MU­SEUM OR AMUSE-EUM?

Los Angeles Confidential - - Letter - Ali­son miller

Gwyneth Pal­trow, Chris Martin, Kim and Kourt­ney Kar­dashian, Katy Perry, and Seth Ro­gen all made ap­pear­ances this month at LA’s wildly pop­u­lar ex­tended­date pop-up in­stal­la­tion, The Mu­seum of Ice Cream. This kitschy hottest-ticket-go­ing im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence of pas­tel-col­ored gi­ant pop­si­cles and sus­pended ba­nanas pushes the bound­aries of a mu­seum’s very def­i­ni­tion, and begs the ques­tion, what is art? As if an insta-wor­thy pool filled with candy sprin­kles wasn’t enough, other sim­i­lar selfie-bait projects con­tinue to gain mo­men­tum.

This spring’s in­au­gu­ral “Desert X” site-spe­cific in­stal­la­tion in the Coachella Val­ley rep­re­sented one of LA’s big­gest art world pil­grim­ages to date. Span­ning more than 45 miles, the free con­tem­po­rary art show and its 15-plus works by artists such as Doug Aitken, Clau­dia Comte, and Tavares Stra­chan launched two months of art-en­am­ored so­cial me­dia posts. Back in LA, the “14th Fac­tory” pop-up in a Lin­coln Heights ware­house com­plex rep­re­sents yet an­other overnight so­cial me­dia hit. Bri­tish artist Si­mon Birch lever­aged the in­stal­la­tion for his doc­u­men­taryin-the-mak­ing film with con­tin­u­ously evolv­ing in­ter­linked spa­ces of paint­ings, sculp­ture, video works, and live per­for­mances.

But in this, our an­nual Arts Is­sue, the news isn’t all tem­po­rary in­stal­la­tion in na­ture. The con­struc­tion dust has fi­nally set­tled as Guess co­founders and art col­lec­tors Paul and Mau­rice Mar­ciano open their much-an­tic­i­pated pri­vate mu­seum, The Mar­ciano Art Foun­da­tion, in the for­mer Scot­tish Rite Ma­sonic Tem­ple. This fall, the Santa Mon­ica Mu­seum of Art re­opens as the In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Art Los An­ge­les in DTLA’s Arts Dis­trict. Ge­orge Lu­cas has plans for a $1 bil­lion Mu­seum of Nar­ra­tive Art to pre­mier in Ex­po­si­tion Park in 2021. And, of course, 2023 is the planned re­veal for LACMA’s Peter Zumthorde­signed $600 mil­lion per­ma­nent art col­lec­tion com­plex.

Not to be out­done, the Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences plots a Hol­ly­wood PR boost with its own Renzo Pi­ano-de­signed mu­seum open­ing in 2019, which will even­tu­ally house iconic movie mem­o­ra­bilia such as Dorothy’s red slip­pers from The Wiz­ard of Oz and the space­craft model from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the mean­time, join Los An­ge­les Con­fi­den­tial as we spon­sor this year’s ex­cit­ing LA Film Fes­ti­val (June 14—22), or catch a clas­sic like Tony Ben­nett un­der the stars at The Hol­ly­wood Bowl. Happy sum­mer, happy art-ing… and say cheese!

from left: Check­ing out the “Desert X” in­stal­la­tions in Palm Springs, in­clud­ing the Mi­rage glass house by Doug Aitken and Curves & Zigzags by Clau­dia Comte; cel­e­brat­ing cover star Nick Jonas’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Cre­ative Re­cre­ation for his sneaker line 1410.

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