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Pacific Standard Time: Frequently Asked Questions From Irritable Skeptics

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Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 3:26 PM

click to enlarge Photograph of Marilyn Monroe by Weegee, a Hollywood photographer who's the subject of one of MOCA's PST exhibits - COURTESY OF MOCA
  • Courtesy of MOCA
  • Photograph of Marilyn Monroe by Weegee, a Hollywood photographer who's the subject of one of MOCA's PST exhibits

This thing Pacific Standard Time, which starts on Saturday, can be quite overwhelming, no doubt causing many people not in the know to tune out, question the whole thing or stomp off in anger.

Therefore, to help stave off confusion, annoyance and bloodlust, we have created a list of PST-related frequently asked questions from irritable skeptics.

What is this thing my artsy friends keep wanting to drag me to called Pacific Standard Time?

It's a collection of exhibits in Southern California all looking at L.A. art from 1945 to 1980, lasting from this Saturday through April.

Who's paying?

The Getty gave $10 million in funding for it.

Where's a list of all the museums?

The PST website has a colorful list of exhibits here and a less colorful but more easily-searchable list of participating institutions here.

I'm lazy. Is there a map showing all the exhibits in my neighborhood?

Yes, on the PST website here.

Museums are for old people. I hear galleries are also involved?

Yes. See the list of galleries here.

I imagine with a big event like this there are lectures, symposia and other events of that nature that I probably won't be able to understand?

Yes. See list of events here.

It's all too much. I'm confused.

The main exhibit is the Getty's show "Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970," so that's not a horrible place to start. Also, the Pacific Standard Time website has a weird little game where you can answer questions about what kinds of art you like and then it'll spit out recommended exhibits based on that.

click to enlarge Anthony Kiedis (l.) and Ed Ruscha
  • Anthony Kiedis (l.) and Ed Ruscha
How is that guy from the Red Hot Chili Peppers involved?

Anthony Kiedis, the lead singer, did a promotional video that shows him driving around L.A. with famous artist Ed Ruscha. They'll be posting more videos like it, like one with Jason Schwartzman and artist John Baldessari.

So it's a shameless way of using a celebrity to get attention and convey that PST is hip and down with the kids these days, right?

Uh, if you want to see it that way. Chiat/Day, the ad agency known for its Apple commercials, is involved.

I mean, what does Anthony Kiedis have to do with art?

He's a collector. They're both California icons of sorts. And music is art, right?

What is art, anyway?

Let's get back on track.

Why should I care about PST in the first place?

You're living in an international art capital. Read all about it in our Pacific Standard Time preview issue.

Does an art capital really need a huge, multi-museum retrospective to prove it?

Well, it's not necessarily to prove it -- it's to show how it happened. And some people think California art hasn't gotten enough credit.

But it's a little defensive, doesn't it? L.A. claims it measures up to New York, but New York would never need to do this huge PST thing to prove their worth, would they?

Err...

Just saying. It's ok by me if the Getty wants to shell out for it. Especially since I heard something about something being free?

Yes. You can get into some of the museums for free this Sunday.

That's awesome. Which museums are those?

See the list at the PST website here.

If in conversation I call it "PST" instead of "Pacific Standard Time," do I sound like a douche?

I don't think so. If an art exhibit is popular enough to be known by its initials, that's a rare enough thing that we'll let it pass.

What is art?

Go away.

Follow @zpincusroth and @LAWeeklyArts on Twitter.

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