Sunday, November 27, 2005

Chalk Outlines

On Sunday LACMA held an impromptu sending off of its parking lot, soon to be remolded into the Broad Contemporary Art Museum designed by architect Renzo Piano. Oh Eli Broad. You who decimated LA’s landscape into urban/suburban dread. Your benevolence is astounding. But wait! This isn’t just any parking lot. In 2000, husband and wife Barry McGee and Margaret Kilgallen transformed the lot into an enclave of street spirit artistry. They painted murals on the walls for LACMA’s “Made in California” exhibit. And now their work will join the transitory realm of the forgotten and reborn, like so much in this city (related LA Weekly article.)

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The drive west on Wilshire to the lot’s dénouement saw us passing the ruins of the once gorgeous Ambassador Hotel where RFK was killed. The parallels were noted. When we got to the lot’s rooftop, the sounds of chill dance music poured over the tableau of hunched children chalking the lot with their drawings. Piquant, precious, kind of a fine, vaguely ritualistic way to celebrate the end of something so commonplace as a parking lot, but then, a lot imbued with excellent art. The kids had been at it all day. There were great exuberant works, like an earth’s globe, finished and abandoned, little chalk nubs left behind, funereal stones of remembrance. The best was a pink car drawn from a bird’s eye view. The perspective of the vehicle was all askew, as if the car’s skin was laid out on the pavement to dry, figures in the window said, “Boo boo!” A guy in green pants and shades saw us asorbed in the car and said, “I just want to get in it. I wish it was real.” Some adults joined in chalk play, creating chalk Shivas or gallivanting amongst the kiddies who were too young to see how they were participating in something futile, but then the childlike element made the futility of the event hopeful, a celebration of the transitory, the chaos of it all. Yes. Thank you Eli Broad! Thank you for taking something beautiful away, if only to give us a beautiful moment on a beautiful day (the wind seems to have blown away the filth, if only for a crisp moment) where we can stop and see the children create something beautiful that will vanish all too soon. Walking back to the car, the tractors parked, in wait for the imminent demolition, looked like they belonged in the tar pits, dinosaurs, the implements of incessant forgetting, modernity, progress. They seemed like fossil relics from the past. Perfect.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Love wraps herself in knitting

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The Guardian UK caught up with Courtney Love in rehab. The girl has had it hard: public excoriation, televised relapse vag flashing, Frances Bean's Blink 182 phase, fever dreams of Kurt coming back to save her, but the worst, the worst, or one of the worst, as she said in the interview, "I was really sober and I just got fat and I couldn't work," she recalls despondently. "Being fat is one of the worst things that ever happened to me." How VAIN is she? But kinda right, no? There is recourse though. Like the interview's telling "poetic" interlude:
The sky is now dark. There is an orange glow reflecting off the sea from an oil rig lighting fixture. With the wind almost hasty, Love wraps herself in knitting, though I'm unsure whether it's a blanket or just a gigantic shawl.
This is where the reporter's first person enters the story? Shawl/blanket confusion? Whatever. The phrase "Love wraps herself in knitting" will put me to bed tonight ruminating for hours upon its infinitude of ontological possibilities.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Shadows of Mexican Lovers

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This photograph taken by Brigitte while in Oaxaca, Mexico for the recent Day of the Dead Festivities.

The shadows. There is something going on with the shadows trailing at the feet of the couple. Black and shrunken versions of the two. And her shadow reaches out of the frame where the unseen setting of their photograph exists. What is she standing in front of? His shadow lurches towards her. Hers is trailing away, aloof, literally disconnected by the frame. The subject of the photograph seems to be neither the mildy perverse man nor the girl somewhat disinterested in the photo she's actively participating in, no, the subject seems to be that grand space in between the two. They might be a couple but they appear so disconnected. Maybe it's the act of him taking the photo, maybe their shadows know what's going on. His lurches towards, hers falls away kind of reflecting how she seems annoyed while he seems eager, vaguely hunched and mannish, legs wide, a pornographer, a lover, not an artist, no, there's only one artist here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


The LA Times had a story yesterday about fish in L.A. area seawater having sexual abnormalities. The dek reads: "Male bottom-dwellers with female sex characteristics are found near outfall pipes in waters off Los Angeles and Orange counties." No longer do I feel so alone.