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A different side of 'Hollywould'

October 09, 2008|Mindy Farabee | Times Staff Writer

Along Hollywood Boulevard this weekend, amid the restaurants, theaters, clothing stores and clubs, you can add in one giant, virtual screening room. The upscale Loteria Grill will project on a wall a faux documentary about life in Mexico after a utopian revolution. Kayden's Creations, a tattoo parlor-gallery, will present a live painting video. More in the mood for sex in the city? Erotic supplier Bizzy B has given over its flat screen to a piece about gender.

Such experimental works as these make up the 11th biennial Freewaves festival of film, video and new media, opening today. Though the five-day event, dubbed "Hollywould," involves more than a hundred works from around the world, the loose unifying theme plays off the confusion between Hollywood, the industry, and Hollywood, the ZIP Code.

"I was exploiting that misunderstanding," said festival founder and executive director Anne Bray. "That's why we called it 'Hollywould,' to highlight the potential."

Bray focused this year's event -- which in past incarnations has taken over UCLA's Hammer Museum, popped up at MOCA and REDCAT and twice projected onto the galleries of Chinatown -- on the legendary boulevard for a variety of reasons, some as prosaic as wanting to situate artworks along one L.A. street with real pedestrians.

"I do want to think of practical solutions for presenting art to the general public," said Bray, who teaches public art and multimedia at USC and Claremont Graduate University. "Video is a medium they can relate to."

This being Hollywood, Freewaves starts tonight with a "private" poolside reception at the Roosevelt Hotel -- aimed at the high art scene, i.e. members of MOCA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, L.A. Contemporary Exhibitions, the Hammer Museum and Freewaves. (The public can crash the soiree for an on-the-spot $25 Freewaves membership.)

As the festival continues, Bray hopes to target a different audience each day. Friday caters to music fans; Saturday's eco-conscious theme includes a bicycle ballet; Sunday looks at fact and fiction with artist-led tours and a talk by author Norman Klein on Hollywood's portrayal of the boulevard; and Monday focuses on the area's residents, at a screening weaving together a weeks-long self-documentation project.

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mindy.farabee@latimes.com

Freewaves, Hollywood Boulevard between Wilcox Avenue and Orange Drive. Opens 7 p.m. tonight; ends Mon. Most events, free. www.freewaves.org.

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