It’s a great weekend for seeking out new perspectives and experiences — in parts of the city you might get to know better, out in the remote landscape, into the inner world of consciousness, in revived film and art history, in poetry and theater from Native and cross-continental voices, in visions of a stylish human-machine singularity, in visual art and personal memoirs about space travel, in creative ideas for urban planning and environmental engagement, in intimate and participatory theater, in the ever-present ancestry of the creative legacy of Nubian arts, and more.
Thursday, September 29
LAND presents Soundscapes: Soltera at Sherman Oaks Castle Park. The third in LAND’s series L.A. Summer Mixes, Soltera has created a mix of songs illustrating her experience and love for her neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley. Celebrate the release of Soundscapes: Soltera with a night of short films and miniature golf at the Sherman Oaks Castle Park. The program will include a debut of short films by Soltera and Gemma Jimenez Gonzalez focused on emerging artists from the Valley. 4989 Sepulveda Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Thursday, September 29, 6:30-9pm; free; nomadicdivision.org.
Octavio Solis: Scene with Cranes at REDCAT (Live & Virtual). Known for plays of satire, mythology, and steely realism, Solis is considered one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America. In this world premiere production, a tight-knit East L.A. family is left shattered in the wake of their youngest son’s mysterious death. Devastated, the mother searches for the truth by retracing her son’s final steps. In Solis’ signature blend of classic and contemporary, and under Chi-wang Yang’s direction, Scene with Cranes navigates the many avenues of loss, leaving us stranded in a meditation on grief. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thursday, September 29 – Saturday, October 1, 8:30pm; $25; redcat.org.
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and Black Chariot at the Academy Museum. A landmark of Black and American independent cinema that sent shock waves through the culture, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971) was Melvin Van Peebles’s second feature, in which he acted as producer, director, writer, composer, editor, and star. Robert Goodwin wrote, produced, and directed the lost gem of American independent cinema, Black Chariot (1971). Opening during a tense meeting of an underground Black Power group and a stunning foot chase, Goodwin’s film weaves past and present to tell a story of social awakening. Shot on both 35mm and video and featuring a fierce, early performance from Barbara O. Jones, this film has been under-screened for too long. 6067 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Thursday, September 29, 7:30pm; $12; academymuseum.org.
Friday, September 30
Live Artists Live: Sings of Freedom at Visions & Voices. Inspired by poet, writer, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou’s verse, “The caged bird sings of freedom,” the fourth iteration of USC’s biennial performance art festival celebrates the liberating potentials of art and song. Spotlighting fusions of performance art, poetry, and music that amplify oppressed voices and resist racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia, the full-day event will bring together internationally acclaimed artists and scholars including Joy Harjo, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Josh Kun, Edgar Arceneaux for vibrant performances, immersive environments, and engaging discussions. Roski Graduate Building, 1262 Palmetto St., downtown; Friday, September 30, 10:30am-6:30pm; free; visionsandvoices.usc.edu.
Shirin Neshat’s Land of Dreams at the Hammer Museum. The first English-language film by visual artist Shirin Neshat, Land of Dreams is also, in her own words, one of her most personal. In the near future, the Census Bureau collects the dreams of Americans as part of its official survey. When Simin (Sheila Vand), an Iranian immigrant with the Bureau, displays a knack for earning her subjects’ trust she’s sent on a journey across the American West and deep into the American subconscious. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Friday, September 30, 7:30pm; free; hammer.ucla.edu.
Katherine Blackburne: The Flooding Lake at Seasons LA. The Flooding Lake fuses geography, personal narrative, and cultural history, eliciting moments that sit outside of convention and language. The paintings capture magical moments in life, a confluence of subjectivity, nature, light, memory, irony, religiosity and ecstasy. Blackburne’s work reflects her ongoing preoccupations with the non-human world – our human embeddedness within, our various alienations from it, and to the extent to which we might belong to it. 908 S. Olive St., downtown; Opening reception: Friday, September 30, 6-9pm; On view through October 30; free; seasons.la.
Flypoet at Second Home. Get your artistically and culturally significant entertainment fix in this intimate outdoor courtyard spoken word experience, as Flypoet partners with culture-forward cowork clubhouse Second Home for a series of public events. Featured artist M’Reld Green leads a night of hard-hitting spoken word, live art, music, food, drinks and more. 1370 N. St. Andrew’s Pl., Hollywood; Friday, September 30, 7pm; $30-$45; secondhome.io.
Desert Stories for Lost Girls at the Latino Theater Company. LATC partners with Native Voices at the Autry, the only Actors’ Equity theater company in the country dedicated to new plays by Native artists, to present a haunting and lyrical rumination on identity, family, and colonialism. Written by Lily Rushing and directed by Sylvia Cervantes Blush, when 18-year-old Carrie moves in with her grandmother, she is thrown into a world of memory and mystery that unearths her family’s Genízaro identity — shining a light on a dark, bloody and little-known period in the history of the American Southwest. 514 S. Spring St., downtown; Performances September 30 – October 16; $10-$58; latinotheaterco.org.
Saturday, October 1
Lucy McRae: Future Sensitive at Honor Fraser. Lucy McRae’s genre bending, science fiction films and installations gesture to a speculative, not-so-distant future where advanced genetic engineering will enable humans to be grown in laboratories outside of the womb. The exhibition spotlights McRae’s dynamic capacity for world-building, and brings together a selection of her recent projects to ask how future technologies of design will fundamentally alter entrenched notions of human intimacy, reproduction, spirituality, and wellness. 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Opening reception: Saturday, October 1, 2-5pm; On view through December 17; free; honorfraser.com.
600 Highwaymen at CAP UCLA. Obie Award-winning experimental theater duo 600 Highwaymen present A Thousand Ways (Part Three): An Assembly, a timely and intimate return to togetherness. This interactive theatrical experience invites an audience of 16 participants to create a private performance from a shared script. Blurring the lines between spectator and participant, An Assembly explores how the most intimate gathering can become a profoundly radical encounter. Royce Hall Rehearsal Room, UCLA campus, Westwood; Saturdays-Sundays, October 1-2 and 22-23, February 4-5 and 11-12; noon, 1:30pm, 3pm, 4:30pm, 6pm and 7:30pm each date; $25; cap.ucla.edu.
Frances Anderton: Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles Book Release Party at Helms Bakery. Living in Los Angeles has always been equated with the suburban single-family home with a big backyard. But for decades, L.A. has also been the consummate laboratory for exceptional experiments in multifamily housing — dwellings centered on shared open space, from the central courtyard to the rooftop garden. In Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles (Angel City Press), author Frances Anderton explores that fascinating history — from the bungalow courts and apartment-hotels of the 1910s, through the development of garden apartments, to contemporary mid-rise “urban villages” and co-living spaces — making the case that well-designed, equitable, connected living is tomorrow’s American dream. 8800 Venice Blvd., Culver City; Saturday, October 1, 2pm; free; helmsbakerydistrict.com.
Davey Leavitt at Eastern Projects. Leavitt’s work is often expressed conceptually, within the context of cultural narratives, duality and the human condition. His process explores the relationship between graphic design and fine art, with careful consideration for material, form and aesthetics and involves painting, sculpture, installation, screen printing, graphic design, fashion design, furniture design and spatial design. This hybrid show featuring a selection of Leavitt’s past works from Everything is Fine Keep Swiping / How to Cage a Wagging Tail (2021), and a preview of new works under the title Everything is Fine Keep Swiping / A(MEN). 900 N. Broadway, Chinatown; Opening reception: Saturday, October 1, 5-10pm; On view through November 5; free; easternprojectsgallery.com.
Mr. B Baby: The Show Must Go On at Thinkspace Projects. A Latina born and raised in San Diego, California, Michelle Ruby, aka Mr. B Baby, uses elements of her heritage as an inspiration for her striking and lively art work. By combining vibrant colors with traditional imagery, Michelle is able to uplift her audience and intrigue her viewers. The artist’s aims to bring happiness and joy to her collectors and community, while also having stronger messages intertwined, all of which are open to the viewer’s interpretation. 4217 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams; Opening receptions: Saturday, October 1, 6-10pm; On view through October 22; free; thinkspaceprojects.com.
Adornment | Artifact. A multi-venue art experience that celebrates ancient Nubia through contemporary art, events, and conversations. Housed at five sites across the city, Adornment | Artifact investigates how contemporary artworks made in Los Angeles-based artists engage and express the traditions, objects and materials that shaped the cultures of the Nile River Valley. Curated by jill moniz, involving some 70 artists, and with events and exhibitions unfurling from this weekend through April 2023 at sites from Baldwin Hills to the Getty Villa, Downtown, Chinatown, and West Adams, Adornment | Artifact is more than a curated series. Revisiting the power of art, and recognizing that Los Angeles reflects Nubia as a site of prolific, global cultural production, the project aims at reclaiming ancient ideas to craft a better, more comprehensive knowledge about the role of contemporary artists in our diverse and ever-changing landscape. The first of several exhibitions and the project kick-off opening night is Saturday, October 1, at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza; 6pm; free; adornmentartifact.org.
Lezley Saar: Diorama Drama; Luis Flores: Because of You, Inspire of You; Tactics of Erasure and Rewriting Histories at Craft Contemporary. Lezley Saar constructs worlds within worlds by transforming the museum’s gallery into a series of large-scale dioramas. Luis Flores’s largely autobiographical work functions as an account of emotions and experiences accumulated in a culture of toxic masculinity. A juried exhibition highlighting artworks that document acts of reclamation and removal as a process of making history, Tactics of Erasure… features five artists who use archival and forensic materials, found objects, and casting to reveal how systems of oppression impact their sense of identity. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Opening reception: Saturday, October 1, 6-9pm, $12; On view through January 8; $9; craftcontemporary.org.
CatCon at Pasadena Convention Center. Uncaged: The Unbearable Weight of Genius Cat Art is at the heart of this year’s CatCon — a cat fancier’s wonderland of merch, feline-friendly celebrity appearances, petting, nibbles, stuff you’ve never even thought of, and of course, art. The show features original pieces of art inspired by actor Nicolas Cage’s famous friendship with his cat Merlin, a black Maine Coon. The featured art is created by Vanessa Stockard, Danial Ryan, Matt McCarthy, Brian Hoffman, Michael Caines, Brenda Chi, and Laura Keenados. 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Saturday-Sunday, October 1-2, 10am-5pm; $42; catconworldwide.com.
Sunday, October 2
Immersive Deepak Chopra: Journey to Self at Lighthouse ArtSpace. An experiential meditation focusing on self discovery and enlightenment conceptualized by Dr. Deepak Chopra, the meditation explores the concept of “Who am I?” Starting your journey towards identity and self on a visually psychedelic path to becoming a full metahuman — a human beyond the conditioned mind, an awakened being — this deeper dive into the nature of reality will help you question your preconceptions and “accepted” limitations, or at the very least, make excellent use of advanced immersive audio visual technology. 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; October 2-20; $40 and up; lighthouseartspace.com.
Art for Earth’s Sake: The Art World Meets the Crisis, at MOCA. Artists are increasingly exploring the climate crisis in their work. What about the art world’s contribution to the climate crisis, from its boundless international travel to the growth of energy-intensive art forms and installations? MOCA considers the creative ways in which the art world is addressing its own environmental footprint in Art for Earth’s Sake, a series of public presentations and panels. Invited artists, academics, activists, industry insiders and journalists will explore topics ranging from greening art facilities and art fairs to reckoning with environmental justice. Today’s event features Bonnie Brennan, Russell Fortmeyer, David Nussbaum, Debra Scacco, and Michael Wang, and is moderated by Alex Sloane. 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sunday, October 2, 5pm; free w/ rsvp; moca.org.
Tuesday, October 4
William Shatner at Book Soup (Virtual). In conversation with Joshua Brandon, the beloved star of Star Trek, recent space traveler, and living legend William Shatner reflects on the interconnectivity of all things, our fragile bond with nature, and the joy that comes from exploration in this inspiring, revelatory, and exhilarating collection of essays. Within these affecting, entertaining, and informative essays, he demonstrates that astonishing possibilities and true wonder are all around us. By revealing stories of his life — some delightful, others tragic — Shatner reflects on what he has learned along the way. Tuesday, October 4, 6pm; free; book $28; booksoup.com.
Wednesday, October 5
Fred Eversley: Artist Q&A and Film Screening at the Getty Center (Live & Virtual). Artist Fred Eversley has been creating captivating resin parabolas since the 1960s, drawing from his training as an engineer, an early career in the aerospace industry, and a lifelong interest in different forms of energy. Following a screening of the short film Fred Eversley, The Shape of Energy (2022), the artist joins Rachel Rivenc, Head of Conservation at the Getty Research Institute to explore his work through the perspective of its conservation, focusing on his materials, working methods and views about longevity and legacy. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; Wednesday, October 5, 4pm; free; getty.edu.
WeHo Reads: Poets Laureate Across America (Virtual). In 2020, the Academy of American Poets awarded over $1 million to 23 poets laureate as part of a year-long Fellowship to support their creative and organizing work. One of these awards went to our own West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace, who also serves as this event’s host, bringing together a group of these Fellows from across the country following their fellowships to share what they did, read their writing, and reflect on the state of poetry across the United States. Wednesday, October 5, 6pm; free; weho.org.
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