curated & organized by Darin Klein

All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
Film by Tim Rutili + live soundtrack by Califone

Wednesday, December 9 2009
Free Admission
Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum

Chicago-based Califone provide the interactive, live soundtrack for this special presentation of bandleader Tim Rutili’s debut feature-length film All My Friends Are Funeral Singers. Like the seemingly benevolent ghosts inhabiting a rickety house in the film, Rutili and his bandmates inhabit two worlds for this program: on the silver screen and on the theater stage. After the screening/performance, Califone will launch into a straightforward musical set not to be missed. (2009, 90 MIN., DIR: TIM RUTILI).

Darin Klein & Friends Present:
Louis M. Schmidt

Saturdays in November 2009
Free Admission
Amy Adler's Echo Park Studio

Darin Klein & Friends embark on an experiment in transparency that questions and examines accepted modes of presentation and representation. By temporarily re-purposing the studio of already established artist Amy Adler, an emerging artist is given a platform for the expression of their own ideas. Possibilities for intervention and creative collaboration are expected to be explored within the walls of the studio.

During his month-long residency, Louis M. Schmidt will be installing, exhibiting and creating works on paper, producing a brand new issue of his ‘zine Move Along People Nothing to Feel Here, hosting parties and community-driven get-togethers, educating and learning from friends and strangers, and shooting for the stars – all before your very eyes. He will be joined by a selection of artists and peers using vocabularies complimentary to his own. We invite you to drop by and see how it all plays out.

A Halloween Hoedown!
Friday, October 30 2009
Free Admission
Hammer Museum Courtyard

Mountain folks converge on the Hammer Museum courtyard for this down-home Halloween! Barn-dance the night away with live bluegrass from Joshua Tree, California’s Shadow Mountain Band. Enter your Halloween decorations in a contest for great prizes - JP Craft Captain will supply everything you need to make your own creepy crafts. Plus, your hostess Darlin’ will serve up drag hospitality in gingham as you enjoy the cash bar and seasonal menu at the Café Hammer. Costumes encouraged… think Westwood Hillbillies!

The Yes Men Fix the World
West Coast premiere!
Wednesday, October 21 2009
6pm – Meet the directors
7pm – Screening
9-11pm – Courtyard reception with live performance by Reggie Watts
Free Admission
Hammer Museum Courtyard and Billy Wilder Theater

IIt shines with raw wit and originality. —Newsweek

Comedic vigilante justice… Media-savvy pie-to-the-face. —USA Today

This screwball action doc follows two gonzo activists infiltrating the world of big business. A wake-up call on the dangers of letting the cult of the market rule the world, this film follows our protagonists from India to New Orleans to New York City, on a mission to save civilization from its worst excesses. (2009, 90 Min., Dirs. Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno)

Tuesday, August 4 2009
Free admission
Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum

A meditative documentary about a holding center for asylum seekers from all corners of the globe, who are stranded indefinitely in a summer camp in Ireland. Intensely close conversations with immigrants from Congo, Kurdistan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Sri Lanka reveal their individual stories, from the epic to the everyday, and the trauma of waiting endlessly in this bizarre no-mans-land. Director Paul Rowley will be on hand for audience Q&A. (2008, 82 min. Dirs. Nicky Gogan and Paul Rowley)

Homemade Hollywood
Wednesday, April 22 2009
Free admission
Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum

Clive Young, author of Homemade Hollywood: Fans behind the Camera (2008), traces the fan film movement from the 1920s, when con men made fake Little Rascals movies, to the Internet video sensations of today. Young will read from Homemade Hollywood, play some of his favorite clips of fan films, and will be joined by special guest fan filmmakers Sandy Collora, creator of Batman: Dead End and director of the upcoming feature film Hunter, and Trey Stokes who is the creator of Pink Five and director of the upcoming web series Ark.

Clive Young is also the author of Crank It Up (2004) which profiled rock concert roadies and has written for MTV, VH1, American Songwriter and Music Business International.

The program will be followed by a book signing at the Hammer Bookstore.

Hammer Project
Christopher Russell
January 13 - April 12, 2009
Hammer Museum

Christopher Russell
Untitled (detail), 2008
Ultrachrome print scratched with Xacto Knife
24 x 81 in
Installation at the Hammer Museum
photo by Brian Forrest

Christopher Russell employs photography, bookmaking, writing, drawing and digital media printmaking to illustrate his explorations of the darker side of the human psyche. Investigating, and sometimes fabricating, the reasons people live or behave outside of socially acceptable margins, Russell’s work offers visions of what many would deem dirty, broken, useless or criminal. Through the lens of a present-day flâneur, viewers are made privy to Russell’s observant, analytical wanderings along the physical and emotional outskirts of society.

Infused with historical references, Russell’s novella Budget Decadence seamlessly fuses writing and object-making to create an all-encompassing environment that challenges the traditional divide between the two practices and expands the very idea of what a book is. To stand in his Hammer Project installation is to stand, literally, in the novella.

Heavy with the psychological implications of home, interior, and family, this story unfolds, inspired by decadent writers of the late 19th century, rich in often unsettling details that build toward catastrophe. Simultaneously, Russell refreshes for our millennium the experiments in poetic strategies applied to prose by the New Narrative writers in the 1970s and 80s, adding layers of meaning and possible interpretation.

Jarring juxtapositions and stark imbalances are apparent in much of Russell’s work: the photographic images and his treatment of their surfaces; his choice of framing materials and furnishings for the gallery; his digital mimicry of Arts and Crafts Movement progenitor William Morris’s Trellis wallpaper (the first chapter of Budget Decadence); and his hybrid artist books/zines (each containing subsequent chapters of the novella). However, the seemingly disparate aesthetic elements of the installation are in fact deliberately chosen and constructed as reiterations of themes in the text.

Halloween in Hades
Friday, October 31 2008
Live performances by Discount Cruise to Hell, Hecuba, We Are The World
Costume contest at 10:00pm, cash bar all night
Free admission
Hammer Museum Courtyard

Ian MacKinnon’s Discount Cruise to Hell is a musical performance collective that has been specializing in bawdy audacity, outrageous debauchery and mind bending glitter rock since 2002. The Cruise has sailed at venues all over town including Highways Performance Space, The Cavern Club, The Celebration Theatre, The Steve Allen Theatre, and UCLA’s Fowler Museum.

Purveyors of paranormal dance, the electronic duo Hecuba presents cinematic and often wild performances looking for the inner future. They have been performing live since 2006 with notable appearances at SFMOMA, the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, and the South by Southwest festival in Austin, TX. This show concludes a U.S./Canada tour in support of their debut record, "Sir."

We Are the World is a frenzy of movement, music and visuals from Work, Nina McNeely and Ryan Heffington (whose oeuvre has been described by the LA Times as “Martha Graham-on-meth choreography with elaborate costumes…”). Bursting onto the local nightlife scene earlier this year, they have inspired delight and confusion in the hearts of unsuspecting club goers at venues including Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneer Town and Bordello in Hollywood.

3 From 33 1/3
Wednesday, October 29 2008
Free admission
Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum

“A brilliant series…each one a word of real love.” - NME (UK)

 ”The series is freewheeling and eclectic, ranging from minute rock-geek analysis to idiosyncratic personal celebration.” - The New York Times Book Review

33 1/3 is a series of short books published by Continuum about a wide variety of albums by artists ranging from James Brown to the Beastie Boys. Launched in September 2003, the series now comprises over 60 titles and is acclaimed and loved by fans, musicians and scholars alike. Join three of the authors for special multimedia presentations including readings from their books as well as audiovisual accompaniment. Book signing to follow.

Hayden Childs’ Shoot Out the Lights (2008) puts into context Richard and Linda Thompson's album - from the personal history driving the songs, to the recording difficulties they encountered and the subsequent fall-out. Childs has appeared in the critically acclaimed music encyclopedia Lost in the Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed and a handful of other publications.

Kim Cooper is the author of In the Aeroplane over the Sea (2005) which sheds light on the album by Neutral Milk Hotel. Cooper is the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture celebrating unjustly neglected artists of all kinds. She is co-editor of the anthologies Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth and Lost in the Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed.

Scott Plagenhoef’s If You’re Feeling Sinister (2007) provides perspective on how Belle & Sebastian transformed from a cult secret into a polished, highly entertaining, mainstream pop group. Plagenhoef is the Editor-in-Chief of Pitchfork, a Chicago-based daily Internet publication devoted to music criticism and commentary, music news, and artist interviews with a focus on indie rock.

Untitled play for 5 voices
by Darin Klein
Wednesday, July 9 2008
Rooftop screening series
1830 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Starring David LeBarron, Zackary Drucker, Ian MacKinnon, Daniela Sea and Martin Zungo with Gregory Barnett (DanceGood.Damnit!!!) as the wounded go-go dancer with a heart of gold.

        Visual projections by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld. Music by Matthew Lawton. Special pre-show feature: animated shorts by Robert Becraft, Nate Luce, Mores McWreath and Kelly Sears.

        Written as a series of emails, cell phone conversations, text messages and paranoid delusions, Untitled play for 5 voices is a story about 5 gay men desperate for connection and struggling to navigate a homosexual superhighway of obstacles that includes electric shock kits, gossip, long-distance longing, and fleeting moments of glimmering hope. Incorporating videos, spontaneous visual projections, interpretive dance and live music, this animated mini film fest/tragicomic multimedia production plays itself out in the heat of a summer night on the rooftop of 1830 Sunset Blvd, overlooking Echo Park and downtown Los Angeles.


Wednesday, June 18 2008
Visuals by Lauren Dukoff with Jon Beasley & Chandler McWilliams
DJ sets by Small Town Talk
Cash bar all night
Free admission
Hammer Museum Courtyard

“We are like the last half of the film Joe vs. the Volcano. You must understand this, we sing for all the ducks and all the hams, for the things that are clearly so sheik and Megapuss-esque, please know this, we play pop songs.” - The Credit Card Man

        Megapuss make their auspicious debut with an evening of live music and visuals under the stars. Bring cushions and blankets, sip a cocktail amid the bamboo in the Hammer Courtyard and feel the positive summer vibe. This talented duo plays a unique style of pop music tempered with a healthy dose of humor. The performance is complemented by projections from photographer Lauren Dukoff whose honest and authentic portraiture is the subject of a book to be released in spring 2009. The collaborative team of Jon Beasley and Chandler McWilliams add kinetic layers to the photos by digitally manipulating and animating them. DJ sets by Small Town Talk. Cash bar all night.

Sister Spit: The Next Generation

Thursday, June 12 2008
Free admission
Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum

Sister Spit: The Next Generation is a dynamic and ever-changing group of ‘zinesters, fashion plates, novelists, performance artists, slam poets and fancy scribblers. Featuring female-ish writers from across the USA at all stages of their careers, their tours are rowdy, raucous, literary adventures.

Sister Spit

Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist and essayist whose collection of essays The Importance of Being Iceland will be out from semiotexte in fall of 2008. She's published more than 20 volumes of poetry, fiction, articles and plays and contributes to a wide number of publications including Bookforum, the Believer and Cabinet.
Christy Road is an artist whose repertoire consists of ten years of independent publishing, two graphic novels, and countless illustrations for a broad slew of magazines, record album art, concert posters, and political organizations. In 2007, Road was featured in the anthology Baby Remember My Name and hailed as one of GO! NYC magazine’s Top 100 Women.
Michelle Tea is co-founder of the Sister Spit open mic and legendary tours of the 1990s and the creator of Sister Spit: The Next Generation. She is the author, most recently, of the novel Rose of No Man's Land, and the editor, most recently, of It's So You: 35 Women Talk about Personal Expression Through Fashion and Style. She lives in San Francisco, where she hosts the literary event series Radar.

Night of the Living Dolls

Tuesday, October 30 2007
Cocktails from 6:30-8:00pm
Show starts at 8:00pm
Free admission
Billy WIlder Theater at the Hammer Museum

        An Evening of Vaudeville-Inspired Performance by: mecca vazie andrews, Darlin', Zackary Drucker, Karis and Joe Sola & Michael Webster.
      …Plus Haunting & Hilarious Films by: Ben Armington, Michael Dates & Jessica Madigan, XK, Trulee Grace Hall and Timothy Cummings, Shane Francis & Aaron Plant.

        EXPERIENCE! your hirsute hostess Darlin's Cabinet of Curious Dolls, as one by one, they come to life in songs, sketches and recitations sure to confound and perplex. A contemporary take on the classic vaudevillian show, certain to appeal to people of wildly divergent interests…
        WITNESS! ocular demonstrations of colorful and creepy artistry, as evidenced through the magic of moving pictures. Stupendous acts of artistic triumph will have film-lovers held spellbound.



Saturday, July 14 2007
Free admission
Hammer Museum

         2nd Cannons Publications, ANP Quarterly/Aaron Rose, Eden Batki, Brass Tacks Press, Evelyn Donnelly & Robert Becraft, Elk, Family, Eve Fowler with Edie Fake and Ridykeulous, Gina Frausto, Paul Gellman & Hedi El Kohlti, Heartschallenger, Insert Press, Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, Paul Legault & friends, Library Bonnet, Linda Pollack, Christopher Russell, Skylight Books, Sounds of Asteroth, Trudi, Esther Pearl Watson & Mark Todd, Yes Press Inc./No Magazine/Sub-Hollywood.

         Enter the fascinating, diverse and plucky world of do-it-yourself publications. A selection of talented LA ’zinesters will set up shop in the courtyard alongside local purveyors of independent publications from across the USA.

         Browse vendor booths and pick up affordable, handmade and limited edition chapbooks, mini-comics, artist books, journals, and ’zines. Sit in on a panel discussion moderated by Aaron Rose focusing on the importance of independent publishing in today’s corporate media-driven world. Sample international confections from Heartschallenger while listening to music specially made for their pink ice cream truck. Get wild with LA’s indie rock glam extravaganza Sounds of Asteroth - live on stage!

Origin is the Goal


The Rainbow Goblins
Advocate Gallery, Los Angeles
May/June 2007

Adam J. Ansell, Erik Bluhm, bodega vendetta & PRVTDNCR, Nao Bustamante, Young Chung, Roy Colmer, Zackary Drucker, Julia Dzwonkoski & Kye Potter, David Laren, Matt Lipps, Jason Mecier, Lucas Michael, Billy Miller, Max Miller, Amir Nikravan, Coco Peru, Terri Phillips, Aaron Plant, Steven Reigns, robbinschilds & A. L. Steiner, Christopher Russell, Ami Tallman, Jo-ey Tang, Aiyana Udessen, and Jim Winters

         The rainbow as a symbol can represent many different concepts - creative imagination, cultural diversity, God's promise, fleeting insubstantiality. In the gay community, it has been adopted as a political symbol, only to end up a token of kitsch.
         In Count Ul de Rico's 1978 children's book The Rainbow Goblins, the symbolism of the plight of the rainbow becomes a parable for corporate greed, ecological degradation and cultural commodification. Inspired by this modern fairytale, where a meadow of wildflowers use their collective power to defeat the cruel plot of the eponymous goblins, we are planning a group exhibition that re-imagines the rainbow as a celebration of the diversity and individuality of the artistic community and highlights the power of that voice to call for and instigate resistance.
        A selection of works from multiple artists in various sizes and mediums, each representing a single color, will be mounted in a dense, salon-style exhibition. Together, the works comprising this mosaic will read from afar as the spectrum of the rainbow, while closer inspection will reveal their individuality.

Billy Wilder Theater at The Hammer Museum
March 15, 2007 – 8pm

F-stop Serenade, Lucas Michael, New Energy Encounter Group, Lawrence Rengert, Kelly Sears & the Ryan Heffington Dancers

         While the title of this event references lurid Hollywood tabloid jargon (off-screen romance, off-screen drama, etc.), the event itself illustrates the power of literally bringing film and video action off the screen and into the exhibition space. The artists included in Off-screen employ various technical practices and aesthetic sensibilities to achieve a similar goal: a film or video piece dependent on performance as a component of the work.


Christopher Russell

Into Thin Air:
Young Chung
Eve Fowler
Lucas Michael

Opening reception performances by D'Argento and Sounds of Asteroth

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles - March 2005



As simultaneous exhibitions of queer-identified artists, Becalmed and Into Thin Air mirror one another but offer opposites in reflection. The former addresses issues of desire and identity through an outsider's self-imposed isolation. Beauty appears to be attained through the acknowledging and embracing of environmental decrepitude. The latter is all ethereal openness, posing questions concerning preconceived notions of queer self-representation and whispering promises of play and possibility. Here, innocence and seduction intertwine.

Upon entering the first gallery, the viewer is met with a barrage of photographs depicting disparate images whose main cohesive thread is tone.

A narrative of trespassing and documentation emerges as the artist's role of transparent recorder becomes evident in Christopher Russell's photographs of fleeting, often ignored images of the everyday. These are the objects of the Earth; placed, interacted with or discarded here by us, Earth's inhabitants. Love letters and scrawled threats, scraps of pornography, temporary or abandoned architecture, overgrown foliage in undisclosed locations, weathered public sculpture, animals looking for homes in trash or awaiting death in cages - for Russell, everything is dirt and the dirt is very heavy. He reconfigures his sense of desire by standing apart from himself and building something meaningful from fragments of anonymous lives. His Wallpaper installation recreates William Morris' Honeysuckle pattern using the text of an original work of short fiction. This piece levels the relationship between narrative and illustration by refusing to hierarchize: the text is the image is the text is the image. Borders dissolve between the written narrative and the significance of domestic design.

In the second gallery, the viewer is transported from the gritty surface of the world upon which we tread, up into its atmosphere and beyond.

Young Chung offers a multitude of airplanes in mid flight, careening in a vast expanse of white sky. These crafts each occupy their own field of play, a safety zone to roll, swoop and dive. Modern advances such as radar and radio control towers are obsolete in this airspace, because disaster is taken into account beforehand. These airplanes are stencil cutouts from gay pornographic magazines pasted to board. The cock is the cockpit, connected by the main cabin to the anus, which is nestled between rigid outstretched wings. Seemingly without flight patterns, these images become a metaphor for a diverse gay sexual culture, and the mixed ideas we have and decisions we make about courtship, coupling and post-Stonewall freedoms which can often be taken for granted.   

Eve Fowler takes photographs of people but doesn't call them portraits. She examines her subjects almost from the inside out. She relates to her subjects in terms of wanting to be them, wanting to be like them, or identifying with their traits and qualities. Her subjects meet the viewer in larger than life-size, questioning our gaze even as we question their and identity. Removed from any societal trappings or visual clues, these subjects are placed against stark white backdrops, bright and hazy. It is through this otherworldly light which they simultaneously beckon to us and seem to be moving toward us.

Lucas Michael plays to our sense of curiosity and wonder by inviting us on a trip without a clear destination. His suite of ink drawings, rendered in precision black lines against white backgrounds, depict outdoor stairways removed from their original environments. With a photographer's eye and a filmmaker's sense of movement and timing, Michael orchestrates a scene of optimism in the face of repetition. Steps lead upward only to end; others lead back down only to meet the bottom of another set. They are mirrored and layered to form a semblance of an ancient ruin or a towering modern architectural wonder. Where bits of foliage or grass would have been, Michael cuts outlines of them as reminders that these structures were originally of this Earth. They have been isolated and transported into a void. Ultimately the viewer wants to ascend and descend them, but to arrive at what unknown place?

EXES EDITIONS: Relationships I've been in usually ended with a break-up.

100 boxes containing signed and numbered artist's editions in various mediums. Combining the ideas of publication and exhibition, 27 artists and writers contribute a wide range of ideas concerning the final stages of a romantic relationship to this portable art show in a box accompanied by a 'zine of text pieces adherent to the theme.

October 2004.

Sonja Ahlers, Steve Almond, Tauba Auerbach, Micah Ballard & Cedar Sigo & Will Yackulic, James Bazan, Bernadette (with Johnette Nopalitano), John Blacklow. Sarah Cain, Young Chung, Chantale Doyle, Marina Eckler, Darin Klein & Lucas Michael, Chris Loomis, Salvador Mateu, Ross McLain, Scott O'Connor, Xochitl Oliva, Jim Ruland, Christopher Russell, AL Steiner, Robert Summers, Kate Wolf, Madeleine Zygarewicz



Lesbians To The Rescue
Aisha Burnes, Leidy Churchman, Courtney Dailey, K8 Hardy, Xylor Jane, Matt Keegan, Denise Kupferschmidt, Hanna Liden, Ulrike Muller, Ken Okiishi, Emily Roysdon, JD Samson, Sarah Shapiro, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, and James Tsang.

New Image Art, West Hollywood - March 2004

Co-curated with Emily Roysden


LTTR is a vital presence in the independent media landscape. This elaborately produced 'zine serves as an open forum for the discussion and presentation of ideas and artwork. Collaborative, personal, political and tangential, with a diverse feminist agenda, this affordable and accessible vehicle is strengthening networks between mediums by including all artistic practices. We have curated a selection of artists from the first two issues of LTTR to create a focused view of the much larger picture which is LTTR.

- Darin Klein

LeTTeR. sprinkled in this text we find many opportunities to imagine ourselves. LiTTeR. many moments to perform our symptoms for each other and create the space to question our developments as artists, workers and thinkers. we're here to reconstitute a new team under an old threat. to embrace our historical birth into feminist sexes and to move with the brilliant bodies languages identities and arts that this long walk has produced. but this lesbian we speak of, I find him as ambiguous in nature as in verse. I find her over and over again. Listen Translate Translate Record. Lacan Teaches To Repeat. Lesbians Tend To React. Limits Through To Reasons. thank you.

- emily roysden



A Bazaar of Dangerous and Smiling Chances
Erik Bluhm
Chris Loomis
Lucas Michael
Christopher Russell
George Stoll

Urban Egyptian Gallery, West Hollywood - December 2003


Five Los Angeles-based artists explore the tentacular reach of the power of "what if" in order to unveil the role culture plays in making sense of our lives and binding us to a realm of fantasy versus reality.

Erik Bluhm presents darkly psychedelic collage work of precise craftsmanship made from vintage publications. Commenting on the vulnerability of human emotion and natural beauty amid encroaching technology and ecological degradation, his work is as much an homage to sci-fi and fantasy genres as it is a prophetic warning against very real horrors.

Chris Loomis presents sculptural work which maps the distance body language can go to send a signal. By omitting details to hone focus on human gesture and using a decidedly Californian color palette, his portraits evoke the sense of longing and affection he has for his subjects.

Lucas Michael presents Kiss, a video challenging the preconceptions of the Hollywood screen kiss by making the act magic through the subversion of typecasting and an unexpected climactic event.

Christopher Russell presents Wallpaper, an installation recreating William Morris' Honeysuckle pattern using the text of an original work of short fiction. This piece levels the relationship between narrative and illustration by refusing to hierarchize: the text is the image is the text is the image. Borders dissolve between the written narrative and the significance of domestic design. The William Morris pattern proves to be a link between the populist goals of the Arts and Crafts movement and Russell's own involvement in independent media, self-publishing and distributing 'zines, artist books and chapbooks.

George Stoll presents Some People I've Met Who Probably Don't Remember Me. This multiple, the basis of which is a poem by the artist, addresses the question of how celebrity encounters might effect our lives. In Hollywood and beyond, the 'six degrees of separation' between ourselves and our icons may easily become a source of anxiety or casual cocktail-hour braggadocio.