By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
Do you think the name has something to do with it? Is that the worst name for a museum in the country — or the world?
The name is tough.
The name is tough and the acronym is worse.
The funny thing is, Los Angeles has to be the most beautifully named city in the world. It just speaks of light.
What do you do with that?
We’re proud to be a county museum because the county has really been supportive. So that’s the hard part — there is one too many words. You can’t leave out “Los.” “Angeles” you can’t leave out. You can maybe leave “art” out, but that doesn’t help. And it has too many abbreviations — L.A. County, County Museum, the museum near the tar pits. It’s too long in the age of Internet searches. I’ll tell you what, if you come up with it . . .
And so we left off. As it happens, an associate of mine at the Weekly sent the recording of Govan’s interview to a service that outsources the transcribing to India. It is easy, quick and inexpensive, I was told, and while I can attest to that, I can also say that audio doesn’t always translate well to people who don’t know our local culture. The results were sometimes puzzling and often amusing. The strangely named figure Migetti was, of course, The Getty, while and four hallsturned out to be Andy Warhol. Gentler pipe stood in for gentrified. And when Govan used the expression a pig in a poke, it was translated as the rather wonderful A Pagan of Poke.
But my favorite misspelling was for Eli Broad, who, as everyone knows, is no Eli Broke. Occasionally, the transcriber miswrote but was nevertheless correct, as when Govan noted that the museum had invited John Baldessari to install the Magritte show, and it was transcribed as invited John Balthazar to install them a great show.
Finally, the Indian transcriber had his own idea of what LACMA should be: Gluckman. Well, why not, New York has its Guggenheim. Unfortunately, Cal State L.A. already has the Luckman Fine Arts Complex. So my suggestion for Govan and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is to take that beautifully named city a step further back in time as well as into the future, to El Museo de Arte de Los Angeles. The El, people could call it, which would tie right in with that Koons train (sort of). And MALA has a certain edginess to it, in spite of its literal translation. Think wicked good. Do you have a better idea? If so, e-mail us at feedbackLACMA@laweekly.com. We’ll share the results with Michael Govan.