Beauty is everywhere: arts calendar from May 13 to 16
Art installations in the desert and collaborative graffiti in sketchbooks, self-guided audio theater in the park, a classical music-centric film about glamorous and infamous Russians, live theater for a better DTLA’s dream, exhibitions in gallery steeped in surrealism, community and a quest for beauty, and a city-wide initiative that heals our minds through art.
Thursday May 13
Zahrah Alghamdi and Xaviera Simmons in conversation at Desert X. Alghamdi and Simmons chat with Steven Biller, editor-in-chief of Palm Springs Life Magazine about their creative practice, their freedom of expression, their relationship to the natural world, their teaching and how they approach stories and traditions in their projects for Desert X – which ends this weekend at its various sites in the Palm Springs area. With installations that resonate across borders and cultures, the phenomenological and sensual questions of these artists convey calls for communication and action. Video broadcast on Thursday, May 13; online; free; desertx.org.
Kaffe Fassett and Erin Lee Gafill: Color duos. 26 Letter Press presents a new book of artwork by Kaffe Fassett & Erin Lee Gafill celebrating a twelve-year creative collaboration in still life painting. The book focuses in particular on the paired still lifes that result from more than 12 years of annual retreats, in which London-based textile designer Kaffe returns to his roots in Big Sur, Calif., To paint alongside Erin. The project reflects on the contemplative experience of sharing a studio and focusing the artist’s gaze on simple objects. May 13 – October 10 at the Monterey Museum of Art; colorduets.com.
Friday May 14
Black Book LA Graffiti: David Brafman in conversation with Stefano Bloch and Big Sleeps at Skylight Books. A few years ago, the Getty Research Institute invited 150 artists to brainstorm the idea of a city-wide graffiti black book. During visits to the Getty Center, artists saw rare books related to calligraphy and letterforms, and immediately recognized the connections to their own practices, liber amicorum (Book of Friends) – a form of autograph book popular in the 17th century passed from hand to hand to be filled with signatures, poetry and coats of arms. Inspired by this meeting of minds across the centuries, the artists recreated the form and linked it into an exquisite artist’s book. Friday, May 14, 6:30 p.m. free; skylightbooks.com.
Los Angeles Department of Poverty: The compassionate new downtown. The latest production from LAPD (a MOCA project for the We Rise initiative) dares to imagine alternative marketing that draws people to DTLA who appreciate the wisdom and compassionate practice exemplified by the residents and workers of Skid Row. The show takes place at a reunion of the New Compassionate Downtown, a diverse group of people living and working in all parts of downtown who embrace building a community of compassion. Work on the performance began before the pandemic and explores themes that have gained resonance over the past year. The performance will be presented in the outdoor plaza of Geffen Contemporary and broadcast live on YouTube. Friday-Saturday, May 14-15, 8 p.m. free; online; lapovertydept.org.
Saturday May 15th
Tomoo Gokita: Fresh at Blum & Poe. Whether they work in grayscale or in color, Gokita’s paintings have long been characterized by their psychologically charged subject: strange portraits, disturbing still lifes and dreamlike abstractions. In his recent paintings, Gokita no longer refers to figures and shapes that emerge directly from his imagination. More ethereal and amorphous than before, Gokita’s supernatural figures are both angelic and demonic, reminiscent of androids, aliens, and other undefinable chimeras. 2727 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Culver City; to see by appointment from May 15 to June 26; free; blumandpoe.com.
Intergalactix: against isolation / against el aislamiento at LACE. Intergalactix: against isolation / contra el aislamiento is an exhibition that brings together works of art examining the violence generated by physical and conceptual boundaries and tough immigration policies. In this perspective, the exhibition presents a counterpart intended to establish a platform for exchange and dialogue between artists, poets, activists, curators and writers from different fields and practices. The exhibition focuses on both the southern border between Mexico and Central America and the northern border between Mexico and the United States and features work commissioned by The Fire Theory, Tanya Aguiñiga, Cog • nate Collective and a collaboration between Beatriz Cortez, Kaqjay Moloj and FIEBRE Ediciones. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; to see by appointment from May 15 to August 14; free; welcometolace.org.
Beauty Redeemed: The History and Celebration of African American Spirituals with Ruth Naomi Floyd at Bridge Projects. In conjunction with their current exhibition – Otherwise / Revival – the gallery presents a live, in-person lecture / performance on the historical roots and musical language of African-American spiritual people, which are the roots of American music. Born in oppression and resistance, this conference presents an in-depth look at the lyrics, the composition, the rhythmic model and the dual spiritual and socio-political message of African-American spiritual people. 6820, Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood; Saturday, May 15, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. free; bridgeprojects.com.
Dinosaur Ball (Virtual) at the Natural History Museum. This year, the Dinosaur Ball will honor one of the most inspiring voices of our generation, Jared M. Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and UCLA professor of geography. This year’s fundraiser includes a live conversation with Diamond focused on his research and expeditions, his role as a science communicator, and some of the impressive specimens he has contributed to NHM’s collections. The evening also sees the premiere of a new interactive exhibit unveiling Gnatalie, a recently excavated green Sauropod, which will be installed by the summer of 2023. Saturday, May 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tickets starting at $ 100 / $ 69 for new members; nhm.org.
Ted Hearne: Dorothy at CAP UCLA. The latest project from composer, singer, conductor and two-time Grammy nominee Ted Hearne, Dorothy is a cycle of kaleidoscopic, explosive and lush post-pop songs embodying the viscerally tender, riddled pathos and darkly funny poems of Dorothea Lasky with synth beats, rhapsodic textures and the heavenly voice of the “polymathic Los Angeles-based electronic musician Eliza Bagg aka Lisel. Dorothy creates a new space, outside the classical concert hall, outside the dance hall, in the nature of our own beating hearts. This first live video, created with videographer Carole Kim and creative consultant Daniel Fish, showcases the work and process of visual artist Rachel Perry. Saturday, May 15, 7 p.m. free; cap.ucla.edu.
Set of rogue artists: Love letter. A free and interactive solo audio expedition from your heart, set in Plummer Park, where audiences activate sound narrative experiences at eight unique stops. Using only your cell phone and headphones, you will discover and listen to compiled stories of romance, compassion, and connection, leading to a secret phone line, where your own love story will be archived. Love letter is a collaborative creation exploring the transcendence of love beyond identity, boundaries and definitions. Bring your smartphone and headsets to Plummer Park, WeHo; free; every day during park opening hours from May 15 to June 30; rogueartists.org/lovenote.
Sunday May 16
Choice of streaming movie: Nicholas, Anna and Sergei in Wallis. Set as a piece of memory in the house in which Russian Rachmaninoff died in Beverly Hills, the Hershey Feldman film is the story of a very strange encounter between Rachmaninoff and Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be the only member survivor of the Romanov dynasty. , Princess Anastasia. Featuring Rachmaninoff’s most beloved melodies and music, the live broadcast of the world premiere (broadcast from Florence, Italy) and on-demand viewing that follows is accompanied by special guests in conversation and also a fascinating home cooking / Russian cooking tutorial kit for VIP ticket holders. . Sunday May 16, 5 p.m. – Sunday May 23; $ 55-110 per household; thewallis.org.
We Rise / Art Rise. Art Rise is a series of 18 outdoor art installations and 3 special projects in 14 locations, created for the current WE RISE mental health initiative and in collaboration with museums, cultural institutions and artists. Each work in the series uses the power of art for collective well-being, health and connectivity. Taking place in five neighborhoods (Downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, Mid-Wilshire, Leimert Park, South Central) and intended to be experienced as a whole, the facilities and scheduled events are designed to be safe against COVID with remote viewing social, and are easily accessible on foot, by car or by metro. Explore the outdoor art installations of over 35 artists and art collectives that promote discourse and healing. On display May 7-31 from sunrise to sunset, unless otherwise specified; free; whywerise.la/art-rise.