5 Design Things to do this Week

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Foreclosure, Hard Bop, It’s the Pits, music to say goodbye to New Objectivity and Star-gazing; here’s your week in design events from DnA.

Photo courtesy of Broad Green Pictures
Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (2015). Courtesy Broad Green Pictures.(The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) 99 Homes Film Screening

Predatory real-estate broker Michael Shannon forecloses on bankrupt construction worker Andrew Garfield, and then lures him into working in his shady business, in this timely thriller from director Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Chop Shop). One of ten films screening January 6 -20 as The Contenders 2015:  recent films selected by MoMA as likely to withstand the test of time. If you liked The Big Short, consider checking this one out.

When: Monday, January 11, 2016 7:30 PM

Where: Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90024

Tickets: $15 General Admission; $10 Hammer Members

On exhibition in New Objectivity: Carl Grossberg, The Paper Machine (Die Papiermaschine), 1934, Oil on wood; 35 7/16 x 45 11/16 in., private collection, Photo by Benjamin Hasenclever, Munich (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) New Objectivity Closes With Live Accompaniment by Michael Mortilla

New Objectivity is a collection of paintings and photographs produced during the short but artistically fertile Weimar Republic, which lasted 11 years from the fall of the German monarchy at the end of World War I to the rise of the Nazis. Centered in Berlin, a group of artists rejected Expressionism in favor of a new realism, dubbed Neue Sachlichkeit—New Objectivity—to capture the trials and freedoms of a fledgling democracy, postwar trauma, economic depression, social and sexual experimentation and newly industrialized architecture and cities.

Curated by LACMA’s Stephanie Barron, New Objectivity contains works that are truly shocking (of “desperate prostitutes, crippled war veterans, and alienated urban landscapes”) as well as many that are visually stunning.

The show closes Monday, January 18, but on Sunday, January 17, you can hear pianist and sound designer Michael Mortilla perform live improvised accompaniment to four silent films that are screened in the exhibition. His performance will last the entire day, beginning  with the opening shot of Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (1927), and ending with the final shot of a second showing of Berlin at 6:50 pm.

When: Through Monday, January 18, 2016; performance by Michael Mortilla, Sunday, January 17, begins at 10:30 AM.

Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tickets: $15 general admission; $10 LACMA, AIA members, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Alumni; $5 seniors 62+ and students with ID; 323 857-6010 or purchase online.


3) It’s The Pits! (Art Party)

Cool-stuff-to-do mobile app 5 Every Day transforms the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum into It’s the Pits!, “a science-skewed creative salon” with artists, musicians and filmmakers staging pop-up installations and performances throughout the museum’s spaces. “Dancers take over the atrium, experimental animation interrupts the theater’s usual programming [and] music spills across the terrace,” it says here. Participants include Lost & Found Film Club, Tom Carroll, Jherek Bischoff and Nibbles, the museum’s saber-toothed cat puppet.

When: January 15, 7:00 PM-10:00 PM

Where: La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90036

Tickets: Free — but advance reservations are full. A limited number of guests will be admitted at the door, so show up early!

The Ten Point Program is reconsidered in “Static, Luggage Tag Two, Orator Standard and Akkurat”

4) CLOSING RECEPTION: “Hard Bop: Reflections and Interpretations of a Militant Manifesto”

Almost fifty years ago the revolutionary, black nationalist Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California. Its primary goal was to challenge police brutality, but it also provided social services for poor African-Americans — free breakfast for children, and community health clinics — and it created a “Ten-Point Program” called “What We Want Now!” Among its demands: “We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community,” and “We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.”

One of the beneficiaries of the Panthers’ Free Breakfasts was Tyrone Drake, raised in Oakland and now a graphic designer and adjunct professor at Art Center College of Design; he remembers stopping en route to elementary school for breakfast and a group sing-along of revolutionary songs. Now he has turned his typographic skills to creating a contemporary, visual reinterpretation of the manifesto, believing the ten points have a new relevance in the time of Black Lives Matter. His series of posters, called “Hard Bop: Reflections and Interpretations of a Militant Manifesto,” which also includes portraits of Panthers’ founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale and members of the inner circle, is the inaugural exhibition in the new Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography, dedicated to longtime letterform teacher Leah Hoffmitz Milken, who died last year. (Listen to DnA’s recent interview with Tyrone Drake here.)

When: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 15, 2016, 7:00 PM-10:00 PM (Also open Tues-Thurs 10:00 AM-4:00 PM through January 15.)

Where: HMCT + Wind Tunnel Gallery, ArtCenter South Campus, 950 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

Tickets: 626.396.4343


5) Griffith Observatory Public Star Party

Right now, in a galaxy not far away…..gaze into the winter night sky and experience what philanthropist and attempted wife-murderer Colonel Griffith J. Griffith called “the transformative power of observation.”

Take the whole family to this month’s Public Star Party to look at the sun, moon, visible planets and other objects and marvel at nature’s most stellar designs.

When: January 16, 2:00 PM-9:45 PM

Where: Griffith Observatory, 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles 90027

Tickets: Free and open to the public