Five Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week, Including a Sleepover at a Witch's House
Anne Collier's Woman With a Camera (Persona) (2013)
This week, an iconic artist-filmmaker who once dressed as a potato comes to LACMA, and a show looks closely at the quirks and looks of 1980s news anchors.
5. Present-day witchcraft
Maybe it's because of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, or theme parks in general, but "haunted house" tends to connote Hollywood-esque imagery: ghosts that look like Casper or Zombies a la The Walking Dead. But what if a house were haunted by the kind of witches the Salem Witch Trials set out to find? Or by the kind that appear in the Brothers Grimm stories? HEXENHAUS, German for witch's house, is an art installation by nine women artists, which fills a temporarily vacant Altadena home. The night of the opening, artists Sarah Williams and Katie Bachler will host "Bed, then Breakfast," inviting guests to spend the night in backyard beds and then breakfast the next morning. 495 Alameda St., Altadena; Oct. 27, 4-8 p.m. or by appointment. email@example.com.
4. Art about The Today Show
Robert Heinecken had a theory about why Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel, co-anchors on NBC's The Today Show in the 1980s, worked well together. Their faces were the same shape, and Gumbel looked good in Pauley's jewelry. He knew this because, in 1986, he photographed each of them on his TV screen, then superimposed their faces over one another. Sure enough, Gumbel's and Pauley's round faces fit together almost perfectly, and Pauley's earrings looked natural dangling from Gumbel's earlobes. The Gumbel-Pauley photos are on view at Marc Selwyn, in a show that includes other such experiments by the artist. 6222 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; through Nov. 9. (323) 933-9911, marcselwynfineart.com.
3. Choose your own adventure
You have to decide what to pay attention to when looking at Jay Stuckey's new oil paintings at Anat Ebgi gallery: The faded-out blond superwoman near center, rendered in the childlike hand Stuckey always uses? The angry woman with an ax in a bottom right corner? The faceless man in a canoe? Or the page from Stuckey's day planner, pasted near the top of a canvas, on which he's written he's proud of his life even if he doesn't know why. Each painting is full of figures and vignettes, none more prominent than others, which makes viewing a choose-your-own-adventure sort of experience. 2660 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; through Nov. 9. (310) 838-2770, anatebgi.com.
See also: Inside L.A.'s Storytelling Boom
2. Women with cameras
For her current show at Marc Foxx, Anne Collier took photographs of photographs of women taking photographs. That sounds nerdily meta, but the effect isn't that at all. In one image Collier takes as her subject, it's the mid-1960s, and Swedish actress Liv Ullman is on the set of Ingmar Bergman's film Persona, camera up to her right eye, left eye squinting. There are rocks behind her, and a distant figure. A slight shadow separates that photo from the cream-colored, smooth background against which Collier has set it before rephotographing it. The whole thing is uncompromisingly elegant. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; through Nov. 12. (323) 857-5571, marcfoxx.com.
1. Potato lady
When she was in her 70s, French artist-filmmaker Agnes Varda promoted her 2003 Venice Biennial installation by walking around in a brown potato costume. The installation was called Patatutopia, and included tons of potatoes. "Utopia is the belief that by filming an old rotten potato you can express the beauty of the world," she has said. Her film The Gleaners and I, in which she at one point follows people who pick the leftover potatoes from an already harvested field, screens at LACMA. Varda, the subject of a soon-to-open LACMA exhibition, will be present. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Fri. Oct. 25, 9:40 p.m.; $10. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.
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