A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events taking place this week in L.A.: performances by Miwa Matreyek at Union Station; a day of "Witty and Urbane" projects and workshops across the city; a panel discussion about composition in photography at the Hammer; and a dialogue about race and art at Human Resources.
Friday, June 26, 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Shadowgraphy (also known as ombromanie) was once an important storytelling technique, with entertainers using their fingers and hands to form whatever shadowy shapes the narrative needed. Los Angeles-based artist Miwa Matreyek updates these methods, grafting her own silhouette into beautifully animated scenes of galaxies and cities. She enacts two pieces in each performance. This World Made Itself is akin to a shadow dancing through a children's science book, while Myth and Infrastructure plays out as a dreamlike sequence.
Historic Ticketing Hall at Union Station, 800 North Alameda Street
Sunday, June 28, 11 a.m.
"Witty and Urbane," a group exhibition at Fellows of Contemporary Art through July 10, showcases five artists who deal with city life by inserting humorous elements into the landscape. For this all-day event, the featured artists activate their practices via demonstrations throughout the city. Melissa Manfull hosts a map printing workshop at FOCA; Erin Payne constructs floating biodegradable structures on the L.A. River; Susan Logoreci leads a "personal aerial photography" workshop in Lincoln Park; Dana Maiden distributes chopped up photographs for photocollages; and "Witty and Urbane" curator Kristi Lippire hosts an open studio and closing reception in El Sereno.
Fellows of Contemporary Art, 970 North Broadway #208, and various locations
Sunday, June 28, 2 p.m.
In recent years, doomsayers have prophesied the death of photography as we know it, envisioning a future where cellphones are the primary imaging devices. "Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition," a new exhibition at the Hammer (through Sept. 13), scoffs at the theory, championing the considered, intricately conceived photographs of such artists as Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, Sharon Lockhart and Christopher Williams. In a panel discussion, the exhibition's curator Russell Ferguson takes the stage with three Los Angeles-based artists included in the show—Catherine Opie, Thomas Demand and Elad Lassry—to defend the idea that photography's power comes from a thoughtful composition.
Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Monday, June 29, 7 p.m.
The question on this event's announcement—"If there were an 'Artist's Survival Guide' for People of Color, what would it include?"—frames a discussion organized by Michelada Think Tank, "a group of socially conscious artists interested in facilitating conversation and community around issues facing people of color," and Chats About Change, who hosted an incredibly powerful series of talks in January. The event is part of Michelada Think Tank's summer residency at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), where they are hosting weekly sessions and engage in a "humorous and critical exploration of survival under a framework of institutional racism in the arts." Micheladas—a delicious Mexican concoction of beer, lime and various spices—will be served along with a heaping helping of thought-provoking discussion.
Human Resources, 410 Cottage Home Street