Exhibition Inquisition

The stuff you look at, but don't see.

Posts Tagged ‘Christian Marclay

Chapter 1 (Part 2): LACMA’s BCAM – A Museum Within a Museum

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Even though Eli is not involved with the museum any longer, his name is still on that building. We should have never called it a museum. How can LACMA have a museum? LACMA is the museum.”
Lynda Resnick, LACMA Trustee[i]

In February 2008, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The Renzo Piano-designed BCAM is not an autonomous museum; it is one of several buildings on LACMA’s museum campus (the largest American art museum west of Chicago).

The original LACMA was not exactly popular. Ed Ruscha’s 1968 vision of the museum.

The original LACMA was not exactly popular. Ed Ruscha’s 1968 vision of the museum.

LACMA was founded in 1961, when it seceded from the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art in Exposition Park.  The new art museum opened in 1965 with three buildings designed by William Pereira: the Bing, Ahmanson and Hammer buildings.  In 1986, the Art of the Americas Building (then the Anderson Building) opened, and was followed in 1988, with the Pavilion for Japanese Art.  The museum continued to grow when LACMA purchased the neighboring May Company department store building in 1994. (LACMA is currently collaborating with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to bring a museum to the vacant building.[ii])  In 2001, plans for a tabula rasa campus designed by Rem Koolhaas were scrapped due to its ambitious scale (all existing buildings would have been raised) and lack of public support (a proposed bill would have provided public funds for the project, but was not passed by voters[iii]).  Then in 2004, the board approved a multi-year capital campaign called Transformation.[iv]

Michael Govan, Wallis Annenberg Director and CEO of LACMA, inherited Transformation when he took LACMA’s helm in 2006 (little more than a year before BCAM’s inauguration). Exciting, high profile, high-cost building projects are Govan’s specialty. Before coming to LACMA, Govan had been the director of the Dia Art Foundation where he oversaw the renovation of an old Nabisco factory in the Hudson River Valley, into Dia Beacon—a gargantuan facility capable of housing many large-scale, contemporary art installations. Before Dia, Govan worked under Richard Armstrong at the Guggenheim Foundation and aided in the realization of the Guggenheim Bilbao.   Govan had the resume required to lead LACMA during Transformation.  Eli Broad was on the search committee that lured Govan to LACMA.[v]

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Christian Marclay’s The Clock (Part 2)

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SFMOMA

“Everybody is concerned about time. You know we never have enough time to do anything, and especially to see art.” – Christian Marclay.

[Insert mandatory clock pun here.]

[Insert mandatory clock pun here.]

Well I got PLENTY of time to see your art Mr. Marclay.  Cinephiles of San Francisco rejoice! Christian Marclay’s The Clock is at SFMOMA through June 2nd, when the museum closes for those massive expansions you may have heard aboutThe Clock made big news two summers ago, when it won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.  The 24-hour-long video piece has been heralded as a masterpiece of time-based media, and has been show all over the country (New York, Boston and Los Angeles) and the world (Russia and Israel).  Finally Norcal gets the opportunity to see this life-changing (I don’t use that term loosely) video piece.

My life was changed last year when I saw The Clock multiple times at LACMA—the museum purchased an edition of The Clock and had it on view during regular hours, as well as organized several 24-hour screenings. I went to one of the 24-hour screenings and stayed from 8:00PM till 12:15AM. This week, I went to SFMOMA and took in a mere two hours and 15 minutes of The Clock—from 2:45 till 5:00PM.  Taking in another chunk of The Clock allowed me to see how the work varies at different times of day.    SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS AHEAD. Read the rest of this entry »

Christian Marclay’s The Clock

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LACMA

Last week, I attended (a portion) of LACMA’s 24-hour screening of the museum’s newly-acquired The Clock by Christian Marclay.  I watched the video work from 8:00 until a little after midnight, and LACMA’s Bing Theater was packed the entire time.  People shuffled out at the bottom of each hour, allowing more people in.  When I left at 12:15, there was still a line of eager museum visitors all the way down the side of the Art of the Americas building.  The Clock has been on view pretty much from the time it was acquired back in May, and just closed this past weekend.  If you didn’t get the opportunity to see it, fear not, I’m sure it will be back—it’s a huge crowd pleaser.

The (de)evolution of the leading lady?

The showing attracted a mixed bag of attendees; The Clock is more fun to watch in a diverse group of people.  Older viewers recognized clips I didn’t; there were big laughs for a dinner scene from The Odd Couple, and more laughs for a Vincent Price clip.  I held my own when I recognized a young Catherine Deneuve, a pivotal scene from Hitchcock’s Rope, and Dustin Hoffman in drag in Tootsie.  The oldtimers were stumped by a clip from Sex and the City.  Some clips I wanted to go on longer, but I quickly forgot about them because there were five or more news clips in the next minute. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Exhibitions

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LACMA

LACMA’s near acre of new exhibition space, the Resnick Pavilion, means LACMA has a lot of exhibitions to program.  And they seem up to the task.  After the three inaugural shows (Olmec, Fashion, and Eye for the Sensual), LACMA has managed to keep the Resnick Pavilion at full capacity.  There are three shows currently in the space: David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy, Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts, and LACMA’s ticketed blockbuster: Tim Burton.  The shows keep with Michael Govan’s strategy for offering unrelated coinciding shows in the Resnick Pavilion.

Across from the Resnick Pavilion, is Renzo Piano’s other LACMA building, BCAM; it too has been kept full. The top floor is still stocked with Broadworks, the second floor is being deinstalled from the recent permanent collection show Human Nature, and the ground floor just had one of the massive Serra sculptures deinstalled, to make room for a new Burden work, which is going to be AWESOME.

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Collecting History: Highlighting Recent Acquisitions

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Museum of Contemporary Art

The wording of the title of the show “Collecting History” creates a convenient ambiguity.  Is MOCA presenting the history of its collecting?—probably not, since these are recent acquisitions, and therefore this is not a show displaying its history. More likely MOCA is claiming with this title that through these acquisitions MOCA is collecting (verb) history.

The introductory wall text is the only “educational” anything in the exhibition.  It has a nice tie-in to MOCA’s previous exhibitions, saying the museum acquired works from these amazing shows.  Some of these shows were critically well received, but these expensive shows were also one of the causes of MOCA’s financial problems.  The intro wall text provides catch-all terms such as “significant works,” “historical, mid-career, and emerging artists,” and also “local, national, and international artists.” So basically anything goes.

Titular Image: Öyvind Fahlström, Africa Banner

Titular Image: Öyvind Fahlström, Africa Banner

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