5 Art Shows to See in L.A. This Week

By Catherine Wagley

Hand job

VENUS MANHATTAN LOS ANGELES

Artist Valie Export held a watch when she performed Touch Cinema in the late 1960s. Usually, she was in public spaces, wearing a styrofoam box with an over her chest. She would look at the watch as a public participant reached his or her hands in through the styrofoam to touch her breasts. Once 33 seconds had passed, she’d politely tell her fondler that their time was up. Footage of Touch Cinema — which she showed decades ago at a Vienna lm festival at which a lmmaker stood to yell, “Is this even lm? Do we have to put up with this?” — plays now at Venus Over Los Angeles in a group show called “Cunt.”

All of the artists in the all-women show have been working since at least the 1970s. Dorothy Iannone’s I Was Thinking of You III is a three-dimensional wooden box slightly larger than a human. Two bodies are painted on it, a man’s and a woman’s. She has little leaves around her geni- tals, bright red nipples and a screen for her face, on which black-and-white footage of Iannone’s own face, in some kind of ecstasy, plays. The work in “Cunt” is without exception masterful and quixotic in the way it deals with sexuality and its stigmas, but there remains that burning question: What does it mean to use a derogatory term for female genitals as the title of a show of phenomenal feminists? 601 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights; through Sept. 2. (323) 980-9000, venusovermanhattan.com. 

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