(© Casey Jane Ellison)

August is often considered downtime in the art world, when galleries mount low-key group shows and gear up for more ambitious exhibitions in the fall. Blum & Poe is taking this opportunity to launch >BTWN<, a diverse performance series comprising four free public programs that take place during the first half of the month.

The series kicks off with a night of comedy, hosted by artist and comedian Casey Jane Ellison. Through her multi-media practice incorporating sculpture, 3D animation, stand-up, a podcast, and her all-female web talk show Touching the Art, Ellison both parodies and embraces the self-serious worlds of fashion, art, and celebrity with her dry, millennial wit. Joining her will be Dicey, Daniel Webb, Brodie Reed, Chase Bernstein, and Ayo Edebiri.

(© Penny Slinger)

Upcoming events include an improvisational sonic performance from Kim Gordon of legendary avant-noise rockers Sonic Youth and her current experimental outfit Body/Head, and Lizzi Bougatsos of neo-psych jam band Gang Gang Dance and I.U.D. The pair will respond to projections of feminist surrealist Penny Slinger’s 1969 silent films.

Still from Jodi Wille’s film archives including selections from Unarius Academy of Science

On Saturday August 10, veteran Los Angeles artist and master of the arcane Jim Shaw will be joined by filmmaker Jodi Wille, who directed and produced the 2013 documentary The Source Family, which chronicled the utopian commune that emerged in Hollywood in the 1970s. They will screen rare clips from their cinematic archives, followed by a musical performance from Shaw and collaborators inside one of his installations.

(© Kandis Williams)

The final event will be a staging of Kandis Williams’s ongoing Eurydice project. The Greek myth tells of the nymph Eurydice who dies after being bitten by a snake, only to be followed into the underworld by her husband Orpheus in hopes of getting her back. Through collage, sculpture, video, and performance, Williams’s adapts this tragic story of loss to explore the tension between Black identity and popular culture.

When: Saturday, August 3, 9pm (doors at 8:30pm)
Where: Blum & Poe (2727 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Culver City, California)

More info at Blum & Poe.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.