This is a video of me reading news about MOCA. Okay, maybe not. It’s really Marina Galperina in Eva and Franco Mattes‘s latest work Emily’s Video, from 2012, which gathers the reactions people have to watching the “worst video in the world.” (Get deets here and reax video here.)
LACMA Offers MOCA a Shotgun Wedding
LACMA has laid out a formal offer to take over L.A.’s troubled Museum of Contemporary Art. As part of the deal, LACMA would raise $100 million for MOCA and keep the museum independently housed in its two downtown buildings. KCRW has a very good convo about the whole deal with the L.A. Times’ Jori Finkel and art critic Hunter Drohojowska-Philp. Naturally, there is all manner of conjecture about what Big Brother Broad will have to say about a merger. William Poundstone says there are hints that he isn’t planning on going quietly into the night. So expect a few mushroom clouds out of downtown…
The idea of a merger would have been considered heresy back in 2008 (Eric Garcetti hated the idea), but many folks in L.A. seem to be resigned to the notion of the County Museum taking over one of the premiere bastions of contemporary art in the United States — in the same way that you might feel resigned about having to resignedly take in some hot mess of a family member who, despite having every social, cultural and financial advantage, can’t seem to pull their shit together. Christopher Knight reports on why this is such a good deal for LACMA. And the NY Times has the obligatory follow-up. But you’ll find the best quotes in this L.A. Times story:
Charles E. Young, the former UCLA chancellor who was brought in by Broad as chief executive to help set MOCA back on sound footing at the start of 2009 — serving until Jeffrey Deitch became the museum’s director in mid-2010 — said “it’s a good question” why the MOCA board, which commands great personal wealth, can’t muster the will to keep the museum independent.
“There have been people brought on with the understanding they don’t have to do much,” Young said. “There are members of the board who are there for their names, I think, or who have some clout of some kind because they are major collectors or whatever, rather than people who have been, are, and will continue to be dedicated to making MOCA what it ought to be. But there’s a lot of unhappiness on the board. People are not willing to do things.”
Certainly all of this goes back to the point that the people who got MOCA into this mess — aka, the board of trustees — are still in charge. And there probably isn’t gonna be any sort of change at that museum until they stop being in charge. (My earlier rant about that here.) So, congratulations MOCA Board, for your poor decision-making and paralyzed inaction. Obviously, LACMA isn’t gonna totally get rid of you guys (you’re all too rich and “important”), but let’s hope they find a way to vaporize all that toxicity.
Plus: Some Random Linkage