A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events taking place in Los Angeles this week: a revisiting of Project X's "Program for Paradise" at the Occidental College amphitheatre; a screening about political narratives at MaRS; REDCAT's New Original Works performance festival; Adam Linder's "Some Cleaning" at 356 Mission; and a talk by artist Mark Bradford and lawyer and academic Anita Hill at the Hammer.
Wednesday, July 29, 7 p.m.
Today the early '90s are the subject of much nostalgia, but in truth, the recessionary era posed challenges for art-making. From 1991 to 1998, Los Angeles artists Stephen Berens and Ellen Birrell spearheaded Project X, collaboratively organizing exhibitions and, in 1997, founding the quarterly journal X-TRA to fill the void in conceptual criticism that accompanied the ebb in the art market. The Project X Forums, at the 18th Street Arts Center, are monthly events looking back on these shows. The fifth installment revisits "Program for Paradise," a set of readings and performances staged at the Occidental College amphitheater in 1995. The original participants included Berens, Birrell, Lisa Anne Auerbach and Jan Tumlir, among others. For this event, artists such as the Lucky Dragons, Shana Lutker and Sarah Petersen will reconceptualize the presentations from 20 years ago.
Remsen Bird Hillside Theater, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road
Thursday, July 30, 7 p.m.
"Regional, International & Extraterrestrial," a four-week summer screening and performance series at the gallery MaRS, kicks off with "Narrating the Political." The program includes a live performance by Lisa Jugert and videos by David Rych, Sadaf H Nava, Danielle Dean and Hanna Bergfors. Political speech, guerrilla activism, consumer culture and subcultural fashion are considered in these works, which investigate how news broadcasts and popular media frame our everyday experiences.
MaRS (Museum as Retail Space), 649 South Anderson Street
Thursday, July 30 to Saturday, August 1, 8:30 p.m.
The first week of REDCAT's annual New Original Works Festival, featuring Los Angeles artists, premieres three works. Nguyen Nguyen and Maria Gillespie collaborate with video artist and astrophysicist Fabio Altenbach on a multimedia piece about dislocation; Sheetal Gandhi, Ulka Mohanty and Mark Gutierrez create a percussive work exploring identity and racial violence; and Zac Pennington, Jherek Bischoff and Steven Reker's musical performance examines the nuances of pop stardom.
REDCAT, 631 West 2nd Street
Saturday, Aug. 1, 3 p.m.
"The sourball of every revolution: after the revolution, who's going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?" asked Mierle Laderman Ukeles in her 1969 "Manifesto for Maintenance Art." The artist wrote the groundbreaking feminist screed a year after having her first baby, in an era when, she told A.i.A. in a 2009 interview, "There was no valuing of ‘maintenance' in Western Culture . . . The people who were taking care and keeping the wheels of society turning were mute, and I didn't like it!" She would go on to stage Hartford Wash at the Wadsworth Atheneum in 1973, where she performed such tasks as washing the museum's floors and front steps, making visible the hidden, low-paid tasks that keep art spaces functional. Berlin and Los Angeles-based artist Adam Linder's Some Cleaning, a contracted choreographic cleaning service, follows in these footsteps. The final of three performances of Some Cleaning at 356 Mission takes place this Saturday afternoon. Linder has staged the work previously at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Wattis Institute in San Francisco and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, among other venues.
Sunday, Aug. 2, 2 p.m.
In conjunction with his Hammer exhibition "Scorched Earth" (through Sept. 27), which examines the personal and historical ramifications of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, artist Mark Bradford speaks with legal scholar Anita Hill about feminism and interdisciplinary activism. Both speakers are noted for advocating social change. Hill became a galvanizing figure for '90s feminists after she testified at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's 1991 Senate confirmation hearings that Thomas sexually harassed her when she worked for him at the Department of Education. Bradford, for his part, has long been interested in art's intersection with social justice. He recently cofounded the community-oriented nonprofit Art + Practice in the historically black arts district of Leimert Park.
Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd.