Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pervasive Persuasion MOCA

That's Denise Gray at saturday's MOCA Pervasive Persuasion starring, Gary Baseman, Simone Legno, and Tim Biskup. This was right after our panel discussion. Moderating something like this actually turned out to be easier than I thought. Each introduced themselves and their work and that alone took up a lot of time. They said great things about where they are in their careers, how they sort of got there, and how Murakami influences their work. I think the latter was somewhat important since that's one of the reasons this event took place.

Another reason it took place was that before Murakami's show even went up, he got together with the folks at Moca and mentioned that he'd like me to be involved with an event. What an honor. So that's how it all got going. But really, MOCA made it happen. We brainstormed the event, but in the end, they staffed it with an army, and all of the logistics were theirs too. The reason I know they did well was neither I or the artists had anything to stress out about. They absorbed it all and evidently there was a mountain of problems, but we never saw them or noticed them.

Well over 400, maybe closer to 500 came through. That's Simone sitting, Baseman standing, and a huge crowd of attentive listeners. One of the things that we didn't get to talk about more, and that was on my list of things to talk about was the fact that Los Angeles seems to be a hot place for art right now. Will people look at LA in 20 years and say wow, that's a huge run of great artists who were working here at the time? Are we in a hot moment? That's something that would have been nice to talk about since we're in LA, but maybe it's old news, and they already know and maybe that's why they came to hear these three speak. Or maybe it's something that just has to continue. An hour+ blew by quick, and in the end, I had an arsenal of questions to go.

Things got esoteric later in the night. That's Baseman painting on Oguri, the Butoh dancer. Butoh dancers move slow, and it was funny to see Gary being so patient and painting slowly. Gary ended up with a weird line of paint on his face. He actually painted a character on Oguri's head. Yeah, it was arty.

Piggy back butoh, and that's Gary painting more. In the end, the crowd respected Butoh, but I think it started with some trepidation. That's something MOCA should be proud of. While prepping for the event a bit in December, I think we all had skepticism of this part. Tim Biskup did a great job in creating the sound for it, and it meshed perfect. I think Tim's talent in music is probably well underrated. Tim told me that Oguri spoke with him afterwards and said, "I think we were in the same place."

That's a fella from the London Police, he was just there drawing. His drawings eventually became something people wanted by the end of the night. He was just visiting LA.

Displays like this were out there, and I'm surprised, it all stayed in tact by the end of the night. I think there was a leap of faith to leave it out there pretty unprotected. There was original art in the background as well. I don't know why it wasn't hung, but there must have been a good reason. Products were an important part of the event, since that's an important part of Murakami's work. Oddly the MOCA store and the LV store was closed. I think the MOCA store would have made a bundle. These weren't broke kids. The event cost $15 for members and $20 if you weren't.

That's Tim who DJ's without headphones. It's pretty awesome he can do it. One of the reasons why he's good at it, is that Tim played in bands as a drummer, and did some vocal MCing. He knows music well and can sort of see it with the soundwaves.

People were invited to just add to the art. As you saw in the performance photo, they were cut into pieces and given away. There's plenty more photos below and many more on the way. I had to mix photos between 4 cameras, and some will be sent to me later.

Afterwards, we went to Oiwake. They look mellow, but this was just the start. We left at 1:30. Tim looks mellow, but sake bombs happened. Oiwake's food might be rated near nightmare levels. It was amazing how frozen the sashimi was. But the atmosphere is crazy on saturday, and everyone was super happy.

My day actually began with a panel discussion at 2pm at JANM next door. The show closes today. It was mellow, and not as packed at the MOCA event, but it went well.



There's a bunch of pics by Michelle Matthews and some by me here.

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