The Oscars may be the main event this weekend, but there are many alternatives for those seeking something a bit more, um, artistic (sorry, Julian).

L.A.'s Light Box Gallery, for instance, is showing six of Bruce Nauman's rare, Minimalist short films from the '60s. They include his "Art Make-Up," in which the artist's body becomes a canvas, and "Slow Angle Walk," in which his standing on one foot induces empathy in the viewer.

The Hammer Museum offers up "Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y" by Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez, which brings together a staggering array of source material, including actual newscasts as well as fictional episodes taken from Don DeLillo's "Mao II." The 68-minute affair tells the history of skyjacking and its effects, but for me, the real excitement is the artist's dexterity at collage. "I try to make each cut comment on the one before it," Grimonprez says.

Ulrike Ottinger uses a more conventional documentary approach for "Prater" at REDCAT on Monday, but as curator Berenice Reynaud says, "it's also a symbiosis of all her favorite themes and interests." By telling the story of Vienna's century-old amusement park, Ottinger explores the nature of elaborate sets, self-expression, viewership and seduction. Don't miss model Veruschka doing a routine with King Kong.


-- theguide@latimes.com

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