anastas and artist Simon Leung at the Hammer Museum.