A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events taking place this week in Los Angeles: an evening with Ralph Bakshi at USC; a screening of new Jeepneys' films at the Echo Park Film Center; a performance of Ann Hirsch's play Playground at Joan; and a desert art weekend in a secret location.
Thursday, Mar. 26, 7 p.m.
Artists who think they're subversive or challenging have nothing on Ralph Bakshi. The director, whose career has spanned nearly 60 years, was behind animated and live-action films that started conversations about race and sex, but never at the expense of storytelling. His early groundbreaking independent movies included Fritz the Cat (1972), Heavy Traffic (1973) and Coonskin (1975). Later he would struggle against censorship and fight studios for creative control of mainstream projects like the animated adaptation of Lord of the Rings (1978), the Saturday morning children's cartoon Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (1987) and the action film Cool World (1992). Here, Bakshi will screen Fritz the Cat, notorious for being the first X-rated cartoon, after which he will sit for a Q&A.
The Ray Stark Family Theatre at USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th St.
Thursday, Mar. 26, 8 p.m.
Anna Luisa Petrisko is an Los Angeles-based performance and video artist who goes by the pseudonym Jeepneys, a name she borrowed from converted military jeeps left in the Philippines by the U.S. military during their occupation of the island nation in the first half of the 20th century. During her recent residency at the Echo Park Film Center she produced two works, Mabuhay Ka and Olinglingo: The Movie. The former is a series of short experimental documentary films shot in the L.A. neighborhood of Historic Filipinotown, where she asked residents to reflect on their connection to the area. Meanwhile, Olinglingo, titled after a pre-colonial Filipino fertility symbol, is described as a "video opera meets experimental performance documentary . . . a ceremony to invoke ancestral memory from the future to the past, from earth to outer-space."
Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St.
Saturday, Mar. 28, 8 p.m.
Ann Hirsch recently relocated from New York to Los Angeles, and this performance at Joan, a brand-new art space, places her stake in the ground. Originally performed at the New Museum in New York in 2013 and at South London Gallery in London in 2014, Playground is a two-person theater piece that follows an online relationship between a 27-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl, which unfurls as a "reflection on the confusion of adolescent sexuality and the development of gender identity alongside the digital revolution." Both the New York and London performances were sold out, so it's recommended to show up well before the 8 p.m. start time.
Joan, 4300 W. Jefferson Blvd. #1
Saturday, Mar. 28 and Sunday, Mar. 29
A collaboration between two art nonprofits—the L.A.-based Machine Project and Joshua Tree-based High Desert Test Sites—Off-Road Expo splits the difference between them. Which is the say, the weekend of camping and art activities will be held in a secret location (to be disclosed upon ticket purchase) that is equidistant from L.A. and J-Tree. Admission price is on a sliding scale, but there's also the option to gain admittance by buying artists an item or two from a gift registry of needed supplies. Expect performances, great food (one of the participating artists is Bob Dornberger, who runs the gourmet-catering-service-as-art-project Secret Restaurant), and site-specific works from John Knuth, Candice Lin, Ali Beletic and more.