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This is a jam-packed weekend with Printed Matter's LA Art Book Fair at MOCA and Art Los Angeles Contemporary (is that the most cumbersome name of any show anywhere?) opening tonight at Barker Hanger. You might be there now. ALAC has proved to be a successful show with good galleries on a manageable scale. In fact, it was so successful that last year a couple of artists created an alternative fair out at Paramount Ranch, the old western town used for film shoots in Agora. Pentti Monkkonen and Liz Craft periodically host exhibitions at their Paradise Garage in Venice, including one for Yulan Grant this week.  (

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Liz Craft and Pentti Monkkonen at Paramount Ranch
© Luciano Perna

Monkkonen and Craft, a married couple with plenty of personal committments to their own art, want to provide opportunities for a wide range of artists to operate outside the boundaries of the museums and big galleries. Monkennon told me that it began as a way of reaching out to artists that they knew, or did not know but admired, and bring them together. The sense of community in New York City or Berlin, where Monkkonen and Craft had lived, was hard to access in car-bound LA so they decided to find opportunities to create it here.

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Liz Craft's piece at the 2014 Paramount Ranch Art Fair

Hence, Paramount Ranch. With their Berlin dealers Freedman Fitzpatrick who had relocated here, they enticed a healthy cross section of the art world out there last year and this year is equally promising. According to the organizers, last year's fair focused on emerging galleries and artist-run projects but it has now attracted galleries from Berlin, London, Mexico City, Paris, Tokyo and elsewhere with projects and performances all weekend beginning Saturday, midday. There will be outdoor sculptures of a temporary nature by Oscar Tuazon, Kate Costello and Pae White among others. Ongoing performances from Strautcherepinin (Freedman Fitzpatrick) and Karl Holmquist and Ei Arakawa (Green Tea Gallery), live paintings by Richard Hawkins and friends in the mess hall and in the afternoon, music by SFV Acid, Secret Circuit and Odwalla88. ()

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John Baldessari at the Paramount Art Fair in 2014

Now for another future event: Monday night, February 2, at REDCAT, veteran curators Carole Ann Klonarides, Sylvère Lotringer and Michael Oblowitz present Cinema Is a Virus from Out of Space.

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Michael Oblowitz's "Minus Zero," with Rosemary Hochschild

Going back to the No Wave film movement of the 1970's, the series features the early work of now famed filmmakers and artists with in-person appearances by same: Kathryn Bigelow, Patti Astor, Gerald Casele, for instance with high profile newcomer Zachary Drucker.

It revisits a 1978 program organized by Bigelow and Oblowitz to coincide with the Schizo-Culture issue of the journal Semiotext(e), which was founded by Lotringer.

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Patti Astor and Ape (Rosemary Hochschild) in Tina L'Hotsky's "Snake Woman" (1977)
Photo by Michael Oblowitz

The screenings include Bruce Connor's film for DEVO's Mongoloid (1977), Bigelow's student film Set-Up, Tina L'Hotsky's Snake Woman (1977) starring Patti Astor and others.

This is rare opportunity to find yourself basking in the glow of pre-digital moving image culture.

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