LACMA and The Getty: LA – “If you don’t know, now you know.” -Biggie

1369545754094.cachedIn what was my first OFFICIAL visit to LA I can say that I was definitely IMPRESSED with both the LACMA and the Getty museums. Both institutions have been mentioned throughout my studies and to get to experience them in person was well worth the visits.

Being more partial to art of the contemporary persuasion I had an especially great time at the LACMA. The James Turrell Retrospective (see image above) in particular was a HIGHLIGHT (no pun intended), something that I strongly recommend to anyone living in the area or heading out that way – it runs through April 6th. The works span Turrell’s lengthy career, from early works all the way through plans for a yet-to-be-executed project at the Roden Crater in Flagstaff, Arizona. The temporal and spatial affects of Turrell’s works can hardly be described in words, one really must be there in person to engage with them. In order to experience the energy and power emanating from these works, immersion is vital and the effects are unforgettable.

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The Getty Museum (see image above) is one of the most beautiful institutions I’ve visited to date. High up on a hill overlooking the city of Los Angeles, you definitely gain a sense of the extreme wealth of the museum (J.Paul Getty left no shortage of cash). Like the LACMA it’s split up into different buildings housing different styles of art throughout various periods in history. The highlight for me here was Hearsay of the Soul, a 5 channel video installation created by one of my favorite directors, Werner Herzog (see image below). The film is a compilation of etchings by Dutch artist Hercules Segers complimented by the music of composer/cellist Ernst Reijseger (also Dutch). I found this piece to be both unsettling and beautiful, capturing the sublime through the coupling of the etchings and the pure emotive power of Reijseger as he played. It’s as if he was translating the artworks through his music. This was for me, definitely a must see! 4.-Herzog

If you have the opportunity to get to LA and visit these institutions, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

In the words of Biggie, “if you don’t know, now you know”…so go!

Cheers,

NYX

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MILLIE BROWN: Gross, Grotesque, or Gorgeous? (Warning, Viewer Discretion Advised)

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Millie Brown. You may have heard of her. You may have not. You may have seen her in LADY GAGA’s music video (see clip below), and been like “WHO IS THIS YOUNG LADY WHO STICKS HER FINGERS DOWN HER THROAT TO VOMIT (LITERALLY VOMIT) BLUE GLITTER MILK ONTO GAGA’s GOWN?!!!” in her video “Exorcist Interlude.” Some critics are even calling her the next Jackson Pollock (read this article – I swear I am not making up this connection). Is this real life?! Sadly, yes.

She has gotten her art down to a perfection. Brown starves herself for two days. By resisting any form of nutrients, she makes sure there is nothing inside of her that would contribute negatively (if this is not sending a negative message in itself) to her abstract painting (see example through image below).

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After two days, she is ready to put on her performance. If this isn’t gross enough, you may want to STOP here. THANK YOU FOR READING, TRULY I APPRECIATE IT HOWEVER, WARNING: I GET INTO MORE DETAIL…

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Anyways, MB dyes the milk colours of her choice for the canvas. She typically sits and drinks, once in a while stands, but only drinks one colour at a time. She then regurgitates this one colour onto the canvas (see image above) until she feels it is completely out of her system. She will force her fingers down her throat multiple times. Again. And Again. And Again. Literally, until the last drop is out of that colour… And then restarts. ONTO THE NEXT COLOUR.

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While Pollock may have been a drunk, and died because of his disease, he was creating these FANTASTIC performances pieces in themselves through his movements seen by the traces of paint dripped and splattered onto the canvas.

Brown, on the other hand, who is getting LOADS of attention, and sadly I’m just feeding into it here, is, breaking away from “traditional” performance art, but is she? Think Yoko Ono “Cut Piece,” any of Marina Abramović’s “Rhythm” series, Joseph Beuys’ “I like America and America Likes Me…”All of these artists have put themselves in harm’s way. And willingly. But they were not making themselves throw up on command. Especially now, in a society that is pressured by “looks” – i’m so sorry to say this, but “WHAT THE EF?!”

What kind of a message is she sending to all societies and their youth? What message is GAGA sending?! We know GAGA is all about the arts, but she has a tremendous youth following! HOW IS THIS OK? It is one thing to test your body to the limits through strength and endurance, but it is another thing to be bulimic and be making money off of such a sick process, literally. Personally, i’d prefer one of Warhol’s “Piss” pieces. At least it was a natural bodily function.

Well CultureHe(ART)s, sorry for the disturbance, but I wanted you to be “in the know” should anyone be taking about this “new girl on the block” that vom.coms to make art.

Now it’s LADA GAGA vs. LADY GAG. OY. If you would like to see a true performance piece feel free to look it up on YouTube. I truly do not believe in sharing any more of her videos, because I believe it is sending a completely dysfunctional message, even though the finished product may be viewed to some as “beautiful” and “gorgeous.” What do you think?

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Gross, Grotesque, or Gorgeous?

XX, CHC (p.s. Like our Facebook page! Or Follow us on Instagram @CultureHeARTs)

A Twist on Relational Aesthetics

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Happy Meal” by Montreal artist Thierry Marceau at Joyce Yahouda is no longer in exhibition but is definitely worth mentioning! Why may you ask? What importance does it hold? And why bring it up now? Well, my friends this display by Thierry Marceau displayed the past, relational aesthetics, and celebrated the gallery space in a number of new and exciting ways. 

The ethos surrounding “Happy Meal” was the exploration of the relationship between POPULAR CULTURE and the King of Pop Art, ANDY WARHOL. Marceau transformed the gallery space into a playground of kitschy, gauche McDonald icons in conversation with the late Mr. Warhol.

Upon entering the space, the viewer walks beneath the iconic GOLDEN ARCHES into a McD’s haven. The viewer was then confronted with images, installations and sculptures all relating to that franchise we all know so well and love. Chicken nuggets play in what looks like a play pen, hamburgers sculptures, friends of Ronald McDonald, images and video installations of Ronald McDonald play throughout the gallery space, where viewers could sit on comfy red and yellow pillows mirroring those playgrounds kids are so often used to playing in at the restaurant.

To the left of this so-called McDonald’s sanctuary lay another room. Covered in silver paper, hung images of Marceau depicted as Warhol imitating the environment of THE FACTORY. These two rooms adjacent to each other seem to fit perfectly next to one another – the King of Pop commenting on one of the largest popular culture phenomenon’s that has taken over internationally.

Now, I that I have explained the space, why might you ask is this innovative or any different? What struck me about this exhibition was the underlying celebration of our postmodern world we live in today.

What Marceau essentially created was a place of deconstruction where we could look at the past, and our current situation today and find new ways of interpreting the past to our current situation. This exhibition plays upon this relatively new 90’s theory art historians like to call RELATIONAL AESTHETICS, but puts a twist on it.

Marceau created a space where the viewer could INTERACT, take part and come to ones own conclusions. There was no need for the artist to coerce the audience into interaction because the space he created did this itself. We walk around see what we see and come to our own conclusions. Maybe Warhol was celebrating this global franchise that links people, cultures society together. Maybe he was making a mockery of how culture becomes so wrapped up in our consumer goods and getting a bang for our buck. This twist for me was new and exciting, because I felt an instant conversation arise between myself, McDonald’s and Warhol. Marceau breathed new life into a late artist and older artistic movement. It was NEW, EXCITING, and FRESH. That’s what ART should be.

PEACE OUT, K