Media Arts Preview: Performance, Rituals, Myths, Interventions

Tony LabatThursday, January 20
The city-wide series of screenings of experimental film and video from San Francisco featured in a new book co-edited by Steve Anker of CalArts and titled Radical Light continues at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. The show, Post Conceptual Performance: Video, 1977 to 1997, features an amazing line-up of work, including Leslie Singer's hilarious parodies Laurie Sings Iggy and The Madonna Series: 1-5, Anne McGuire's I Am Crazy and You're Not Wrong, and Tony Labat's consideration of identity via gesture in Solo Flight. Spanning 20 years, the show demonstrates the power of conceptual performance in video, and the diverse ways in which video artists used the body to consider the self, identity, memory, pop culture and more. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Work by Roman SignerAs part of the Design Loves Art series at the Pacific Design Center, Young Projects presents video pieces by acclaimed Swiss artist Roman Signer in a show titled Pro Tempore: Recent Video Work From Roman Signer. Signer is known for creating "time-sculptures," and in his work is often concerned with "the containment and release of energy." There are many other openings at PDC today, including Dawn of Man: Video Interventions at Annie Wharton Los Angeles. The reception starts at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 22
Work by Davida NemeroffThe Torrance Art Museum has created a new space called VideoRow dedicated to video, and presents recent work by LA-based artist Davida Nemeroff, whose work investigates the frame. The show opens tonight, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., in conjunction with a show of work by LA artists called What's Up, Pussycat? in which the curators Tim Nye and Max Presneill focus on key themes that were inaugurated in the 1960s, and have been picked up my contemporary artists.


Sympathetic MagicThe Armory Center for the Arts presents Sympathetic Magic: Video Myths and Rituals, featuring work by more than a dozen artists, including Nancy Buchanan, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, and Ulysses Jenkins. Curated by Catherine Taft, the show "examines modes of storytelling, ritual, everyday magic and repetition through video art." The opening reception is tonight, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 23
Steve Anker brings a collection of rare 8mm and Super 8 films to the Echo Park Film Center in the final screening in celebration of the book Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945 - 2000. Filmmakers include Bruce Conner, Scott Stark, Janis Crystal Lipzin, silt, Julie Murray, Bob Branaman, Nathaniel Dorsky and others, and Anker will present the films.

The Kristi Engle Gallery continues TBA: A Group Video Exhibition in 7 Parts with Part 5 opening today, but with the reception scheduled for January 29. You'll find work by John Pearson, Joan Perlman, Jeremy J. Quinn and Jesse Robinson. The gallery is open noon - 6:00 p.m.

Work by Barbara HammerMonday, January 24
Iconic filmmaker Barbara Hammer was a key contributor to the emergence and evolution of queer cinema from the 1970s on, with a filmography that includes more than 75 films. Hammer is known for her radical visual style and attention to the personal, and her films have influenced younger generations of filmmakers concerned with themes of identity, representation and sex. Hammer returns to LA with a show titled Barbara Hammer: Experimenting in Life and Art at REDCAT. The show includes Generations, about filmmaking itself, and A Horse Is Not a Metaphor, in which Hammer reflects on her bout with cancer. Hammer, who is a dynamic speaker, will be present. The show starts at 8:30 p.m.

About the Author

Holly Willis teaches in USC's School of Cinematic Arts and writes about new media art. She is the author of "New Digital Cinema: Reinventing the Moving Image" and editor of "The New Ecology of Things" on pervasive computing.
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