August 20, 2011

Field Trip: Ai Wei Wei at LACMA

Yesterday Andrew and I attended a press luncheon for the Ai Wei Wei installation Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads in the courtyard at LACMA; the series of bronze sculptures depicting the traditional Chinese zodiac signs are modeled after the heads that stood in the courtyard of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing in the 18th century.


On top of the process and piece itself occluding straightforward notions of nationalism, the politicism of Wei Wei's work and existence in general right now was made evident by the ratio of art writers to political journalists. One to one, I think?


"Quick, take a picture before a security guard yells at me."
The heads form a circle around the elevator that comes up from the parking garage. It sounds just like the sort of awkward collision of historical and modern that we're all supposed to disparage, but the experience of coming up from underground to find yourself in the middle of them is pretty great. I love going to these things and hearing about the process and concept behind the works from the curators themselves. The three course lunch that followed was delicious - as if you could expect anything less from such a fine cultural institution. Bonus! I was seated right across from Edward Goldman of Art Talk on KCRW. He was surprisingly funny and affable, and complimented me on my skirt *blush*
Obligatory photo in front of Chris Burden's Urban Light
I wore a quilted grey mini from Opening Ceremony (which is not suited for warm weather, but I love the damn thing so much I wear it year-round) and a silk feather-print blouse from the Salvation Army. I was born in the Year of the Rat, which according to the Chinese zodiac means I'm "charming, clever, and have excellent taste"; one of several unfortunate myths generated from an otherwise noble and insightful people.