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Disappear Here: Hammer Museum Hosts Tokimonsta To Highlight ‘Made In LA’ Biennial

Picture of Mary Pettas
Updated: 2 August 2016
The Hammer Museum in Westwood celebrated its most recent exhibition, Made in LA 2016: a, the, though, only, that was subtitled by minimalist poet Aram Saroyan as his contribution to the show. This is the third edition of its biennial featuring local artists that each have a distinct perspective of the city and the many global influences that come together to characterize the active and diversified artistic community here. The exhibit featured not just visual arts but also performance arts including dance, fashion, music, and film. In partnership with radio station KCRW, with four nights of concerts, Tokimonsta’s performance marked the end of the month of free events in the middle of the summer high season.

Tokimonsta is a local female DJ and producer from Torrance who attended the University of California, Irvine where she first started making experimental electronic music after playing classical piano for years. Her real name is Jennifer Lee, and she was the first woman to be signed to the Brainfeeder label of another eclectic and innovative group named Flying Lotus. For her to be playing a free concert in a relatively small venue is a pretty unbelievable feat, considering just this past year she made her debut at the main stage Sahara tent at Coachella. She played alongside longtime collaborator Gavin Turek who is also a star in his own right.

Unsurprisingly, the line for this free show was around four blocks long, with young students and die-hard hipsters who have been following her career since the beginning all waiting, hopefully, for a chance to see her perform without the usually high ticket prices of a festival performance. However, this event at the Hammer was not necessarily a rare performance for Tokimonsta, who, if fans are in the know, can find her playing many a random underground party; however, it is a very rare event for the museum and especially for conservative Westwood to host such a high-profile party in the middle of the week.

The events were certainly a success and proved to attract a hip, younger crowd than the museum usually enjoys despite its cutting-edge book talks, theater performances, and rotating exhibitions. However, it’s this crowd that will draw the long underappreciated free museum the attention it deserves. Although it’s been a hidden sanctuary in a busy area for many students and village workers, if it keeps up with events like these, it wouldn’t be surprising if it became a new hot spot to hang out for the entire Westside.