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Air Conditioned & Anonymous

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The Hammer Museum has free admission all summer. And it's air conditioned. Of course, the galleries are organized around a central courtyard, but last weekend, when the rest of the city was as scorching as it was today, that little courtyard felt like an oasis of shade and calm. Parking in the building costs $3 with the Hammer's validation, or there's a Metro Rapid stop right outside. They've also got some cool nighttime events going this summer, including this indie rock concert series.

The current marquee exhibition, Société Anonyme, displays modernist and Dada works collected by Katherine Dreier and Marcel Duchamp. Artists whose work is displayed included Marcel Duchamp and several of his siblings, Man Ray, Jean Arp, and a work each by Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso. Many of the paintings and sculptures from this period between the world wars are about motion and technology.

On the other hand, Lotte Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed (played on a monitor in the exhibit, and also available on Netflix) uses motion and technology to tell an old story. The exhibition card advises, "Reiniger produced the film independently using her own innovative multiplane camera, which separates foreground and background layers to produce a 3D illusion." The effect suggests Indonesian shadow puppets, or an animated, less politicized version of Kara Walker's silhouettes.