A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events in Los Angeles this week: an essay film about “the cloud” at the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive; a talk on the figure of the pachuca at the Fowler Museum; a performance of a Robert Ashley opera at 356 Mission; a screening of Mulholland Dr. at Cinefamily; and a talk on Catherine Opie by Miranda July hosted by MOCA.
Thursday, March 17, 8:00 p.m.
A play on the Marx quote “All that is solid melts into air,” the title of this roughly hour-long essay film by Los Angeles–based filmmaker Ryan Jeffery and Berlin-based artist and writer Boaz Levin speaks to society’s shift to an information economy as the latest example of capitalism’s abstraction of human relations. The film’s subject, however, is the very real physical manifestations of “the cloud,” in data centers and network infrastructures. that take a significant toll on the natural world. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Jeffery and LACA archivist Clarice De Veyra moderated by LA-based artist and writer Travis Diehl.
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, 2245 East Washington Boulevard
Friday, March 18, 12:00 p.m.
In conjunction with the Fowler’s current exhibition “José Montoya’s Abundant Harvest: Works on Paper/Works on Life” (on view through July 17), curator Selene Preciado speaks on the image of the pachuca—the female equivalent of the pachuco zoot suiter—as a figure of female and cultural resistance. José Montoya (1932–2013) was an artist and activist who documented the United Farm Workers and Chicano civil rights movement of the 1960s. The Fowler’s exhibition of his works on paper was co-curated by Preciado and the artist’s son, playwright and filmmaker Richard Montoya.
Fowler Museum at UCLA, 308 Charles E Young Drive North
Saturday, March 19, 5:30 p.m.
356 Mission presents a 1968 opera by composer Robert Ashley (1930–2014) directed by New York–based writer and composer Alex Waterman. In the work, referred to as a “speaking opera,” the main character is interrogated by two pairs of men and women offstage, who interrupt her with a series of improvised asides. The players in this performance are actors Mary Farley and Sean Daly, writers Wayne Koestenbaum and Kendra Sullivan, performance artist Jibz Cameron, and Waterman himself.
356 Mission, 356 South Mission Road
Sunday, March 20, 2:00 p.m.
Cinefamily, as part of its Hollywood Gothic program, presents a matinee screening of David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. (2001) on 35mm film. A grim and astute assessment of the myths and tropes of Hollywood, Mulholland Dr. won Lynch the Best Director Award at Cannes that year and is considered a high point in his filmography. The movie’s dense, psychological horror feeds on the extreme fantasy that Hollywood engenders, colliding with the often gritty realities of the city of Los Angeles.
Cinefamily, 611 North Fairfax Avenue
Sunday, March 20, 3:00 p.m.
As part of MOCA’s Artists on Artists series of talks, the artist, writer, and filmmaker Miranda July will speak on the work of photographer Catherine Opie. July included Opie among ten public figures in her 2013 project We Think Alone, which sent personal e-mail exchanges on the subjects of fear, money, President Obama, business, and music, among other topics, by figures such as Opie, Lena Dunham, and Danh Vo to subscribers. “Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road” is currently on view at the MOCA Pacific Design Center, through May 8.
West Hollywood Council Chambers, 625 North San Vicente Boulevard