5 design things to do this week

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Hamed Kolahchian Tabrizi, Smoking Machine, digital photograph, 2017. Courtesy of the artist

This week: hear artist and designer Tanya Aguiñiga discuss her bicultural inspirations; watch architect and self-proclaimed rebel Daniel Libeskind explain his creative process; explore Iranian youth culture through photos and videos; see how the body can be transformed as costume; and learn about the Getty’s acquisition of an elaborately illuminated 13th century Hebrew manuscript.

Tanya Aguiñiga at her 2018 solo exhibition, Craft & Care, at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York. Photo by Jenna Bascom.

1) Roski Talk with Tanya Aguiñiga

The artist and designer Tanya Aguiñiga is based in Los Angeles and grew up in both San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. Her binational identity plays a key role in her work, which explores issues of identity, culture and gender. “The dichotomy of growing up on the border completely shapes my work,” Aguiñiga has said. Aguiñiga holds an MFA in furniture design from Rhode Island School of Design and a BA from San Diego State University, but also studied with a native backstrap weaver in Chiapas, Mexico. Best known for her complex fiber art and furniture designs that employ traditional craft techniques and materials, there’s a performative aspect to her work that engages the audience and builds community. In one of her “performance crafting” happenings, she tied herself to the Beverly Hills sign while weaving and wearing traditional Mexican garments. She was a founding member of Border Art Workshop, an artists’ group that engages the languages of activism and community-based public art. She also helped to establish a community center at Maclovio Rojas, a community in an impoverished area of Tijuana, established during the US/Mexico trade wars in the 1980s. Her work has been featured in the PBS series “Craft in America,” in a 2011 site-specific exhibition at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City in a 2018 show called “Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft and Care.”

When: Tuesday, Jan. 22 from 6-8 pm

Where: USC Roski School of Art and Design, MFA Design Bldg, 1262 Palmetto St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: Talk is open to the public and free. Reservations required.

The Daniel Libeskind designed Jewish Museum Berlin (left), completed in 1999 and opened in 2001, conceptually represents the Jewish lifestyle before, during, and after the Holocaust.

2) Daniel Libeskind: Edge of Order | Discussion and Book Signing

Internationally renown Jewish-Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind does things a little differently. A self-proclaimed ‘rebel’, Libeskind credits his wide range of influences and unlikely sources of inspiration for the way he thinks about buildings and cities.  Libeskind will talk about his new book, Edge of Order, and discuss his creative process.

When: Wednesday, Jan 23, 7 pm

Where: Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium, 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles 90049

Tickets: Free. Advance reservation required.  You can reserve tickets here.

Hushidar Mortezaie and Jiyan Zandi, The Brotherhood, digital photograph, 2018. Courtesy of the artists

3) Focus Iran 3: Contemporary Photography and Video

The newly renamed Craft Contemporary – formerly Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) – presents Focus on Iran 3, the third in a series of exhibitions celebrating Iranian culture through work in photography and video.  Consistent with the name change’s objective of presenting the more forward looking direction the museum has taken in the past several years, Focus Iran 3 explores the lives and expressions of contemporary Iranian youth culture. Featuring forty two juried selections from mostly American and Iranian artists, the show reveals the vibrant energy of young Iranians and how they are navigating their lives.  Reaching out to the younger community locally, the under – 25 set are encouraged to attend the Opening Reception with a substantially reduced ticket price.  Presented in conjunction with the Farhang Foundation.

When: Opening Reception and Preview Friday, Jan 25, 7 – 10 pm; Exhibition runs Jan 27 – May 12

Where: Craft Contemporary (formerly CAFAM), 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90036

Tickets: Reception $95 , $45 under 25.  You can get tickets here.

Parker Day’s funhouse mirror representation of ‘body’ blurs the lines of fantasy and reality, challenging viewers to reconsider previously perceived limitations.

4) Littletopia at LA Art Show: Possession by Parker Day + Afterparty

Pass through the custom archway at the LA Art Show and enter Littletopia, a mecca of imaginative lowbrow and pop-art exhibits.  Friday night, you can follow Littletopia over to Superchief Gallery’s closing party for Parker Day’s second solo exhibition, Possession.  Following Day’s first major show ICONS which sold out to stellar reviews, Possession fundamentally asks what it means to possess a body.  Where ICONS looks at how costuming informs identity, Possession looks at the body as our first costume, and challenges viewers to reconsider supposed limitations and boundaries we ascribe as inherent.  You can read more about Parker Day’s Possession here.

When: Friday, Jan 25, 7 – 11 pm

Where: Superchief Gallery, 739 Kohler St, Los Angeles 90021

Tickets: Free

Unknown, Elijah ben Meshallum, Menorah, 1296, Tempera colors, gold, and ink. Ms. 116, fol. 226v Acquired with the generous support of Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder

5) People of the Book

Like the Jewish people’s journey to the Promised Land, so has been the traveling and wondering of this elaborately illuminated manuscript containing the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.  The Rothschild Pentateuch, originally created in France and/or Germany in 1296, traveled to Italy, Poland, and New York over centuries, before finally finding its home at the Getty.

Sharon Mintz, curator of Jewish Art at the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, joins Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple for a discussion of the enduring significance of this extraordinary manuscript.

When: Sunday, Jan 27, 3 pm

Where: Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium, 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles 90049

Tickets: Free. Advance reservation required.  You can reserve tickets here.