Mike Kelley: Superman Recites Selections from 'The Bell Jar' and Other Works by Sylvia Plath, 1999, video, approx. 7 1/4 minutes.  Copyright Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix.

A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events in Los Angeles this week: a self-guided tour through L.A.'s olfactory hauntings; a screening of The Deadman by Peggy Ahwesh & Keith Sanborn; an exhibition-as-tribute to Chris Burden's Five Day Locker Piece; an all-night concert of ambient music; and a program of Mike Kelley's single-channel videos. 


Thursday, December 10, 7:00 p.m.

Self-guided tour: Phantosmia: An historic guide to the aromatic apparitions in LA

"Phantosmia" refers to an olfactory hallucination or "phantom scent"—a perceived smell without a physical source. At the Institute for Art and Olfaction, a storefront nonprofit in Chinatown, the Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles return for a second collaborative event exploring ostensibly haunted locations of the city, where paranormal smells have been purported to waft through the air. A ghost-storytelling session at IAO includes an optional map of locations described in the talk and/or a kit of 13 scents (one for each stop on the tour) in 3 ml bottles, approximating Jean Harlow's perfume and Rudolph Valentino's horse stable, among other odors.     

Institute for Art and Olfaction, 932 Chung King Road


Friday, December 11, 7:30 p.m.

Screening: Peggy Ahwesh & Keith Sanborn's Deadman, introduced by Maggie Nelson

In the second and final screening presented in conjunction with the exhibition "Sylvia Bataille" (through Dec. 20), poet and author Maggie Nelson introduces Peggy Ahwesh and Keith Sanborn's film The Deadman (1989). The 16mm black-and-white short is based on Sanborn's translation of Le Mort, a Georges Bataille story posthumously published in 1967. The Deadman follows the lead character character Marie, played by filmmaker Jennifer Montgomery, through a gauntlet of abject and ecstatic pleasures which Ahwesh described as "one long female jouissance." "Sylvia Bataille" explores the character of the eponymous actress who was married at different times to Georges Bataille and Jacques Lacan but about whom little is known.

JOAN, 4300 West Jefferson Boulevard


Friday, December 11, 6:00 p.m.

Exhibition: Jason Keller & James Melinat, Locker Number 5

Artist-designers Jason Keller and James Melina, alumni of UC Irvine, are so inspired by the late Chris Burden (1946-2015) that they describe their performance-exhibition Locker Number 5 as an homage rather than a work of art. Locker Number 5 invites viewers to reenact Chris Burden's seminal work performed at UCI, Five Day Locker Piece (1971), during which the artist locked himself in a two-by-three-by-three-foot school locker for five consecutive days. From Monday through Friday (Dec. 7-11) at Actual Size Los Angeles, an exact replica of the locker Burden used is on display and available for viewers to close themselves into. A reception will be held on Friday.   

Actual Size Los Angeles, 741 New High Street


Saturday, December 12, 6:00 p.m.

Music: Tonalism: All Night Ambient Music

In a program presented by Dublab radio, inspired by La Monte Young's Dream House in New York, 356 Mission hosts a 12-hour sound and visual event. From 6:00 p.m. Saturday until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, 14 assorted artists and groups will perform for an audience surrounded by six speakers. Featured acts include Avey Tare and Deaken of Animal Collective, Bjorn Copeland and Aaron Warren of Black Dice, Brian Degraw of Gang Gang Dance and Angela Seo of Xiu Xiu.             

356 Mission, 356 South Mission Road


Monday, December 14, 8:30 p.m.

Screening: Mike Kelley's Single Channel Videos

With a selection of work spanning the 1980s to 2000s, this program of theatrically oriented videos by the late Mike Kelley (1954-2012) tracks the evolution of his practice mining the darker sides of American pop culture, counterculture and modernism. The evening includes video documentation of his collaborative performances with Paul McCarthy, Bob Flanagan and others, and the large-scale, satirical melodramas from his "Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction" series (2000-2012).

REDCAT, 631 West 2nd Street