My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Dear MOCA...

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to go to L.A. with fellow artist Richard Gleaves to see Louise Bourgeois' retrospective at the MOCA (Grand Avenue location). I had a great time with Richard, who is funny and so knowledgeable! The driving to go to L.A. and back seemed very short.

The exhibition is of course impressive - or should I say the pieces, the work, more than the exhibition?

I do not like the space at the MOCA (Grand Avenue location) very much and the way the work is presented. I think it is a problem with showing contemporary art: there should be an effort made to make people who come feel comfortable, to enjoy the experience, not to make them feel they are out of place. Maybe more people would come.

When I visited Rauschenberg's "Combines" two years ago at the MOCA, I enjoyed the work, the pieces, I went to the talk and it was great. But the squareness of MOCA's presentation felt inadequate beside the freedom of the work.

the Centre George Pompidou with the poster for "Combines"

Inside the Centre Pompidou

A few months after, I was in Paris and I went to see "Combines" in the Centre Georges Pompidou. I enjoyed the exhibition much more there and I think it is because of the space, the way the gallery is designed for the temporary exhibitions: one can see the roofs of Paris and the perspective is breathtaking. Rauschenberg's work made totally sense in that environment: you see the work and you see the town, the streets, the cars... The life is there, the "normal life" of a city, the everyday life.

At the MOCA, the exhibitions, although displayed in a large space, are completely cut from the outside world. There are NO windows.

Most of Louise Bourgeois' work is made of stone, marble, wood, metal. Why is it not possible to touch ANYTHING? There are guards everywhere. It is exhausting to visit the exhibition in those conditions. One can feel them watching you very closely. There are less guards at the Centre Pompidou and I felt less pressured.

I started to take some notes when we entered Louise Bourgeois' show and one second later a guard came and told me that I could not write with a pen. I had to go get a pencil at the entrance. And I did.

I question the way some of the sculptures are displayed in the show. Like "Arch of Hysteria", which is almost pushed in a corner, so it makes it really difficult to walk around it. Richard was showing me something on the sculpture and of course a guard materialized in a second, explaining that we have to keep - at least - a distance equivalent to the length of an arm. Grrrrrrr.

I am sure that when I saw some of the chambers in Paris a few years ago, the one with the doors around, you could get inside. There was no rope blocking the entrance. At the MOCA you just can peek at what is going on inside. I understand some of the objects are fragile but do they keep the ropes when the VIPs come to the MOCA for special events?

The lighting at the MOCA is strange, mostly very dim.

And why is it not possible to sit anywhere (no chair, no bench, nothing)?! We stayed in Louise Bourgeois' exhibition for almost 3 hours. I sat on the floor sometimes, taking my time to look at a piece, taking some notes.

I know Louise Bourgeois' retrospective is going to Paris, and I hope to go there in the following months (now that all my papers are OK and that I have a passport) and to have the pleasure to enjoy it in a more welcoming environment, a place where I do not feel I have to walk on eggs, and to whisper.

At the entrance of the MOCA, on Grand Avenue, Nancy Rubins' sculpture looks great, surrounded by sky scrappers. One can walk around it, one can touch it, there is no guard. There is light. And some fresh air!

I went to the MOCA several times in the past years and I am a member.

Louise Bourgeois' retrospective at the MOCA until January 25, 2009.

No comments: