THE BOULEVARD OF TORN-DOWN DREAMS

"I think it's a piece of artwork, plus it's a part of history," says an unidentified art-handler in the Brian Davis-directed YouTube video documentary Berlin Wall Installation Ceremony in Los Angeles. "I just remember Ronald Reagan saying, 'Gorbachev, tear down this wall.' And now here it is -- putting it back up, in beautiful Los Angeles." Yes, while nasty rumors persist that forces beyond Reagan might have also been involved -- those who dabble in quote-facts-unquote will cite Gorbachev's termination of the Brezhnev Doctrine, for example, and the actions of a half million or so disgruntled East Germans, Hungarians and Czechs -- 20 years ago, the Berlin Wall did indeed fall and crumble into a million souvenirs during the Peaceful Revolution of 1989. And since then, everything's been good. Now, courtesy of the Wende Museum's Wall Project, everything will be even better, because to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Wall's fall, a series of megaton panels comprising the longest stretch of the former Berlin Wall outside of Berlin have been shipped here to "beautiful Los Angeles." The Wall Along Wilshire is already in place, installed on October 15 in front of the 5900 Wilshire Building. This Sunday night a second synthetic will be temporarily installed across the boulevard, in front of Chris Burden's Urban Light at LACMA, and dubbed The Wall Across Wilshire. There, its already-muraled surface will be painted upon by the likes of Shepard Fairey, Kent Twitchell, Thierry Noir, students and faculty from local art schools and others, while those stuck in the ensuing traffic jam will shout and cheer and shoot our American peaceguns and gargle cheap lager in celebration of art, democracy, capitalism gone wild, art history gone commercial, and the price of cheap lager and cheap guns. But wait: At midnight, the porta-monument will be ceremonially re-toppled, because . . . well, it just seems like the right thing to do.
Sun., Nov. 8, 11:30 p.m., 2009


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