Two weekends ago the La County Museum of art (Lacma), (another place I’m lucky enough to work at) collaborated with Machine Project http://machineproject.net/, a small little LA gem of an art gallery/ community hub that supports alternative art media and projects. The day long event was called Field Guide.
Hundreds of artists, organizations, and volunteers contributed to the transformation and rethinking of the huge Lacma campus and its encyclopedic museum
collection. Musicians were planted in the elevators, galleries, hallways and the Serra pieces. Kinetic sculptures were put into conversation with paintings. A speed metal guitarist rocked out for a minute on the hour throughout the day, there was a murder mystery challenge with clues planted around the museum, ambient haircuts( artists would play guitars and synthesizers while hair stylists cut museum patrons hair free of charge), a walking pepper can man, a painting recreated in flowers, and a dance party to cheer up “the loneliest gallery” ( the contemporary photography gallery, which is tucked away into a corner of the museum that not much foot traffic goes through), in addition to hundreds of other interesting things that you can check out on machine projects website, or Lacma's blog http://lacma.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/qa-with-machine-projects-mark-allen/.
The project is yet another success for Michael Govan (director of Lacma, formally from Dia Art Foundation) and Charlotte Cotton, head curator of photography (formally from the Tate Modern). I’m consistently surprised by the exciting and intelligent choices they have made to update the museum and re-think the museum model in order to integrate it into the community and assert itself as a cultural power. It’s really neat to see as the museum changes and also the unique challenges and opportunities Los Angeles museums have.
So basically I’m saying..
COME TO VISIT LA!
Botanical version on right, oil version on left