5 design things to do this week

This week you can: hear about art and the anthropocene; see photos of dancers in a downtown parking lot; admire lost (and almost lost) LA landmarks; learn the social justice history of a Lincoln Heights church; and walk through Mike Kelley's expansive Kandors exhibition.

Installation view of Adrián Villar Rojas: The Theater of Disappearance, October 22, 2017–May 13, 2018 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, image courtesy of the artist, kurimanzutto, Mexico City and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris / London, photo by Studio Michel Zabé

1) Jon Christensen on the Anthropocene

Climate change has ushered our planet into a new era. The Holocene lasted about 10,000 years, but now environmentalists and geologists have begun tossing around a new term – the Anthropocene – to discuss how global warming is wreaking havoc on our ecosystems. Environmental historian and science writer Jon Christensen has been writing about this for years now, and he’ll talk about it at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, where Adrián Villar Rojas’s site-specific installation “The Theater of Disappearance” is on view through May.

Villar Rojas’ “post-human artworks” feature carefully placed boulders; totemic columns of concrete, resin and other materials that resemble stratified core samples of the earth; and glass cases filled with organic and inorganic objects ranging from human skeletons to animal organs, robotic limbs, decomposing potatoes and used athletic shoes.

When: Sunday, Jan 7 at 3 pm

Where: The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N Central Ave, Los Angeles

Tickets: FREE with museum admission. More information here.

Mad Lines (dancer Madaline Riley). Photo by John Nyboer.

2) John Nyboer: The Real Futures Photo Exhibit

John Nyboer got the idea for his latest photographic exhibition from walking through downtown Los Angeles on Election Day 2016. While fear and anxiety seemed to be the prevailing mood, he was drawn by the sound of thumping bass music to a parking lot where a group of dancers was performing a dance routine.

“I heard music and saw… a synchronized body of movement and shadows beneath a harsh security light. I headed straight for the scene and saw a collective made up of people from everywhere. I knew immediately that this was a future worth representing,” Nyboer said.

Lois Lambert Gallery is showing “The Real Future: Dancers at The Lot, Los Angeles,” a documentation of the style and beauty of the dancers in this vibrant underground dance community. The photographs were taken with natural light and without flash, with slow shutter speeds that sometimes captured just a ghost-like blurry figure moving in front of a crowd of onlookers.

When: Exhibition closes on Jan. 6

Where: Lois Lambert Gallery, at Bergamot Station; 2525 Michigan Ave. E3, Santa Monica

Tickets: FREE. More information here.

The Wilshire Brown Derby (1936 – 1985) was one of several locations in the restaurant chain, and the only one in the shape of a hat. (Circa 1930s, Security Pacific National Bank Collection)

3) L.A. Landmarks: Lost and Almost Lost

Downtown’s Art Deco Richfield Building (gone); the Welton Becket-designed Parker Center (going); and the Art Deco Wiltern Theatre (saved) are among the buildings included in this exhibition of photos of some of the historic landmarks in and near Los Angeles that have been demolished or narrowly escaped the wrecking ball.

The show was curated by Cindy Olnick, Director of Communications for the Los Angeles Conservancy, who also published a book on the same topic, “L.A. Landmarks: Lost and Almost Lost.” (You can hear Olnick talk about the late John Portman on this DnA broadcast.)

When: Exhibition closes Jan 14

Where: Central Library (History & Genealogy Department, LL4), 630 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles

Tickets: Free and open to the public; get more information here.

(Left) Rosalio Muñoz, Chicano Power March, 1968; (Right) Camilo Ontiveros,Deportables, colchon and rope. 2008.

4) The Art of Protest: Epiphany and the Culture of Empowerment

Founded in 1887, the Church of the Epiphany in Lincoln Heights is the oldest surviving Episcopal Church building in Los Angeles and a cultural landmark, due to its role as a hub for Chicano activism in the late 1960s and 1970s, when it served as the Los Angeles base for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers movement and La Raza, the Chicano civil rights movement (its newspaper, La Raza, was printed in the basement).

Now it is hosting an exhibition showcasing its history of social justice, co-curated by LACMA educator Sofia Gutierrez, artist Ricardo Reyes, historian Roslio Muñoz, and architect Ravi GuneWardena, whose firm Escher GuneWardena is preservation architect for the church. Artists from the Lincoln Heights neighborhood who were active in the Chicano Movement as well as those today whose work speaks to current human rights issues, will fill the church sanctuary.

When: On view Jan 6 – March 29, 2018

Where: The Church of the Epiphany/La Iglesia de la Epifanía, 2808 Altura St., Los Angeles

Tickets: Free and open to the public; more information here.

Installation view, ‘Mike Kelley: Kandors 1999 – 2011,’ Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2017. Art © Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. All Rights Reserved / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, Hauser & Wirth, and Private Collection. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

5) ‘Mike Kelley: Kandors 1999 – 2011’ exhibition walkthrough with artist Samara Golden

The late LA artist Mike Kelley became obsessed with the fictional city of Kandor, the former capital of Superman’s home planet of Krypton that was shrunk down and placed under a bell jar by the supervillain Brainiac. Kelley created an enormous body of work, including drawings, sculpture, video installations, set pieces and even an imaginary international conference dedicated to Kandor. The downtown gallery Hauser & Wirth has assembled the the first comprehensive survey of the Kandors series, curated by Kelley’s longtime studio manager, Mary Clare Stevens. It runs through Jan. 21. For this walkthrough of the exhibit, LA-based artist Samara Golden — whose work was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, the 2014 Hammer Biennial, and Room to Live at MOCA Los Angeles — will talk about the importance of Kelley and his Kandors series for her own body of work.

When: Sunday, Jan 7, 2-4 pm

Where: Hauser & Wirth, 901 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: This drop-in event is not ticketed, however space is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Check-in begins at 1:15 pm at the Information Desk in the Courtyard. More information here.