Saturday, May 29, 2010

West Coast

The Academy was PACKED to the gills, it being raining and a Monday (when other museums are typically closed).  Though I felt oppressed by the crowds, the dioramas were definitely worth it.

This is me sitting in a bronze replica of the chair from the famous photograph of Huey Newton where he is holding a shotgun in one hand and a tribal spear in the other.  The piece is called "Monument to Huey Newton for the Alamada County Courthouse."

With its integration of art, natural and cultural history, and innovative "interactive" elements, the Oakland Museum has the freshest take on exhibitions that I've seen in a loooong while.  

PBL and Craig Baldwin outside Pakwan

It's always such a treat to see Craig!  Just prior to our outing for a Pakistani meal in the Mission, Craig entertained us in his basement lair with an amazing clip from a 16mm film about avant-garde art from the late 60's-- one of many new reels in his collection rescued from an educational library in the process of decessioning its celluloid.

The excerpt we watched was of Len Lye showing off his sound sculptures!  I had no idea that he was making anything like that. The reel looked to be a good 40 minutes... I wonder what other gems lie therein.  This one is destined for Craig's special "pink trunk" which contains the few films in his collection to be spared from the editing room. 

Jay with Chris Kubick on top of his strange studio building

After many many months of envisioning this place in my mind's eye, we finally visited with Chris at his studio, housed in a nearly vacant research facility that has been undergoing a long process of dissolution.  Hallway after hallway of empty laboratories and offices with rooftop greenhouses devoid of life envelop the creative vital force contained within Chris' studio.

Tiebe and Anne

Our trip featured lots of family action, with many new babies making the scene alongside reconnections with old friends who have been building families for a few years now.

Jenna, Oliver, and Jay at an M&A project on the LACMA grounds

After a night of gallery hopping in Culver City, we ended up at the La Brea Tar Pits and were treated to a visit with this recent Materials & Applications project, Promiscuous Production:  Breeding is Bittersweet. With bitter melon set to grow up on one side of the structure and sweet melon on the other, the two fruits have been set-up for interbreeding.

Gerry Fialka and me

My friend Vera Burner-Sung shot this one.  We drove out to Venice to visit with Gerry and had a great talk about the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the making of art, and the creative impulse.  He made us a fruit salad for lunch.  Hanging out with Gerry is consistently gratifying, and invariably built around heartfelt, intelligent debate.

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