This Weekend at LACMA: Muse Costume Ball, Agnès Varda on Screen and In Person, Premiere of “See the Light—Photography, Perception, Cognition,” and More!

Once a year the long-fabled phantoms and apparitions of the museum enter our human realm in unison and descend upon a grand celebration now only known to the clairvoyant as the Muse Costume Ball. A truly haunted experience, this year we revel in a manner reminiscent of old Hollywoodland. The event includes entertainment from Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes in front of Urban Light, Theophilus London on the turntables `til 1 am, and Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group plaguing the after-party. Don your best disguise and compete in the Costume Contest (featuring celebrity judges) and examine the artworks in several of our ghastly galleries. Tickets are still available for this season’s spookiest soirée!


Credits: Urban Light, Chris Burden (2008) © Chris Burden; Smoke, Tony Smith (1967) © Tony Smith Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; video and song by David Braun

Agnès Varda, the famed French filmmaker turned visual artist, appears in person as part of the film series The World According to Agnès Varda: Recent and Restored Work. Running in anticipation of the exhibition Agnès Varda in Californialand (opening November 3 and the first U.S. museum presentation of her work), this film series begins with The Gleaners and I and Two Years Later and Agnès Varda From Here to There on Friday and continues into Saturday with Agnès Varda From Here to There: Episodes 3 and 4 (free admission) and The Beaches of Agnès Varda and Uncle Yanco. Throughout the series you’ll see many firsts, including Varda’s first digital-video work, the debut of her television series, and newly restored works from LACMA, the Annenberg Foundation, and The Film Foundation.

Still from the short film Uncle Yanco, Agnès Varda, 1967, © ciné-tamaris

Still from the short film Uncle Yanco, Agnès Varda, 1967, © ciné-tamaris

On tap from the music department, Jazz at LACMA presents vocalist Sara Leib on Friday evening and the Capitol Ensemble at Sundays Live. First, Sara Leib, a seasoned performer, demonstrates her ability to revive jazz standards that appeal to both the discerning ear and the casual listener. Then, The Capitol Ensemble, the series’ resident group, brings together the powerful violinist Phillip Levy and guest pianist Rina Dokshitsky. Weekly music programming is always free and open to the public.

In the galleries, see our newest exhibition, See the Light—Photography, Perception, Cognition: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, a series of over 200 photographs from quite possibly the most impressive survey of photographic history in existence. The exhibition tracks the parallels between art and science and how the relationship between the two has shifted over time. Members see it first on Friday and Saturday. Elsewhere, be sure to visit Masterworks of Expressionist Cinema: The Golem and Its Avatars for even more cinematic studies and Lingering Dreams: Japanese Painting of the 17th Century for masterful, panoramic views of Kyoto from the 16th century. Last but not least, this week’s Andell Family Sundays looks at the work of Gabriel Figueroa, taking place on Sunday at 12:30 pm. See you here.

Roberto Ayala