Gordon Parks was an incredible photographer who’s influence continues to be felt in photography today. He had a long creative career that also expanded beyond photography to include writing several books, composing music, and directing films- the most famous being Shaft.
The Gordon Parks Foundation recently hosted the exhibition ELEMENT, which focused on several of the photographs that inspired Kendrick Lamar’s video from his album DAMN, seen below. The photo pictured above can be seen as part of the exhibition of Gordon Parks’ work I Am You Part 2 at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York. It is from his series Segregation Story for Life magazine which focused on the daily lives of three black families in Alabama in 1956.
Cyprien Gaillard, Nightlife (Images above via Gladstone gallery)
At Gladstone Gallery, Cyprien Gaillard’s 3-D film Nightlife is a wonderfully immersive experience. Starting with Rodin’s The Thinker at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the film then moves to a series of plants and trees moving in slow motion in Los Angeles, followed by the annual Pyronale fireworks at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, and finally a return to Cleveland, where a helicopter lights up the site where Jesse Owens’ Olympic oak is planted. While the film plays, a dub song reverberates throughout the room on a loop, adding to the dreamlike atmosphere.
This exhibition closes 4/14/18.
Oliver Laric, Year of the Dog (Image via Metro Pictures)
At Metro Pictures is Oliver Laric’s two part exhibition, Year of the Dog. The video animation, the stronger part of the show, takes place in the main gallery.
The animation continues his inquiry into concepts of metamorphosis, encompassing concerns about time and the complex dynamic between human and nonhuman lifeforms. Against a white background, linear animations of fish, fungi, and other figures move and change shape. The lines composing the animations continually extend or contract to zoom in on greater and greater detail, magnifying a sense of time as the images change. While the shapes and figures, as in his previous video works, are drawn from cartoons and Japanese anime, Laric’s subject matter has grown to also include animations based on live footage. He constructed the animation via an exacting technique in which each line moves continually between sequences—in contrast with traditional techniques in which each sequence consists of a series of redrawn frames. As the shapes perpetually transform, an atmospheric soundtrack commissioned from musician Ville Haimala establishes the sense of an unfolding narrative.
In the back gallery are three resin sculptures of a human dog hybrid holding a smaller dog in its arms, titled Hundemensch. Each sculpture is from the same mold but differs in opacity and color.
This exhibition closes 4/14/18.
Desiree Dolron, Complex Systems (2017)- Image via GRIMM
Finally if you are on the Lower East Side, near the ICP Museum and the New Museum is GRIMM gallery, which is currently showing Desiree Dolron’s video, Complex Systems (2017). Her digital illustrations of the movements of starlings are made more intense by the unnatural patterns she includes, and the sounds that accompany the piece.
Complex Systems displays a digitally drawn flock of starlings, scattering throughout the sky in a loop of ever-changing patterns. In this work themes such as the fragility of existence, impermanence and the dichotomy between the individual and the collective form the conceptual ground of her inquiry. The title of the film is adopted from the scientific field of network research, which employs the term to define the complex interactions between different components of the same group.
The shapes assumed by the birds are proven to be the result of a defense mechanism system: in order to avoid attack by predators, a singular starling keeps track of seven others simultaneously – in doing so, the starling is able to adapt to the changing flying directions of the entire flock, thus keeping the collective intact. The dichotomy between the individual and the collective is at the core of Dolron’s interest in this natural phenomenon. Complex Systems investigates the relation between singular and shared intelligence, prompting questions concerning humanity, the psyche and the possible presence of a collective unconscious.
The link to the human psyche is emphasized by the cyclical character of the film; Dolron underlines the full turn of life in which the starlings function as a metaphor. Their movements change from an initial drive to a final, slow fall, while the murmuration happens in an eternal loop that symbolizes the cycle of life and its fragility. The movements of the starlings, combined with the pivotal soundtrack of murmuring voices that intensify and fade according to the flock’s movements, allude to the human mind in a state of constant flux.
Photographer Matthew Rolston will be discussing his exhibition Art People: The Pageant Portraits at Ralph Pucci in Hollywood, with arts writer and editor Katya Tylevich. RSVP here
Darlingside are playing at The Echo with Henry Jamison opening
Grammy award winning musical director of the LA Opera, James Conlon will be discussing his recent collaboration with the Joffrey Ballet, and making the mythology of Orpheus and Eurydice modern at the Hammer Museum
Palm are playing at the Echoplex with The Spirit of the Beehive and Jerkagram opening
ArtNight Pasadena returns with a night of free museums, performances, music, and more- with free shuttles to take you around
Moaning are having a record release party at The Echo with Froth and Numb.er opening
Union Station is hosting Josh Nelson & The Discovery Project’s multi-disciplinary artistic collaboration and presentation- combining video, performance art, light and art installations with his original music (free)
ICA LA’s event Art Buzz, is a happy hour tour of the exhibition Skip Arnold: Truffle Hunt followed by “libations and tastings” (free but RSVP)
Orb, Flat Worms, and Hooveriii are playing at Zebulon
Ghostface Killah will be performing at the Echoplex’s 2ooos era Hip Hop Party-Echo Flex
Current Joys are playing with Celebrity Crush at Lodge Room
ICA LA is partnering with Crayon Collection to host a free all ages workshop with artist Pearl C. Hsiung focused on crayon creations
No Win and Luke Rathbone are opening for Criminal Hygiene at the Bootleg Theater
The Aero Theatre is playing a double feature of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
The Wedding Present are playing at The Echo with Terry De Castro opening
Saturday and Sunday
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the East LA Walkouts, Fowler Museum along with the Chicano Studies Research Center will have two days of free programming- on Saturday there will be a speaker’s program with Walkout participants and scholars and on Sunday there will be screenings of the 1995 documentary Taking Back the School, and the 2005 HBO film Walkout! with a Q +A to follow
MOCA Community Day at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA will include activities, performances and two panels with artists and activists- one discussing Art as Transformation and the other Envisioning a Different Framework– both focusing on LA’s homelessness crisis. Free but bring white tube socks to donate.
Bootleg Theater is hosting Lancaster– jazz music by Eric Revis, Jeff Parker, Joshua White and Guillermo Brown
Hibou are playing the Echoplex with Death Bells, Floating Room, and Alien Boy
Haunted Summer are playing at the Moroccan Lounge with Alyeska and Gold Casio opening
#Dysturb is a group of photojournalists who paste large-size posters in cities around the world, focusing on under-reported stories with the intention of getting this information to a wider audience. In addition to their public projects, they also have a quarterly print journal.
I first saw their work in Newcastle, UK (pictured above) as part of The Newbridge Project’sHidden Civil War, a month of programming by various artists around the city in October of 2016.
#Dysturb’s current project is #WomenMatter, focusing on the fight against all types of violence against women. On International Women’s Day 2018, the group will be celebrating their fourth anniversary with a free discussion of this project, as well as their other work and the role of paste-up campaigns in contemporary documentary practice at ICP Museum in NYC.
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (3/2-3/4/18)-
For the second of the Natural History Museum’s First Fridays– Superet are opening for Mondo Cozmo as well as a performance by Shannon Lay. The programming will also include a special tour and a lecture on the upcoming possibilities of the 2028 LA Olympics.
Burger-A-Go-Go is a two night event at 1720 with bands The Coathangers, Death Valley Girls, The Flytraps and Feels performing tonight
Griffith Observatory their free first Friday program All Space Considered, where the curatorial staff discuss astronomy and space science
Ex-Cult are playing at the Lodge Room with Lars Finberg, and The Side Eyes
It’s the last weekend to see the Cuba Is, photography exhibition at Annenberg Space for Photography and tonight there is a closing celebration with live music, free Cuban coffee and treats, and extended hours (6-8pm)
Burger-A-Gogo continues its two night event at 1720 with bands Dengue Fever, Winter, Summer Twins and Patsy’s Rats performing tonight
The 2018 LA IPA Fest at Mohawk Bend is a great way to sample beers from over 60 breweries (also Sunday)
Air + Style Two Day Festival taking place at EXPO Par at LA Coliseum is not cheap ($149 for both days, $79 for one), but there are a lot of good bands playing including Cut Copy, Mura Masa, Twin Peaks, Ex-Cult on Saturday, and Sunday’s lineup includes Phoenix, Gucci Mane, Washed Out, Cloud Nothings, and Phantogram
For MOCA’s Artists on Artists series, photographer Paul Mpagi Sepuya will be guiding a tour and discussing the recently opened exhibition Real Worlds: Brassaï, Arbus, Goldin
Beta Main is hosting the free workshop Mindfulness and Self-Care Tools for Healthy and Joyful Living, facilitated by Victor Narro, Project Director of the UCLA Labor Center, and Laureen Lazarovici, writer and managing editor for the Kaiser Permanente Labor Management Partnership
Tall Juan is playing at The Echo with Gabriella Cohen and The Pantones opening
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (2/23-2/26/18)-
If you are free earlier in the day The College Art Association is hosting Distinguished Artist Interviews from 3:30-5:30, with Catherine Opie interviewed by Helen Molesworth; ThePromise Piece, Ten Years Later– A message from Yoko Ono; and Judy Baca interviewed by Anna Indych-López (free)
ICA LA (Institute of Contemporary Art) is hosting Art Buzz: Harald Szeemann– a happy hour tour of the exhibit led by The Good Works Executive Director Elsa Longhauser and Director of Learning and Engagement Asuka Hisa (free but RSVP)
Basia Bulat is playing at the Bootleg Theater with Hayley Gene Penner opening
Mister Heavenly are playing at the Lodge Room with Healing Gems and Velour Afternoon
It’s the Fourth Annual Bob Baker Day– a free all day carnival celebration that includes marionette performances, musical entertainment, a marching band puppet procession led by DJ Lance Rock of Yo Gabba Gabba, games, workshops, and more
Fowler Museum is hosting an all day event- Symposium: Blackness and the Art of Empowerment in Bahia Brazil, with speakers, artist presentations, a book signing and more
MOCA is hosting the all day event- Feminism and the State: Art, Politics, and Resistance– with a keynote address by artist Martha Rosler, two talks and a roundtable discussion
Skinny Lister are playing an early show at The Echo with Will Varley opening