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Datebook: Surreal scenarios, art that mines data, light works by James Turrell

An exhibition that makes art of raw data. A gathering of daguerreotypes. And new works by light-and-space master James Turrell. Plus, collages of the Rijksmuseum; the surreal, coloring-book imagery of John Bankston and the work of a post-World War II northern European group of avant-garde artists. Here are seven shows to see this week:

John Bankston, “Sundry Stories,” at Walter Maciel Gallery. A new series of paintings by the San Francisco-based artist places a series of recurring characters in surreal scenarios that riff as much on the history of art as they do on the coloring-book form. Expect some wild and weird scenes. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through Dec. 23. 2642 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, waltermacielgallery.com.  

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“R. Luke DuBois: Now” and “Sandow Birk: American Qur’an,” at the Orange County Museum of Art. OCMA opens a pair of new shows: one by the New York-based DuBois, an artist who often employs data to create unique visualizations, and the L.A.-based Birk, who has spent nine years transcribing and illustrating every verse of the Koran in a uniquely American way. Opens Saturday and runs through Feb. 28. 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, ocma.net.  

“In Focus: Daguerrotypes,” at the Getty Museum. A selection of some of the museum’s 2,000 daguerreotypes go on view alongside daguerreotypes from the collection of singer-songwriter Graham Nash, a prominent collector of this early type of photography. Through March 30. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.  

“The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy,” at Blum & Poe. This historic exhibition looks at the legacy of the Northern European postwar movement with roots in Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. (Its artists were known for blending figurative and abstract styles, an interest in Marxism, as well as primitive artistic styles.) The show started off at Blum & Poe’s New York space in September with early historic works. The L.A. portion will look at the movement’s influence by integrating historic Cobra pieces from the '50s and '60s with a range of contemporary works. Opens today at 6 p.m. and runs through Dec. 23, 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, blumandpoe.com.

James Turrell, at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. In his latest solo exhibition at Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Turrell is debuting a series of large-scale works made from elliptical glass that, over 2 1/2 hours, go through thousands of different parts of the color spectrum. (Just the show for Pantone-heads.) Also on view will be a series of prints related to the artist’s 2013 solo show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Opens Sunday at 4 p.m. and runs through Jan. 16. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-City, Los Angeles, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.  

Simmons & Burke, “Dutch Masters,” at Kohn Gallery. Artists Case Simmons and Andrew Burke had full access to the entire digital archive of paintings at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and used elements of the imagery to create a series of abstracted, monumental collages. Opens Friday at 6 p.m. and runs through Dec. 19. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, kohngallery.com.

Brett Reichman, “Better Living Through Design,” at CB1 Gallery. Acid-colored domestic spaces cluttered with vintage dinnerware serve as settings for wild trysts and other expressions of gay males' sexuality. The tones make the action and the settings feel totally sci-fi. Also on view at the gallery will be the exhibition “Plegarias,” a series of new paintings that play with ideas of Christian supplication by paper artist Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia (also renowned for repurposing thrift-store art). Both shows open on Saturday at 3 p.m. and run through Dec. 19. 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, cb1gallery.com.

FINAL WEEK:

Elad Lassry at David Kordanksy Gallery. Lassry uses photography in myriad ways -- as a form of representation (be they engines or snakes), but also as a material -- embedded into wood sculpture and acrylic glass slabs that hang on a wall, in ways that often strip the images of their original meanings. See Times critic Christoper Knight's reviewThrough today. 5130 W. Edgewood Place, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, davidkordanksy.com

“Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles” at the Architecture and Design Museum. As L.A. reaches the limits of sprawl, city planners, developers and designers are thinking about how to do more with less: less space, less material and a greater attention to questions of environment and density. This exhibition asked six architectural teams to consider housing options for the L.A. of the future. The examples vary from the radical (a series of buildings occupying strips of Wilshire, developed by Kulapat Yantrasast and the team at wHY Architecture) to the more restrained (a proposal by LA-Más that would pump up the density on granny apartments). Through Friday. 900 E. 4th St., downtown Los Angeles, aplusd.org.

Charles Garabedian, “Sacrifice for the Fleet,” at LA Louver. The L.A.-based artist remains as productive as ever at the age of 91. In his latest exhibition at LA Louver, the painter is showing 18 new, large-scale works inspired by Armenian manuscripts, biblical stories and a variety of literary characters, including Homer and Euripides. Through Saturday. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, lalouver.com.  

ONGOING EXHIBITIONS 

“To Live and Dine in L.A.” at the Central Library. The history of a place can be told through its texts: its books, its accumulated government documents and its menus too. Critic and writer Josh Kun has pored over the Los Angeles Public Library’s extensive historic menu archive and put together a show that tells a layered story about L.A.’s food and design -- but also stories of politics, culture, society, race and gender. See an image galleryThrough Nov. 13. 630 W. 5th St., downtown Los Angeles, lapl.org

Jacques Flechemuller, “Je Vous Aime Beaucoup,” at the Good Luck Gallery. The painter, who divides his time between New York and Paris, is known for his crudely hilarious reimaginings of romantic and domestic scenes -- such as a nude couple casually walking along a roadway, as if setting off on some idyllic 1950s holiday. Through Nov. 14. 945 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles, thegoodluckgallery.com.

“Somewhere Over El Arco Iris: Chicano Landscapes, 1971-2015” at the Museum of Latin American Art. Guest curator Julian Bermudez has gathered 25 works that tell a story of landscape through the works of Chicano artists over more than four decades. This includes classic pieces by noted California figures such as Gronk, Frank Romero, Patssi Valdez and Carlos Almaraz. But it also includes up-and-comers such as Shizu Saldamando and Jaime “Germs” Zacarías. Through Nov. 15. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org

“Gary Indiana: An exhibition of photographs,” at 356 Mission. The noted author, filmmaker and video artist is having a show of photographs at this buzzy Boyle Heights space. Through Nov. 15. 356 S. Mission Road, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, 356mission.com.  

“3rd Sur: Biennial” in venues around Los Angeles. Originally launched in four venues around Los Angeles, three of these related exhibitions now continue their run at the Torrance Art Museum, the Rio Hondo College Art Gallery and the Cerritos College Art Gallery. The biennial looks at ideas of globalization and exchange between artists in the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. The various exhibitions feature installations by established L.A. artists such as Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia, Carolyn Castaño and Patrick Martinez, among others. Through Saturday at Torrance Art Museum (3320 Civic Center Drive, Torrance), through Nov. 19 at Rio Hondo College Art Gallery (3600 Workman Mill Road, Building B-14., Whittier) and through Nov. 20 at Cerritos College Art Gallery (11110 Alondra Blvd., Fine Arts Building, Room 50, Norwalk). For more information, visit torranceartmuseum.com.

Patssi Valdez, “Light and Shadow,” and “Vintage Prints” at Offramp Gallery. The painter and founding member of the art collective Asco has seven new paintings, as well as a series of vintage prints from the 1990s going on view at this Pasadena space. The new works explore her signature interiors, bursting with magic and energy, while the prints take sleeping women as their subject. Extended through Nov. 20. 1702 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena, offrampgallery.com.  

“Gyre: The Plastic Ocean,” and Cynthia Minet, “The Beast of Burden" at USC's Fisher Museum.  A pair of exhibitions provide different perspectives on detritus. “Gyre” explores the gyre of trash in the Pacific through art -- namely, the ways sculptors, photographers and others have employed discarded plastic as material for assemblages, photographs and installation. Minet, in the meantime, employs piles of plastic scraps to create illuminated life-size sculptures of animals. Through Nov. 21. 823 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park, Los Angeles, fisher.usc.edu.

“Made in Cuba! Hecho en Cuba! Recycling Memory and Culture,” at Arena 1 Gallery. This pop-up exhibition features more than 70 mixed-media works by a wide array of contemporary artists from Cuba. Expect assemblage, painting, sculpture, photography and collage, among other kinds of objects. The show is curated by longtime Cuba expert Sandra Levinson, who has been traveling to the country for more than 40 years. Through Nov. 21. 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, arena1gallery.com

“Njideka Akunyili Crosby: The Beautyful Ones” at Art + Practice. Bright collages crafted from old family snapshots and the pages of Nigerian lifestyle magazines depict intimate domestic scenes -- often the artist and her husband. It’s the first show in L.A. for the Nigerian-born artist, whose exhibition is being done in partnership with the Hammer Museum. Also on view will be two films by Akosua Adoma Owusu. Through Nov. 21. 4339 Leimert Blvd., Leimert Park, Los Angeles, artandpractice.org.

“Cao Fei: Shadow Plays” at the Mistake Room. An imaginary China in Second Life and a video that riffs on the zombie-like nature of middle-class ennui -- this is the first Los Angeles exhibition for the Beijing-based artist, whose work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Expect a series of wry pieces that examine the real and invented side effects of Chinese-style capitalism. Through Nov. 21. 1811 E. 20th St., downtown Los Angeles, tmr.la.

“Adams, Curtis and Weston: Photographers of the American West” at the Bowers Museum. More than three dozen images produced by three of the most iconic American photographers tell the story of the American West -- through dreamy images of landscape as well as the people who once inhabited it. Through Nov. 29. 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, bowers.org.

William Powhida, "Mediations," at Charlie James Gallery. The New York-based artist is once again tweaking the art world -- as well as issues of class, wealth, persona and all of the other hot topics that can make the art world a swamp of insanity -- in a series of new paintings inspired by bits of his Twitter archive, among other texts. Through Dec. 5. 969 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles, cjamesgallery.com.

William Pope.L, “Forest,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and “Desert,” at Steve Turner. Pope.L is back with a two-part solo exhibition staged at both Vielmetter’s and Turner’s galleries. The show at Vielmetter will feature works from the '90s through the present, while Turner will exhibit a new film, “Obi Sunt,” about the ghost of boxer Joe Gans, the lightweight fighter from the turn of the 19th century. The two shows will be united by an audio GPS driving tour that you can listen to as you travel from one gallery to another. Through Dec. 5. Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, 6006 Culver City Blvd., Culver City, vielmetter.com; Steve Turner, 6830 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, steveturner.la.

“Oasis” at the Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens. In this new exhibition, 22 artists reflect on the idea of oasis. This takes the form of painting and sculpture, but also site-specific works set around the gardens. Through Dec. 6. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, descansogardens.org.

Taisha Paggett: “WXPT: The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. An installation takes the shape of a temporary dance school that asks the question, “What is black dance curriculum today?” The piece will attempt to answer that through a series of workshops, weekly classes and “micro-performances.” It is inspired by Paggett’s own history: Her family founded “a school for colored youth” in East Texas in the early 20th century. Through Dec. 6. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.

“A Performative Trigger: Radicals of Irvine” at UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Some of Southern California’s most notable artists emerged from the first MFA class at UC Irvine, which graduated in 1971. This includes figures such as Barbara T. Smith, Nancy Buchanan and Chris Burden -- the last of whom famously had himself shot in the arm as a work of performance. The exhibition gathers ephemera and documentation from the era, as well as a number of original works. Through Dec. 12. UC Irvine, 4000 Mesa Road, Irvine, arts.uci.edu.

Jesper Just, “Landscape for Living,” at Various Small Fires. A solo exhibition by the Danish artist takes on the topic of California apocalypse. In a single-channel video projection titled “Llano,” the artist explores the socialist-utopian city of Llano del Rio, which lies in ruins after its water rights were lost in a lawsuit in the early 20th century. Just another day on Planet Dune, people. Through Dec. 12. 812 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. vsf.la.  

“Sign Language: Juan Delgado, Armando Lerma, Thomas McGovern, Carlos Ramirez,” at CSUN Art Galleries. A mixed-media exhibition draws four artists from Southern California’s Inland Empire to exhibit works that riff on murals, graffiti and sign paintings, among other traditions. You might know Lerma and Ramirez by their collective moniker: They are the Date Farmers. Through Dec. 12. 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, csun.edu/artgalleries.

“Everyone’s Heart is Full of Fire,” at Fahrenheit. A group exhibition featuring the work of three very different artists -- painter Dorothy Iannone, conceptualist and body modifier Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and documentarian Marie Losier -- looks at works based on the intimate psychological and physical unions between two people. Through Dec. 12. 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown Los Angeles, fahrenheit.flaxfoundation.org.

“Far-Sited: California International Sculpture Symposium 1965/2015” at University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach. In 1965, an international conference brought sculptors from around the globe to Southern California to make works in collaboration with local industry. (I wrote about it in the spring.) Many of these pieces now dot the Cal State Long Beach campus. The museum exhibition explores this history, presenting an array of vintage photographs, sketches and maquettes. Through Dec. 13. 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, web.csulb.edu.

“Fred Tomaselli: The Early Works -- Or How I Became A Painter” at Begovich Gallery at Cal State Fullerton. Tomaselli, a painter and collagist, is known for hallucinatory arrangements of objects and patterns that explore inner journeys. But he got his start as a light-and-space artist, playing with ideas of perception. The Begovich Gallery is showing his earliest works, which have not been exhibited since they were first made, primarily in the '80s. Through Dec. 17. 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, fullerton.edu.

Marc Horowitz, “Interior, Day (A Door Opens),” at the Depart Foundation. An exhibition of painting and sculpture spans the range of the high-low, including forms of classical statuary studded with pieces of banal kitsch, and canvases that play with color field, still life and cartoons. Through Dec. 19. 9105 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, departfoundation.com.

“Matter, Light and Form, Architectural Photographs of Wayne Thom, 1968-2003,” at WUHO. Woodbury University’s gallery space in Hollywood is devoting its latest exhibit to the architectural photographer who gloriously recorded the late Modern architecture of the Southland and beyond -- from the gleaming glass pylons that make up the Bonaventure Hotel to the stainless steel curls of Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall. Through Dec. 20. 6518 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, wuho.architecture.woodbury.edu.   

“KLAM Radio” at 323 Projects. Performance artist Lenae Day and writer Anna Kryczka have teamed up to put together a paean and parody to the bizarre art of small-town radio -- in this case, in the fictional desert settlement of San Ranchito. This includes spoofs of public radio and right-wing talk. And, of course, there’s the station’s hilarious promotional slogan: “Jam out with your KLAM out.” The podcasts are all available on the 323 Projects website. Listeners are welcome to call the gallery's line -- (323) 843-4652 -- to leave dedications for the KLAM DJs. Through December, at 323projects.com.

“Paperworks” at the Craft and Folk Art Museum. A variety of works by 15 artists -- including sculpture and collage -- are made entirely out of cut paper. This includes Lecia Dole-Recio’s painted mosaics, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia’s woven-paper abstractions, Soo Kim’s reconfigured photographic landscapes and Susan Sironi’s carved-up books. Expect to see paper in ways you might not have expected. Through Jan. 3. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.

“Fiberlicious,” at the Municipal Art Gallery. Sixteen contemporary artists explore and expand the possibilities of fiber art, including wild sculptures woven together from paper, rope and cardboard. Included in the mix are figures such as Tanya Aguiñiga, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia, Wendy B. Osher and Ann Weber. Through Jan. 3. 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, lamag.org.  

“Hammer Projects: Njideka Akunyili Crosby” at the Hammer Museum. The Nigerian-born artist opened an exhibition of her recent collages at the Art + Practice space in Leimert Park in September. Now there’s more, a second exhibition at the Hammer that features a selection of her early works: wild collages of intimate domestic scenes fabricated from scraps of magazine pages. Through Jan. 10. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, hammer.ucla.edu.  

“New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. A dark and gripping show explores the art of Germany following World War I, before the rise of the Third Reich. Featuring a mix of photography, painting, drawings and ephemera from the era, the exhibition captures the social, political and economic tumult of the Weimar period. Not to be missed. Through Jan. 18. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.  

Matthew Barney, “River of Fundament” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Barney is a video and performance artist known for producing lush works inspired by fantastical mythologies. His latest (which includes an epic six-hour film) reimagines the birth and death cycles of the Egyptian Book of the Dead (or at least Norman Mailer’s take on the Egyptian Book of the Dead). Should be decadent. Through Jan. 18. The Geffen Contemporary, 152 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.

“The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris,” at the Hammer Museum. Known for his elegant depictions of frigid Canadian landscapes, Harris was part of the Group of Seven, a group of painters who were proponents for establishing a distinctly Canadian school of painting -- in Harris’ case, one with distinctly Modernist overtones. His sparse landscapes, depicted in stained-glass hues of blue, white and green, often with exalted rays of light descending from the heavens, have practically religious overtones. Through Jan. 24. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.

“Uh-Oh: Frances Stark, 1991-2015,” at the Hammer Museum. This is a survey of work by L.A.-based artist Frances Stark, whose wide-ranging practice -- she’s done everything from carbon drawings to elaborate digital animations -- covers a similarly broad terrain of subjects, including critiques of institutions and intimate views of the artist’s personal life including animated productions of private online chats. Through Jan. 24. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.

“Giant Robot Biennale 4,” at the Japanese American National Museum. Giant Robot -- the shop and gallery -- has long focused on Asian and Asian American popular culture, showcasing works and decorative merchandise by figures such as Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami. Since 2007, founder Eric Nakamura has partnered with the Japanese American National Museum for this biennial, which showcases pop-infused works by an array of young artists. Through Jan. 24. 100 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, janm.org.  

Stas Orlovski, “Skazka,” at Young Projects Gallery. The L.A.-based Orlovski is known for his haunting stop-motion animations that employ bits of vintage children’s books and Victorian drawings. This new work, which features a soundtrack by experimental audio artist Steve Roden, is inspired by 19th century magic-lantern performances and will include a stage-set and larger-than-life projections onto silhouettes. Through Feb. 5. Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., Space B230, West Hollywood, youngprojectsgallery.com.  

“Various Small Fires (Working Documents)” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A show that illuminates unusual bits of LACMA history, such as the plan to have a robot patrol the galleries or the time a dog worked as a security guard. Included in the mix is Ed Ruscha’s working sketch for his infamous mid-’60s canvas, “The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire.” Through Feb. 7. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.

Victor Hugo Zayas, at the Museum of Latin American Art. Gritty abstractions the color of charcoal, acid and steel capture the industrial innards of Los Angeles. Zayas, a painter who maintains a studio on the banks of the L.A. River, will have a survey of more than 40 works on view at the museum -- works that chart the evolution of the city’s industrial landscape. Through Feb. 7. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org

“Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows” at the Getty Center. Showcasing several bodies of work by the Japanese photographer, this exhibition includes her moving images of objects and clothing that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Each image captures deeply personal details such as patches, mends and stains, all evidence of the full lives once inhabited by these garments. Also on view will be a small exhibition of contemporary Japanese photographers. Through Feb. 21. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.

“The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams,” at the Skirball Cultural Center. Adams’ powerful black-and-white images from Manzanar during World War II protested what he described as the “enforced exodus” of American citizens: Japanese Americans who were forcefully detained for the course of the war. It's a stirring view of life for Japanese Americans during a dark period in American history. Through Feb. 21. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood, Los Angeles, skirball.org.    

“Noah Davis: Imitation of Wealth” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Grand Avenue. In 2013, Davis re-created a series of works by famous artists and put them on display at the Underground Museum, his alternative art space in Arlington Heights. The idea was to display works of high cultural value in an unlikely setting. Now, the Museum of Contemporary Art has re-created the installation -- a work made more poignant by the artist's recent death. (The piece is viewable free of charge through the windows of a storefront space adjacent to the museum.) Through Feb. 22. 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.  

“Rain Room,” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. It was universally panned by the critics when it appeared at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. (New York Magazine critic Jerry Saltz described it as “the worst single work of art that I saw all this year ... a high-tech amusement-park ride.”) And my colleague Christopher Knight labeled it "brainless amusement" in his review of the experience. But who cares when you can take the world’s most awesome selfie inside of it and share it with the world on Instagram? Through March 6. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.  

“Frank Gehry” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Featuring more than 200 drawings and 65 models, as well as countless photographs and video, this retrospective looks at the life and career of one of L.A.’s most celebrated architects. Totally worth it just to see the original design for downtown's Disney Hall. (Glad they went for the option that was built.) Through Mar. 20. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.

“Hard Edged: Geometrical Abstraction and Beyond” at the California African American Museum. A new exhibition features the work of 46 artists -- from emerging figures to well-established names -- working in the arena of geometric abstraction. This includes works by fresh voices and standard-bearers, including well-known figures such as Rashid Johnson, Senga Nengudi, David Hammons and Tim Washington. Through April 24. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.

Alice Könitz, “Los Angeles Museum of Art (LAMOA),” at Occidental College. This is a work of sculpture that also serves as a micro exhibition hall. The space was established in Könitz’s backyard in 2012 but will be on view at Occidental College for the course of the academic year. The inaugural exhibition features work by L.A. artist Alice Clements. Through spring 2016. In front of Weingart Hall at Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road, northeast Los Angeles, oxy.edu.  

“Islamic Art Now” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Contemporary works from LACMA’s permanent collection by 20 artists who live in or have roots in the Middle East look at questions of society, gender and identity. Runs indefinitely. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, lacma.org

Twitter: @cmonstah

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