Art Troupe WIFE Brings Spellbinding Performance To LA’s Hammer Museum

Step inside the world of WIFE and witness a mystical phenomena. Born of three Los Angeles-based dancers, (Jasmine Albuquerque, Kristen Leahy, and Nina McNeely), she is known as A Trinity of Illusory Performance Makers.

WIFE creates an all senses engaged theatrical experience. If you have seen her live you know it’s a full body—and out of body—experience. Through projected body-mapping animations, sculpture, light, self-crafted music, costumes and choreography, WIFE makes the imaginary a reality. Although, when you’re in her performance presence it feels more like a fleeting moment of surreality—an electric alternate reality you want to stay suspended in.



On Wednesday, June 22, WIFE (represented by Maavven) brings her latest creation, Enter The Cave, to Hammer Museum in LA. Loosely based on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Enter the Cave is a story of transformation and transcendence told through illusion. The performance is meant to rearrange our notions of reality, space, and time.

The free performance begins in the Hammer Museum Courtyard at 7:30PM PST and can be live streamed, here.

Los Angeles Opening: Ammo at the Hammer Museum

Though the name sounds like a ’70s progressive rock band, Ammo at the Hammer is the Hammer Museum’s latest addition: a cafe.

The first outpost of Amy Sweeney’s legendarily hip Highland Avenue restaurant, this Ammo offers seasonal sandwiches, market salads, and a generous happy hour – all of which can be enjoyed in the museum’s bright, tree-lined courtyard, which the café spills into. Perfectly in synch with the museum’s new Hammer Contemporary Collection (Kara Walker, Ed Ruscha, Barbara Kruger, etc), the Ammo is styled by LA design collective Commune, and is open for lunch, brunch, through happy hour now, with extended hours expected by December. 


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Hammer Museum In L.A. Gives First Crowd-Sourced Art Award

Sometimes, the most effective way to compel people to engage with art is to embrace the reality show model. Hammer Museum Ann Philbin said in an interview with ARTINFO the museum was "embracing the American Idol syndrome." During the Made in L.A. biennial, a celebration of homegrown art, museum attendees voted for their top picks for the first annual Mohn Award, a $100,000 art prize from a jury-selected shortlist, and the first crowd-sourced award went to painter Meleko Mokgosi. 

Mokgosi, 30, who was born in Botswana and resides in Culver City, exhibited a mutli-panel mural installation called "Pax Kaffraria: Sikhuselo Sembumbulu," which depicts partially-obscured scenes reflecting on experiences in post-colonial Africa. As the Made in L.A. site explains, the work "addresses the question of nationalism in relation to globalization and resistance. The work meditates on sikhuselo sembumbulu, a Xhosa term meaning ‘bulletproof.’ This is a reference to the Xhosa cattle killings of 1856–57, which were intended to drive away colonial powers and simultaneously resurrect ancestors. The series of works frames the historic event and considers a legacy of resistance that continues today—namely, the persistent drive to become bulletproof. At the same time this history is represented as only partially available to viewers, suggesting the difficulty of cultural translation." 

Mokgosi was chosen above fellow finalists Simone Forti, best known for her multimedia, movement-focused Forti’s News Animation Improvisations; Liz Glynn’s work of sculptures inspired by the 2011 Egyptian revolution; Erika Vogt’s exploration of currency combining drawing and mimeograph; and Slanguage, also known as Karla Diaz and Marío Ybarra, a community art collective dedicated to creating works relating to global issues on a neighborhood level. 

Who knows? Maybe next year’s Hammer prize can take things a step further with an actual reality show. It could combine the drama and character study of Bravo’s Work of Art with the soothing, enriching experience of a gallery visit. The Made in L.A. exhibition can be seen at the Hammer Museum until September 2nd.