A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events in Los Angeles this week: a rare screening of a racy film by Kathy Acker and Alan Sondheim; an artist's talk on the DJ-dancer relationship; a poetry festival at Commonwealth & Council; a drag performance by Joey Arias in the role of Billie Holiday; and a book launch about the liberal sexual culture of France and Germany from the 1920s to '40s.
Thursday, November 19, 7:30 p.m.
As part of the exhibition "Sylvia Bataille," JOAN presents Kathy Acker and Alan Sondheim's collaborative video Blue Tape (1974). The group exhibition (on view through Dec. 20) acts as a platform for the participating artists' imaginings of the life and character of Sylvia Bataille (1908-1993)—a French actress once married to both George Bataille and Jacques Lacan whose history, despite these high profile relationships, is little documented. Blue Tape similarly takes a relationship as its point of departure—Acker and Sondheim's own short, tempestuous love affair. Shot over 48 hours in Sondheim's loft, the video is a raw, often pathos-laden document.
JOAN, 4300 West Jefferson Boulevard
Friday, November 20, 7:00 p.m.
L.A.-based artist taisha paggett's large-scale installation and performance platform, The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People (through Dec. 6), has transformed LACE into a temporary dance school focused on the bodies and movement of queer people of color. Friday, it hosts a performative lecture by L.A. artist and scholar DJ Lynnee Denise exploring the improvisational relationship between DJs and dancers.
LACE, 6522 Hollywood Boulevard
Friday, November 20 & Saturday November 21, 12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
A two-day event celebrating poetry as a transdisciplinary art form, The Free and Natural Poetry Faire, held at Koreatown's artist-run Commonwealth & Council Gallery, will feature readings after dark and presentations by small presses during the day. Participating imprints include Semiotext(e), The Song Cave and Poetic Research Bureau. More than 25 poets perform, including Cedar Sigo, Kate Durbin and Amber Rose Tamblyn. The festival also includes metalworks, a costume exhibit, a one-act play and psychic and astrology readings.
Commonwealth & Council, 3006 West 7th Street
Sunday, November 22, 7:00 p.m.
Commemorating what would have been jazz legend Billie Holiday's centenary year, New York cabaret and drag performer Joey Arias performs his incarnation of Lady Day—an act he has perfected since the early 1990s. This current production premiered at New York's Lincoln Center earlier this year.
REDCAT, 631 West 2nd Street
Tuesday, November 24, 7:30 p.m.
Author Mel Gordon's Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin (Feral House, 2008) is a scholarly compendium of visual ephemera from Berlin's sexually permissive interwar years. In celebration of the release of Gordon's companion book, Horizontal Collaboration: The Erotic World of Paris, 1920-1946 (Feral House, 2015), Gordon hosts a screening of rare erotica from Weimar Germany and Paris prior to and during its occupation under the Vichy regime. A book signing with prewar cocktails and a pop-up exhibition of Weimar-era ephemera follows the screening.
The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 North Fairfax Avenue