Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a Member »

Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.

Liz Craft, “Nicole Couch (Pink, Fuchsia, Orange)” (2010), fiberglass and paint, 32 x 98 x 40.5 inches, featured in “A Stranger in My Grave” (via Facebook)

LOS ANGELES — This week, find refuge in a mobile tea house, watch fantastical adult animation from the ’70s, visit Pasadena’s City Hall where local youth will project their videos, and more.

 In the Shadow of the Sun

When: Wednesday, August 10, 7:30pm
Where: The Regent (448 S. Main Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Derek Jarman was a British artist, stage designer, and director, whose wildly creative output ranged from experimental shorts, to seminal punk film Jubilee (1978), to unconventional historical narratives like Caravaggio (1986), which also marked Tilda Swinton’s cinematic debut. His 1981 movie In the Shadow of the Sun was pieced together from Super 8 films he shot in the early ’70s, double-exposed and manipulated to create a dream-like fantasy, with a soundtrack by industrial noise pioneers Throbbing Gristle. Wednesday’s screening at The Regent will feature a live score by Psychic TV, the follow-up band from TG’s transgressive leader Genesis P-Orridge.

Dir. Derek Jarman, “In the Shadow of the Sun” (1981) (via Facebook)

 Fantastic Planet / Heavy Metal

When: Friday, August 12, 7:30pm
Where: The Egyptian (6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Long before the film Sausage Party packaged adult content in cartoon form, there was Fantastic Planet and Heavy Metal. These two classic — but very different — films are milestones of mature and fantastical animated cinema. The French/Czech stop-motion film Fantastic Planet (1973) tells the bizarre story of an alien planet where humans are kept as pets by a race of gigantic blue-skinned beings. Heavy Metal (1981) was a spin-off of the fantasy/sci-fi magazine of the same name, and combined multiple unrelated stories, each animated by a different studio. It featured ample amounts of violence and nudity, and a soundtrack that boasted Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, and Cheap Trick.

Dir. René Laloux, “Fantastic Planet” (1973) (via Facebook)

 A Stranger in My Grave

When: Opens Friday, August 12, 6–9pm
Where: Four Six One Nine (4619 W. Washington Blvd, Mid-City, Los Angeles)

Every act of artistic creation can be seen as a way to thwart death, an attempt by the artist to leave a piece of themselves behind that will last long after they are gone. The five artists in A Stranger in My Grave flip this notion on its head, instead focusing prematurely on their demise, capturing “the disquieting strangeness of a living artist forecasting himself into death,” as the curatorial statement says. These include Jeffrey Vallance’s comedic chicken in a coffin, Blinky, Liz Craft’s ornate and candy-colored deathbed sculpture, and Jim Shaw’s ballet “The Whole,” an expression of his pseudo-religion Oism, as well as works by Mathis Gasser and Fabian Marti.

Rachid Bouhamidi, “Dar Shez Riff Tea House” (via Facebook)

 Dar Shez Riff Tea House

When: Opens Saturday, August 13, 7–11pm
Where: LAST Projects (6546 Hollywood Blvd, Ste 215, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Rachid Bouhamidi’s “Dar Shez Riff Tea House” is a posthumous collaboration with his father, Cherif Bouhamidi, and a reimagining of this integral element of Moroccan culture. The mobile structure is covered in Bouhamidi’s paintings that incorporate Moroccan design motifs, and surrealist drawings by his father, a self-taught artist, as well as scrabble tiles that spell out lines of verse. Over a two-week period, the Tea House will host performances and exist as a site of respite and refuge where visitors can enjoy tea and the card game Ronda. The reception will feature savory pies known as Bastillas, and performances from Karl Jean-Guerly Pétion, Steven Belfer, and KC Amos as the Escobedos.

Still from Roto Pasadena (via

 Roto Pasadena

When: Saturday, August 13, 8–10pm
Where: Pasadena City Hall (100 Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, California)

Roto Pasadena” is a collaboration between artists Lisa Mann and Yo-Yo Lin and Pasadena-area youth groups, that aims “to create a video poem from a teen perspective of living in Pasadena.” Together, the artists have created rotoscoped films — painstakingly hand-tracing one image at a time — that will be projected onto City Hall, the Central Library, and the Police Station, with the intention of opening up a dialogue between public servants and those they serve.

 The Spun Universe

José Benítez Sánchez “Untitled” (2005), acrylic yarn, beeswax, wood (via

When: Opens Sunday, August 14
Where: Fowler Museum (UCLA North Campus, Westwood, Los Angeles)

The Wixárika or Huichol people of Western Mexico are well known for their nierakate, brightly colored yarn paintings made by affixing yarn to a wooden board with beeswax. The labor-intensive process results in tactile and visionary works filled with images of scared animals, plants, and ritual objects central to the Wixárika cosmos. The Spun Universe features a selection of these works, including those by Ramón Medina Silva, an artist who was instrumental in bringing nierakate to international attention beginning in the 1960s.

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.