Holiday Oddities

The upcoming three-day weekend is a perfect chance to catch up on some of the great video screening around the city. If you haven't yet seen the expansive retrospective of more than 150 works that make up John Baldessari: Pure Beauty, head over to LACMA and make sure to find his 1971 video I Am Making Art. The 19-minute piece features the artist standing in front of the camera in various poses while stating flatly, and repetitively, "I am making art." The video takes you through confusion, amusement, absurdity and awe as you try to figure out what he means, and it perfectly captures the artist's conceptual brilliance

You'll find a similar trajectory inspired by Any Ever, a show of work by video artist Ryan Trecartin. Dubbed "a glorious mess" by critic Christopher Knight, the show is composed of more than four hours of video dispersed throughout several rooms, each featuring various items of furniture. The disparate videos connect via themes, characters and a dazzling frenetic visual style. The work was created in conjunction with Lizzie Fitch over the last three years, and indeed, Trecartin often works in collaboration with friends. In an interview a few years ago, Trecartin said that he thinks of his work more as theater production or moviemaking rather than the output of a singular artist. Commenting on the fetishization of both art and artists, he said, "I think my friends and I don't fetishize things; instead we consume them and then puke them out." His glib characterization is amusing, and probably quite accurate, but it doesn't do justice to the mesmerizing impact of the work and its alignment with new senses of time, space and attention.

Finally, if you'd like to continue to be dazzled in strange ways, you might like the show of early 3D films presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m. Film historian Serge Bromberg will showcase some of the earliest experiments with 3D, including work by George Méliès and Norman McLaren.

John Baldessari: Pure Beauty
Through September 12, 2010
5905 Wilshire Boulevard

Any Ever: Ryan Trecartin
Through October 17, 2010
MOCA Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood

3D Rarities: From 1900 and Beyond
Tuesday, September 7, 7:30 p.m.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Linwood Dunn Theater, 1313 Vine Street, Hollywood, CA 90028

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