Media Arts Preview: L.A. in Public

Disappearing Environments

Los Angeles continues to be both the site and subject for innumerable artworks across the city, from a large-scale performance and public art festival to screenings featuring films about L.A., by L.A. filmmakers.

Thursday, January 19
The Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival kicks off tonight with several events, including Disappearing Environments, by Judy Chicago and Materials & Applications. The project recreates a 1968 public art installation using 25 tons of dry and illuminated ice. The piece will be at Barkar Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport at 5:00 p.m. and through the weekend. See the festival website for full details for dozens of events happening between tonight and January 29.

Belle De JourThe American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica presents Curse and Kink: A Luis Buñuel Retrospective starting tonight with L'Age D'Or, which Buñuel made in collaboration with Salvador Dali in 1929, followed by The Young and the Damned. The series continues with other great Buñuel treasures, including the notorious Belle de Jour, featuring Catherine Deneuve as a beautiful housewife with a rich fantasy life.

Harlan Ellison returns to Cinefamily for The Other Glass Teat: More of Harlan Ellison on Television! for which the prolific TV writer will talk about the second half of his career. "Harlan Ellison radicalized science fiction from the 1960s onwards with swirling, shouting, freaky, psychedelic and sexual visions realized across over 1,700 short stories, novellas, screenplays and essays," enthuses Cinefamily; the event will include screenings of several episodes of shows created by Ellison.

Tonight, Judy Baca will discuss her work and its relationship to MOCA's show, Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981; the show includes documentation of the making of Baca's mural, the Great Wall of Los Angeles, which was created between 1976 and 1983. The talk starts at 6:30 and is free at the Geffen Contemporary.

Superflex1301PE Gallery presents a solo exhibition by Superflex, a Danish artists' group founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen. The show is titled Modern Times Forever, which references a film by Superflex that explores what would happen to the celebrated Stora Enso building in Helsinki if only time affected it over the next century or so.

Friday, January 20
The MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions present a new work by L.A.-based sound, video and installation artist Yann Novak and dance artist Taisha Paggett at the Mackey Garage Top. "Novak and Paggett take a sculptural approach to both sound and movement in their respective constructions of the spectating experience." There will be three shows, at 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. at the Mackey Apartments (built by R.M. Schindler in 1939).

Laura Cechanowicz's video installation, Silent Secrets: The Body Language of the Confessor, opens tonight with a reception and panel discussion at the USC School of Cinematic Arts Gallery, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. The discussion begins at 8:15 p.m. in SCA 112, with panelists Michael Renov, Marsha Kinder, Mary Sweeney and Ioana Uricaru. The installation will be on view in the gallery January 23-27, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Film SocialismeCinefamily presents Jean-Luc Godard's most recent film, the visually and sonically fractured Film Socialisme. "A humanist critique of how culture and commerce intersect and collide across international borders, Film Socialisme kaleidoscopically color-saturated screen overflows with life..." The film will be paired with numerous classic Godard films from the '60s, including Breathless, Contempt and Masculin Feminin.

Filmmaker Marina Goldovskaya is the subject of retrospective tonight organized by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, in collaboration with the UCLA Center for European and Eurasian Studies. Goldovskaya has taught for many years at UCLA, and throughout her career has worked to chronicle the immense changes in the Soviet Union. Screening tonight are The Prince Is Back from 1999, about "Prince Eugene Meshersky's struggle to restore the rubble of his ancestor's castle outside of Moscow to its former glory," and Three Songs About Motherland from 2008, which explores Russia's past, present and future in three different Russian cities. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood.

Saturday, January 21
RE:CUT, presented by the Torrance Art Museum, features video artists whose work centers on appropriation and cinema "and the imagined space created within video and film." Artists include Chris Coy, McLean Fahnestock, Valerie Green, Masood Kamandy, William Kaminski, Michael Kelly, Zach Kleyn, Owen Kydd, Lisa Madonna, Jesse McLean, John Pearson, Fil Ruting, Nicole Sloan and Joe Sola. The show opens with a reception tonight, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Venice PierThe Alternative Projections show of experimental film in Los Angeles between 1945 and 1980 continues tonight with a show titled Los Angeles Observed featuring a series of short films about various places in Los Angeles. These include Thom Andersen's Olivia's Place, Gary Beydler's Venice Pier and Baylis Glascock's Film Exercise No. 2. The show will take place at Cinefamily and begins at 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 22
Richard Meyer, curator of the Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles at MOCA, will offer a walkthrough and discussion of the exhibit today at 3:00 p.m. at MOCA Grand Avenue.

Georges MeliesA collection of silent short films by the special effects wizard Georges Méliès who contributed to the birth of cinema will take place today at the American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Featuring more than a dozen shorts, as well as live musical accompaniment, the show begins at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 25
Patrica Esquivias, the Venezuelan-born video artist whose work is currently on view at the Hammer Museum (through February 12) will host a lunch-time talk at the Museum today at 12:30 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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