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Most Overrated Art Shows

Bill Viola at the Getty. High-tech emotion doesn’t really work. Video screen after video screen of crying, screaming, laughing, gesticulating, highly emotional people in ridiculously slow motion (like the blinking of an eye may take 10 minutes) with amped-up sound (like a splash of water might sound like thunder in Oklahoma) starts to get tiresome. This exhibit practically had L.A. Times critic Christopher Knight giving birth to a new art movement, and the Weekly put it on its cover! The only movement I felt was in my bowels.

Laura Owens at MOCA. HELLO! Am I imagining things? Am I at LACE?, I thought as I wandered into the gallery next to Lucian Freud’s monster exhibit last spring. Owens is at MOCA? Is this a new promotional series of on-the-verge-make-it-or-break-it artists in Los Angeles? Where are they now, these not-so-cutting-edge-but-finally-made-it-to-MOCA artists? I’ll get back to you, I gotta do a Google.

Blum & Poe. Their inaugural show this fall showcasing the new space outside of Culver City was an art-world sensation. What a space! That’s all I heard on that momentous opening night. Then all the art mags fawned over it. What a triumph! Really, it’s not that big of a deal. Anything after their shoebox gallery in Nowheresville, Santa Monica, would be a vast improvement. But the new gallery is even more off the beaten path! Haven’t heard a peep about it since. Come on, dudes, never mind the dependable scene and free-flowing booze, let’s fill up that grand space with something worth making the trek for.

Contemporary Projects 7: Keith Edmier and Farrah Fawcett 2000 at LACMA. Who can forget LACMA’s smashing entrance into the new year with this exhibit? What an embarrassment. When our county museum thinks contemporary art, it looks to Hollywood? It’s bad enough that galleries succumb to whoring out to the celebrities, but now our museums? LACMA must have duly paid its repentance with that fiasco; the remaining exhibits of that year were dedicated to Buddhism, Catholicism, Minimalism and Communism. Enough of your retribution, just show some goddamn good art, for chrissake.


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