Art At The Rendon Shares Its ‘STORIES’ in a New Immersive Experience – Friday, November 9, to Sunday, November 11
Back in June, more than 80 artists participated in Art At The Rendon’s “Hidden Rooms” event, creating site-specific installations in the rooms and public spaces of the old single-room-occupancy hotel in the DTLA Arts District. Open to the public for only one day, Hidden Rooms transformed the building, inside and out, with three floors of art. The sold-out experience, curated by Cindy Schwarzstein, founder of Cartwheel Art, was truly unforgettable—and all proceeds were donated to two neighborhood arts organizations, ICA LA and Art Share LA.
The Rendon’s owners, Ralph Ziman, and Maria Greenshields-Ziman are preparing to launch another one-of-a-kind creative experience. The second Art At The Rendon event, STORIES, will run for three nights in a row, from Friday, November 9, through Sunday, November 11. STORIES is an immersive, operatic work that transforms the inside and outside of The Rendon using projection-mapped short films and live performance. The corner dive bar, Licha’s Bar and Grill, will be reimagined as a 1920s speakeasy with libations by Angel City Brewery, Infuse Spirits and Pali Wine. There will also be a live music performance by local Gypsy Jazz musicians The Vignes Rooftop Revival. All are based in the Arts District. 100% of proceeds benefit local arts organizations Inner-City Arts and Cornerstone Theater Company.
Sneak a peek at what you’ll see from outside the hotel in this STORIES preview:
Ralph Ziman is leading the project, drawing on his film, art and music background to curate and produce unique content for the installation alongside experimental filmmaker and local broadcast expert Nolan Silverstein of DromeBox Laboratories and cinematographer Stevie George. Ziman says, “I’ve worked in film for most of my adult life, and we were originally thinking of doing film screenings at the hotel. Eventually, it morphed into this idea of, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to tell the stories of all these people, all these stories that had once taken place in the hotel?’” The creative team for STORIES decided to use projection-mapping on the outside of the hotel revealing different actors, different scenes and things going on in the windows. From there, they thought it would be great if people could move through the hotel and witness different snippets of people’s lives. They started working with actors to develop potential scenarios. During Prohibition, there was a speakeasy in the hotel, so the creative team decided to recreate that atmosphere in the old bar for the event.
Ziman is especially excited about the projection-mapping aspect of STORIES. He says, “The projections are something you watch from across the road. The outside of the building is really the invitation. Anybody driving past can see it. We’re going to put hotel signs on the outside of the building, and all sorts of things going on. Once you come into the building, it’s more acting, more vignettes, more slices of life. It’s probably a little more subtle as well because the audience is going to be a lot closer to it.”
The audience will be able to move freely through the hotel, creating their own experiences. What exactly will they find? Ziman offers a few hints: “There are two upstairs floors. Some doors will be locked, with music or an argument playing on the other side, or the noise of someone having a shower. Some rooms will be open and people will be inside them going on with their everyday lives. It’s really a slice of life.”
STORIES will be a very different experience than Hidden Rooms, and that’s exactly how Ziman and his team want it.
“The idea of it is that over time, The Rendon will represent art, music, acting, theater… different layers of culture. A little bit of everything. We don’t want to repeat ourselves, we want to keep exploring.” – Ralph Ziman
Ziman saw the recent projection mapping on the Disney Concert Hall, and calls it “breathtaking,” but says STORIES will be very different. He says, “I’ve never seen projection mapping done in this way. I think just having a very strong human element in it just makes it really relatable and interesting and gives it a lot of depth.”
Opera singer Rachel Staples Guettler will be a featured performer at STORIES. Ziman says, “Rachel has got this voice that is just amazing. We did a shoot of her practicing to project in one of the windows. She’s going to come out and do an opera out on the balcony towards the parking lot, and then she’s going to walk back into the hotel, and at that time, we’re going to open it for everybody to explore. We’re going to end it with her doing another performance.” He adds, “The idea is that the people who live in this hotel are policemen and firefighters and opera singers and actresses. They’re artists, musicians, construction workers… and she’s just part of the rich tapestry.”
Tickets to STORIES are available through Eventbrite. Art At The Rendon recommends buying tickets in advance as they are expected to sell out.
ART AT THE RENDON // STORIES
Friday, November 9 (7 – 10 pm)
Saturday, November 10 (7 – 10 pm)
Sunday, November 11 (6 – 9 pm)
2055 E. 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90021