Five Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week, Including a Plexiglas Maze
19th-century anthropomorphic headrest by the Luba people Photo by R. Asselberghs, Courtesy RMCA Tervuren
This week, a proponent of the "new jam movement" talks about fashion and food, and a series of short films explores numbers -- is one really the loneliest, and can two be as bad?
5. The new jam
Scott Sternberg, who founded Band of Outsiders and keeps the brand's Tumblr updated with photos of rosy-cheeked Prince Charles in a vintage red and black polo shirt or of land artist Walter de Maria's Lightning Field, is canny when it comes to visual culture. He knows how to pick out images that look the way a certain niche of people want their lives to feel. Kevin West, who just published the book Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling and Preserving and used to be an editor at W magazine, understands how lifestyle and image -- and food -- overlap, too. Sternberg and West talk together about making culture, eating local and "the new jam movement" at the Hammer. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Tues., Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.
4. What's really going on?
Before MOCA's show "A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture From Southern California" opened, KCRW design commentator Frances Anderton did a radio show in which L.A. architects talked about why they didn't want to be called "sculpturalists." "More than anything the show seems confused: about its goals, about its point of view, about how much it wants to reveal to the public," wrote L.A. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne in his searching, sometimes scathing review of the show. Craig Hodgetts, Sharon Johnston and Greg Lynn, all architects in the show, will speak with Hawthorne and Anderton at MOCA about how to define what's happened and happening in L.A. architecture. 250 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sun., Aug. 4, 3 p.m.; free with museum admission. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.
3. All in the numbers
Sometimes the more the merrier, sometimes the more the messier. Sometimes, one at a time is more than enough. Artist Paul Pescador, who did a performance a few years ago in which he replaced one photo in a gallery with another every 10 minutes for an hour, cares about numbers. He's been working on a series of short films called 1-9, which screens at Cinefamily. In the first there's an individual, in the second a couple, then a trio and so on. There's awkwardness and drama, as there always is when people relate, or try to relate, with each other. 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; Sun., Aug. 4, 7 p.m.; free. (323) 655-2510; cinefamily.org.
2. Tasteful hoarder
One room of Nick van Woert's exhibition "Labyrinth" at L&M Arts is dark and almost medieval, though in a hip, attractive way. Steel and iron shapes that look like dug-up artifacts are affixed to big, black discs. Then, in the gallery across the way, Van Woert has built a much lighter, brighter maze of sorts. Found objects, such as discarded plastic tubing and a partly eaten hot dog in a bun, are enclosed in long, Plexiglas rectangles that have been stacked together to make walls along which you walk to the sculpture's center. It's design for the tasteful hoarder, gritty and sleek at the same time. 660 Venice Blvd., Venice; through Oct. 27. (310) 821-6400, lmgallery.com.
1. Small tokens for big shots
The word "power" often connotes bigness -- the tallest buildings, the strongest weapons, the deepest bank accounts. So the smallness of the emblems in "Shaping Power," the debut exhibition in LACMA's newly opened African Art galleries, is striking. The show consists largely of exquisitely detailed, hand-carved, 19th-century headdresses or tools and emblems that you could easily hold in two hands. Made for the male rulers of the Central African Luba kingdom, they often depict women or at least figures more delicate and androgynous than typically masculine. In one headrest, an object meant to hold up the sleeper's neck and thus protect his hair, two of these figures sit facing each other, wrapping their irrationally long arms around one another's backs. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; through Jan. 5. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.
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