A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events taking place this week in Los Angeles: a series of Chats About Change at Cal State and LACE; a screening of Bella Vista at the Spielberg Theatre; Christine Corday in conversation with Michael Govan at LACMA; and a performance by the Los Angeles Poverty Department at USC.
Thursday, Jan. 15, 6-10 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 17, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Chats About Change: Critical Conversations on Art and Politics in Los Angeles.
With panels titled "How Can I Participate?," "Flowers for Action, Seeds for Change" and "Between the Artist, the Organizer, and the Social Worker," Chats About Change will center on social practice and broadening creative conversations beyond an insular art world. The speaker list is impressive, and includes Micol Hebron (whose "Gallery Tally Poster Project" stirred a debate about gender inequality in the art world), Daniel Joseph Martinez, Amitis Motevalli, taisha paggett and Jennifer Moon, who will represent KCHUNG, an artist-run pirate radio station in Chinatown. The two-day event is organized by artist/activists Robby Herbst and Elena Mann.
California State University Los Angeles, 5151 State University Dr., Student Union, 3rd floor, San Gabriel Room (Thursday) and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), 6522 Hollywood Blvd. (Saturday)
Sunday, Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.
Vera Brunner-Sung made a name for herself with her anthropogenic documentaries, one of which, Minong, I Slept (2010), screened during Klaus Biesenbach's "Expo 1: New York" at MoMA PS1 in 2013. Her first narrative feature, Bella Vista, follows an ESL teacher in Missoula, Mont. (Brunner-Sung teaches at the University of Montana). Surrounded by James Benning-esque landscapes, the film is an emotional, meditative work that has earned accolades at film festivals. This screening is co-presentated by the L.A. Arts Commission, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 250 S. Grand Ave.
Tuesday, Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Artist's Conversation: Christine Corday
LACMA recently unveiled UNE and KNOUN, two massive steel sculptures by artist Christine Corday, in a plaza near the museum's main entrance. The two pieces-one shaped like a half-pipe and the other a waterslide, are meant to be recording devices. This means visitors are encouraged to touch them, each fingerprint serving as a timestamp on the sculptures' "public surface," as Corday describes it. Both are part of Corday's "protoist" series, a term she coined to describe "forms in and out of a solid state." She will surely expound upon that when she speaks with LACMA director Michael Govan on Tuesday.
LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Thursday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m.
Red Beard/Red Beard
The Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) is a cleverly named theater troupe made up of homeless and formerly homeless artists and performers. To commemorate their 30th anniversary, the troupe will stage an excerpted performance of Red Beard/Red Beard. The play, devised by LAPD artistic director John Malpede, is an experimental production that pairs Akira Kurosawa's 1965 film Red Beard, shown on a 19-inch screen in Japanese without subtitles, with 10 actors, who will interact with the film, playing out a parallel text. The performance, like Red Beard, challenges the idea of "breaking cycles of poverty and victimization."
McClintock Theatre at USC School of Dramatic Arts, 1010 W. Jefferson Blvd.