Five Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week, From Ultrasound Gel to a Double-Decker Bus
This week, the soul of Whitney Houston leads a bus tour and an artist turns a garish movie poster into an eerie abstraction.
Courtesy Pepin Moore Bobbi Woods' rolled poster, I watched you at work in here. I must say I am more than impressed (2013)
5. Thirty-one summer nights
Post, the downtown space artist run by HK Zamani, now operates for only one month each summer, when its pop-up Kamikaze exhibitions take place. Each night in July, it hosts a different show featuring a different artist, or group of artists, which means there are potentially 31 shows to see. Painter Molly Larkey's exhibition opens on Monday, July 1, followed by Theodore Svenningsen's on July 2 -- he's titled his "Who Doesn't Fit in? And Other Conceptual Work?" and one of his paintings pictured on Post's blog reads in rainbow letters superimposed over rays of whimsically colored light, "You can picture a thought but you can't paint a theory." 1904 Seventh St.; July 1-31. 213-488-1280, post-la.com.
4. You're gonna make it anyway
Whitney Houston released "It's Not Right But It's Okay" in 1999, and San Francisco-based artist Cliff Hengst chose to title the tour he'll give this weekend after that you-done-me-wrong single. Hengst, who climbed a Bay Area hill a year ago while singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" into a bullhorn, has based other performances around pop hits. This one, part of the art space Machine Project's ongoing Field Guide to L.A. Architecture, begins at the Beverly Hilton, the site of Houston's death. All tourists in attendance then will board a double-decker tour bus as Hengst, channeling the soul of Houston, guides them through the city toward MacArthur Park, their final destination. 9876 Wilshire Blvd.; Sat., June 29, noon; ticket price TBA. (213) 483-8761, machineproject.com.
3. Wild West status symbols
Tiffany & Co. manufactured a sterling silver punch bowl in 1886 that had figures of Native Americans wearing feathered headdresses and bear-claw necklaces gazing out from each side. One of these punch bowls is on view at the Autry, in the "Land and Landscape" room of the newly renovated Western Art galleries, right next to a Sioux bear-claw necklace that also dates back to the 1880s. Juxtapositions like this occur throughout the galleries, making history feel as impure as it actually is. 4700 Western Heritage Way; through (323) 667-2000, theautry.org.
2. Heavy-duty delicacy
In 1971, Koji Enokura built a concrete wall between two trees for the Paris Biennial. It was almost 10 feet tall but, in the black-and-white photograph that now hangs on the second floor of Blum & Poe, its stained surface looks delicate. So do the surfaces of the massive, raw-cotton canvases that Enokura stained with dark brown acrylic. While making one of these Intervention works, he laid a wood plank down on top of the paint before it dried, leaving an imprint of the wood grain. The actual plank leans up against the canvas, right next to its image, looking vulnerable, as if a gust of air could topple it. 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd.; through July 13. 310-836-2062, blumandpoe.com.
1. They want to put a baby in you
Kristen Wiig plays Janine in 2007 film The Brothers Solomon, in which she agrees to be a surrogate mother for two hopelessly inept brothers, who want to give their dying father something to live for. The movie poster feature the very pregnant Janine's bare stomach with the words "They want to put a baby in you" written across her skin, above a smiley face drawn on it with ultrasound gel. The nose of this smiley face covers her belly button and has an unusual cocoonlike shape. For her current exhibition at Pepin Moore, artist Bobbi Woods acquired 10 of these movie posters and painted over them in matte, beige enamel, leaving only that gel nose visible. You can't tell what it is at all. It's just this mysterious, sinister detail that repeats again and again. 5849 W. Sunset Blvd.; through July 20. (213) 626-0501, pepinmoore.com.
5849 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA