02.02.09 CB08

From the land of “the Real Housewives,” Disneyland and endless toll roads comes another very capable show by the Orange County Museum of Art, whose exhibition chops just keep growing in stature. Curated by Lauri Firstenberg – director of the nonprofit space LAXART in Culver City – the 2008 California Biennial includes 54 artists and group entities with a collectively heightened political and social tilt, featuring Amanda Ross-Ho’s excavated painting studio walls, transplanted into the gallery here; Patrick "Pato" Hebert's lawn signs with self-help-book-inspired messages; Kara Tanaka's mechanical ode to Marilyn Monroe’s flying skirt; Jedediah Caesar's crap-filled pick-up truck and free, hefty, bound editions of the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest’s sixth book installment (to name a very, very few).

If you can’t get down to the Fashion island complex (yes, the OCMOA complex in located in the shopping mall’s Vertigo-inducing, epic curving boulevards), one can catch off-site exhibits all over the Southland including: LAXART; Five Thirty Three Gallery; the Japanese American National Museum; MacArthur Park & NOKIA LA LIVE; The Standard Hotel in West Hollywood; the UAG/ROOM Gallery at the University of California, Irvine; EstaciĆ³n Tijuana in, er, Tijuana; Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum in Santa Barbara at the University Art Museum, University of California Santa Barbara; the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco; Walter and McBean Galleries also in San Francisco at the Art Institute; the High Desert Test Sites, in Joshua Tree with works by Joel Kyack, Hannah Greely, Ry Rocklin, Patrick Jackson, Alice Konitz, Jack Pierson, Yoshua Okon, Amy and Wendy Yao's Art Swap Meet, Jonathan Hernandez, Thom Merrick; and The Wonder Valley Institute for Contemporary Art with Julia Scher, Ann Magnuson, Marnie Weber and the Spirit Girls. Up until March 15th.