A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events in L.A. this week: Frances Stark's talk about Sturtevant at MOCA, Shana Lutker's reflections on a Surrealist brawl at Susanne Vielmetter, Tamara Henderson and Alexander Keefe's discussion of avant-garde dancer Viola Farber at China Art Objects, and High Desert Test Sites' screening of films in homage to the desert.
Thursday, July 23, 7 p.m.
As part of MOCA's "Artists on Artists" series, Frances Stark leads a conversation on the museum's survey of Sturtevant (1924-2014), "Double Trouble," which closes July 27. From 1964, Sturtevant made a career out of "repeating" the works of her contemporaries in slightly cock-eyed, close-but-not-quite reproductions. Stark—who similarly mines a terrain of contemporary image culture—is an ideal guide to her slippery work. The conversation could serve as a historical anchor and teaser for Stark's highly anticipated mid-career survey at the Hammer Museum this fall.
Ahmanson Auditorium, MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 South Grand Avenue
Saturday, July 25, 4:30 p.m.
Shana Lutker's recent works delve deep into the lives of the Surrealists—in particular the well-documented eruptions of violence among members, outliers and adversaries of the movement's Parisian center. This Saturday, Lutker gives her reading of one such incident, which took place at a banquet for Symbolist poet Saint-Pol-Roux on July 2, 1925, and culminated with André Breton being nearly thrown from a window. The historical event also inspired Lutker's current exhibition at the gallery, "Paul, Paul, Paul, and Paul" (through Aug. 22), which comprises the fourth chapter in the artist's body of work about Surrealist fistfights. The lecture is a combination of researched material, subjective reflections, sculptural experiences and a certain longing for a time when art was worth fighting for.
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, 6006 Washington Boulevard
Saturday, July 25, 7 p.m.
Public Fiction founder Lauren Mackler's exhibition "This Sentence" continues to unfold at China Art Objects, with new works being added weekly accompanied by performances, talks and screenings. This week introduces a new contribution to the exhibition by Canadian artist Tamara Henderson, who speaks with artist and writer Alexander Keefe on the work of mid-century choreographer Viola Farber. A founding member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and student of Cunningham and John Cage at Black Mountain College, Farber is a central figure in avant-garde dance. The talk includes a partial screening of Merce Cunningham's Crises (1960), an important performance of Farber's which Cunningham described as "an adventure in togetherness."
China Art Objects, 6086 Comey Avenue
Saturday, July 25, 8 p.m.
A few hours outside of L.A., High Desert Test Sites hosts an episodic suite of films by Gerhard Treml and Leo Calice that take the desert as their muse at the saloon-like Palms Restaurant. The Viennese filmmakers' angular, painterly narratives about extreme expressions of freedom by people living in the desert examines the iconography and mythology of the expansive and barren landscapes. Shot entirely from a bird's-eye view, vast expanses of desert surround simple scenes, with the characters always visible at a distance.
The Palms, 83131 Amboy Rd, Wonder Valley