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Old July 31st, 2011, 08:59 PM   #481
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Damn. Still can't believe it's banished from L.A. :/
Speaking of EDC, I'm in a documentary about it (I'm at 5:34)

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Old August 2nd, 2011, 07:02 AM   #482
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Speaking of EDC, I'm in a documentary about it (I'm at 5:34)

Beautiful video. To see the music that I love being big in the city that I love means a hell of a lot to me. Especially since I've met so many people over the years that I otherwise never would have met and they have literally changed my life for the better. I've always been a consistent raver since '03 and it IS crazy to see how things have grown so I can testify to everything that is being said in this video. That's why when EDC moved to Vegas, it was kind hit me hard, to be honest. But enough of that, I'm going to pass this along, if you don't mind...

BTW - I should've met everyone here already, and that will happen soon, but why is it that I haven't met YOU specifically, soup? We go to the same damn parties. I think you and your people need to meet with me and my people, we can all do big things for this city.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 08:46 PM   #483
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I haven't been to a good party out here in ages. Must find. And my friend Dominic (guy in the white glasses) is a DJ in Arizona (of all places). He wants to come out here and when that happens, we're going to tear crap up. You are invited to tag along. :P
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Old August 4th, 2011, 07:41 AM   #484
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I haven't been to a good party out here in ages. Must find. And my friend Dominic (guy in the white glasses) is a DJ in Arizona (of all places). He wants to come out here and when that happens, we're going to tear crap up. You are invited to tag along. :P
Just name the time and the place bro
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Old September 5th, 2011, 02:19 AM   #485
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Check out this amazing series of exhibits about art in LA in the years between the end of WWII to about 1985. More than 60 venues will be involved from Santa Barbara to San Diego though it appears the major exhibit will be at the Getty. Starts in Oct.

Click here: Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980
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Old September 5th, 2011, 04:36 AM   #486
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Old September 8th, 2011, 04:55 AM   #488
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Getty acquires rare, illuminated Bible from 1200s Italy
Los Angeles Times
September 6, 2011 | 1:28 pm

The J. Paul Getty Museum has added a prized, 750-year-old Bible from Italy to its noted collection of illuminated medieval manuscripts, and the museum says it will go on display Dec. 13 as a highlight of the upcoming exhibition, “Gothic Grandeur: Manuscript Illumination 1250-1350.”

The Getty’s announcement says that the so-called Abbey Bible, named for a former British owner, was created in the mid-1200s for a Dominican monastery. According to museum officials, it “is one of the earliest and finest” illuminated Bibles to have emerged from Bologna in northern Italy, “one of the major centers” where scribes turned Latin scripture into art.

The work’s hallmarks, per the Getty, include “unusually lavish illumination” encompassing “whimsical figures…drolleries, grotesques and dynamic pen flourishes,” as well as rare images of praying monks.

“Sensitively depicted facial expressions…reveal the artist to be a skilled storyteller, and the pages brim with incident and event,” the Getty says.

The museum wouldn’t say what it spent to acquire the Bible this summer.

In July 2010, Christie’s in London offered it at auction as part of its multi-part sale of the Arcana Collection, a trove of medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts that the British newspaper, the Daily Mail reported had been collected over three decades by an anonymous American businessman.

Christie’s experts had predicted that the Abbey Bible, named for a British major who owned it from 1965 to 1989, could command a high bid of $4 million to $5.6 million, but it went unsold at the auction. According to Christie’s description, the Abbey Bible measures 10.6 inches by 7.8 inches and consists of 514 leaves of vellum; the artistry is found in 125 large, decorated capital letters, and in scenes and decorations painted in the margins of about 80 of the pages.
Read More: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/cult...al-bible-.html
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Old September 8th, 2011, 09:04 AM   #489
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Art galleries in Los Angeles deconstruct snobby stereotypes

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Let’s hit up a gallery this weekend. This probably isn’t the first thing your friends say when you’re planning your epic weekend. The usual image of a gallery is a cold, unwelcoming place only wealthy art lovers dare visit.

In reality, it’s easy to saunter into a gallery and enjoy yourself. Los Angeles and its surrounding cities have broken through the snobby stereotypes with a few kooky, unpretentious, bold galleries.

A few spots in particular can make the experience a memorable one.

A few spots in particular can make the experience a memorable one.

The Hive Gallery & Studios

With so many different featured artists and an expansive space, this locale really does feel a lot like a beehive, but in the best possible way.

Hive Gallery displays Neo-Pop Art, a modern adaptation of Pop Art, which usually means really humorous, fun art. The gallery makes sure to display some affordable pieces and all the items in the store are less than $50.

On any given Art Walk night, you can buy an alcoholic drink and stumble upon everything from impromptu talent shows to giant, horror movie-esque stuffed animals. It’s a little like falling down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole, minus the danger of getting your head chopped off by a crazy queen.

Just make sure to visit Wednesday through Saturday between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., as all other days are by appointment only.

The Hive Gallery & Studios is located on 729 South Spring St. For more information, visit hivegallery.com.

Royal/T Cafe

The opening party at Royal/T Cafe for the current exhibition “East Village West” was a little like a sweet sixteen: There were DJs, pyramids of colorful free donuts and makeup artists.

These days, you can peruse some intriguing art and eat in the cafe, which meshes Japanese, Californian and French flavors and dishes up everything from grilled salmon to macaroon rings (which are exactly what they sound like). And oh, I almost forgot: the servers are waitresses in maid costumes.

In terms of the actual art, Royal/T primarily focuses on contemporary Japanese works, but has a penchant for anything playful and eclectic; its store includes everything from Hello Kitty Lomography cameras to bookends in the form of mini-Jeff Koon steel balloon dogs.

Royal/T is also conveniently close to Culver City’s Art District, a cluster of art galleries near Washington and La Cienega boulevards. Check Royal/T’s Facebook page for opening parties and occasional free yoga lessons.

Royal/T Cafe is located on 8910 Washington Blvd. For more information, visit www.royal-t.org.

Hold Up Art

Little Tokyo is almost always filled with people heading to sushi restaurants, karaoke bars and American Apparel.

But you’re missing out if you don’t stop by Hold Up Art. This intimate gallery literally always has its doors open during regular business hours, and practically invites you to walk in and discover some fascinating art. It feels like the kind of place where you could unknowingly sit next to the exhibiting artist, casually sipping on a Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Hold Up Art has showcased works stemming from a variety of inspirations, from Star Wars to Los Angeles, all created by California-based artists. Check its website to see past and current featured artists.

Hold Up Art is located on 358 East 2nd St. For more information, visit www.holdupart.com.

Crewest

With the growing interest in street art, it’s no surprise there’s a gallery dedicated almost entirely to this blossoming phenomenon. Crewest strives to put the spotlight on art “too edgy and non-conventional for other elitist venues,” so you’re bound to find something intriguing (or at least different).

The venue is part of the Gallery Row in Downtown Los Angeles, which also includes Hold Up Art and Hive Gallery, as well as other galleries of various flavors. Crewest displays art in a variety of media, but gives special attention to graffiti art and street art, including work from artists such as Chaz Bojorquez, a pioneering graffiti writer.

And if you’re inspired by the works or want a souvenir, check out its store or website for T-shirts, books and even an assortment of caps — special spray paint can tops that can help you create your own masterpiece.

Crewest is located on 110 Winston St. For more information, visit www.crewest.com.

Last edited by VZN; October 8th, 2011 at 07:20 AM. Reason: delete this
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Old October 8th, 2011, 07:29 AM   #490
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LACMA partners with Motion Picture Academy on new movie museum

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Los Angeles has museums dedicated to art, science, automobiles and even the Grammy Awards. But the city known as the epicenter of the movie industry has always lacked a large-scale museum dedicated to the art of filmmaking.

Now that absence is poised to be filled thanks to a new partnership announced late Tuesday between the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

LACMA said in a statement that it is partnering with the Academy to establish a movie museum in the historic May Co. building, currently known as LACMA West, at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.

The museum said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Academy "to work in good faith" toward creating the museum. The two organizations are expected to discuss details of a future contract and for the Academy "to begin developing plans for fundraising, design, exhibitions, visitor experience and modifications to this historic site," LACMA said.

Terry Semel, the co-chair of the museum's board of trustees, said in the statement that it is "long overdue for the city that is home to the motion picture industry to recognize this art form with a museum of its own."

LACMA said the Academy hopes to sign a long-term lease for the LACMA West facility, and "will retain autonomy over all aspects of its museum while benefiting from LACMA's experience in managing a premier arts institution."
LACMA didn't provide any timeline for the museum's completion. It said that the Academy will launch a fundraising campaign some time in the future.

When it is eventually completed, the museum is expected to feature both permanent and rotating exhibitions inside the space's 300,000 gross square feet.

LACMA has had a complicated relationship with the film community in recent years. The museum said in 2009 that it was going to eliminate the bulk of its film program due to declining audiences and economic constraints. But a public backlash caused museum leadership to change its mind.

This year, LACMA announced that its new film program would be a partnership with Film Independent, the organization behind the L.A. Film Festival.

If I'm not mistaken L.A. doesn't have a major film festival, right? Just saying, we should go all out on this movie stuff. Promote a shitload more international movies and stars here. Bring Broadway back, for real this time. Make Hollywood a a real unique neighborhood. Buskers everywhere all day and night. 24/7 Liquor (with some dispensaries here and there!) clubs and bars. Density with an intricate streetcar system. Just saying... L.A. can establish itself as a major player when it comes to other major arts cities in the world such as Paris, New York City, London, etc. etc. We have the 'vibe' here already and all of the coincidental happenings to make L.A. that next arts city for the 21st century.

Last edited by VZN; October 8th, 2011 at 07:59 AM.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 07:16 AM   #491
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The LACMA movie museum idea is good but the ideal for me would be a landmark museum on Hollywood Blvd. The only current option in the Max Factor building is nice enough for what it is...but hardly does justice to LA's contribution to cinema.
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Old October 14th, 2011, 08:33 PM   #492
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Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA

Hey there!

I am reaching out on behalf of Pacific Standard Time, which is a non-profit, region-wide collaboration of more than 60 Southern California cultural institutions.

Just recently, we paired Anthony Kiedis, from Red Hot Chili Peppers and contemporary artist, Ed Ruscha for a collaborative project! Check it out here - http://bit.ly/KiedisRuscha

We are now debuting the artistic work and collaboration of Jason Schwartzman and John Baldessari - http://bit.ly/SchwartzmanBaldessari

I encourage you to check out this amazing experience of art and culture, and "Celebrate the Era that Continues To Inspire the World." For more information, feel free to ask questions, and/or check out the site - http://bit.ly/PSTLA

Thanks,
Keyon
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Old October 20th, 2011, 04:34 AM   #493
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Los Angeles Stakes Its Claim as a World Art Center


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LOS ANGELES — For the next six months, Southern California will be awash in celebrations of Southern California art: close to 170 separate exhibitions at 130 museums and galleries stretching from San Diego to Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Pacific Standard Time, as this festival is known, is an exhaustive accounting of the birth of the Los Angeles-area art scene, but it is also a statement of self-affirmation by a region that, at times, appears to feel underappreciated as a serious culture center.

This multi-museum event, in all of its Los Angeles-like sprawl, suggests a bit of overcompensation from a city that has long been overshadowed by the New York art establishment, a place that — arguably unfairly — still suffers from a reputation of being more about tinsel than about serious art, and where interest in culture starts and ends with movie grosses and who is on the cover of Vanity Fair.

“It’s corny,” said Dave Hickey, an art critic and a professor in the art and art history department at the University of New Mexico. “It’s the sort of thing that Denver would do. They would do Mountain Standard Time. It is ’50s boosterish, and I would argue largely unnecessary.”

Still, for many Los Angeles artists and critics, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, is a long-needed accounting of the emergence of the region as an art capital in the same league as New York, Berlin and London. Indeed, Los Angeles these days has more than its share of ambitious museums, adventurous art galleries, wealthy collectors, top-notch art schools and — perhaps most important — young artists drawn here by relatively cheap rents, abundant light and an atmosphere that encourages experimentation.

“Since 1980 the art world has become global — New York is not the epicenter,” said Peter Plagens, a painter and essayist who has worked extensively in Southern California and who was here for some of the openings. “So L.A. is kind of doing this joust: ‘We want our art history to be in the books.’ ”


The shows cover the postwar outpouring of art from the Southern California region. The festival will run for half a year, and just as well: art enthusiasts intent on seeing all the exhibitions are approaching this as the art world equivalent of an Ironman Triathlon.

“I am going to treat it like a graduate course in art history,” said Jeffrey Deitch, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

For less determined mortals, highlights can be seen at the Getty, which features works by Los Angeles sculptors and artists like Ed Ruscha and George Herms, from 1950 to 1970; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with an exhibition of California-inspired modern furniture design and a retrospective of work by the Chicano performance and Conceptual art group Asco; the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, with a light and space exhibition; the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, with a display of prints; and the Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles, with work by local African-American artists.

In many ways, this multi-museum extravaganza goes against type, or at least stereotype. “It’s a coming of age for a city that sometimes doesn’t think of itself as having an art history,” said Michael Govan, the executive director of the county museum.

That novelty alone seems likely to feed curiosity about what is taking place here. “Los Angeles just presents itself as a fresh and new story — people will be interested in hearing some different narrative they haven’t heard before,” said Thomas E. Crow, an art historian. “And because so much of the art is really, really good, that will sustain the interest in these new narratives.”

No one is suggesting that Los Angeles is about to supplant New York as an art capital; it is not lost on people here that the executive directors of three of the four biggest museums in Los Angeles came here from New York. James Cuno, the president of the J. Paul Getty Trust, which is financing the event, noted the abundance of galleries, auction houses and money in New York.

“It’s understandable that artists and collectors would find their way there,” he said. “In the art world, the world tilts to New York. New York has been dominant and held our imagination since the late 1950s. That has cast everyone else in the shadows.”

There are certainly obstacles here to the establishment of a thriving art scene. The sheer sprawl of the city means that it is hard to have the kind of concentrated art district that has characterized New York over the last 50 years, though there has long been an influential colony of artists out in Venice. And there are obstacles that come with living in this part of the country: Curators talk about the difficulty of encouraging people to walk indoors for anything but a movie in a city that has glorious weather so many months of the year.

But increasingly over the decades, there has been an abundance of art produced here and no shortage of people who want to see it, even if it is not necessarily the old masters exhibition your parents might have taken you to see at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A show devoted to graffiti at the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown set a record for the institution by drawing 201,352 visitors before it closed in August. A Tim Burton show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, has also brought overflow crowds.

The draws for young artists are particularly compelling now, including renowned art schools, among them California Institute of the Arts; the University of California, Los Angeles; and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. And the sheer size of the city means that there are plenty of large spaces to rent for relatively little money.

“I drove around Echo Park, Silver Lake, Highland Park, and a lot of this reminds me of New York in the 1970s, where artists lived in real interesting neighborhoods near each other, and the rents aren’t really that high,” said Mr. Deitch, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art. “Compared to New York City, compared to London, the rents here are affordable. A studio space that in Brooklyn would be $6,000 a month you can get here for $1,000.”

“There is now enough critical mass of galleries, of places where artists meet, blogs, magazines,” he added. “There is enough of a strong community in places for artists to see each other’s work that it now makes sense to be here. L.A. is increasingly central to the art dialogue.”


Mr. Cuno said his perception was that people in Los Angeles did not really spend a lot of time worrying about what other people thought of them. “I don’t feel or hear any ‘second city’ mentality here,” said Mr. Cuno, who came from Chicago, where that kind of talk is common. “People in Los Angeles are pretty happy with their position in the world and needn’t get the confirmation from elsewhere.”
Some excerpts in this article were undeniably condescending and abrasive, but there's this old idiom that goes "hit dogs will holler"... the writer of that article has got a massive chip on their shoulder. Why hate?
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 06:00 AM   #494
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L.A. movie palaces get starring role in period films
The downtown theaters, several of which have been renovated, provide authentic atmosphere in 'J. Edgar' and 'The Artist' and can double as nightclubs, casinos and hotel lobbies.
By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
6:20 PM PST, November 22, 2011


The opulent picture palaces and vaudeville halls of downtown Los Angeles may be monuments to a bygone era, but they are still keeping their ties to Hollywood.

Theaters in the historic Broadway district, including the Orpheum, the Palace Theatre and the Los Angeles Theatre, are featured in several current and upcoming movies, including Walt Disney Pictures' "The Muppets," Warner Bros.' "J. Edgar" and "The Dark Knight Rises," and the Weinstein Co.'s "The Artist," the silent, black and white, period romance that opens in the U.S. this week.

The elegant structures are popular among location managers and set designers because of their rich and varied architecture, which ranges from Art Deco to French Baroque and Spanish Gothic — sometimes all in the same venue.

"These downtown L.A. theaters constitute a local treasure trove of historic and exotic show palace interiors and exteriors," said Harry Medved, co-author of the book "Location Filming in Los Angeles." "They can double as live theaters, nightclubs, casinos, hotel lobbies or music halls in London, New York, Detroit and Paris."

Another selling point: because they are no longer used to show first run-movies, the buildings are readily available for dressing up as movie sets.

"They are an incredibly valuable resource for filming in Los Angeles," said John Panzarella, location manager for "In Time," the recently released sci-fi thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. Panzarella booked the grand lobby of the Los Angeles Theatre to depict a European casino.

"In Time" is among more than a dozen movies that have filmed at the Broadway district landmark, which was designed by architect Charles Lee and opened in 1931 for the gala screening of Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights." The building, now listed with the National Register of Historic Places, was the last and most extravagant of the downtown movie palaces built between 1910 and 1931. Together, they formed the core of the city's entertainment district, which also hosted live performances by artists as diverse as Judy Garland and Duke Ellington.

Later, they hosted puppets. Producers of "The Muppets" also shot a scene in the same lobby, where Kermit the Frog makes his final speech on the grand staircase.

Most of the original 19 theaters have long since closed. A handful — including the Million Dollar Theater and the Palace — remain open for special events, screenings and concerts. (Loew's State Theatre, at 7th Street and Broadway, is a church.) Several rent their auditoriums, lobbies and ballrooms to film crews, which may be the reason they're still around.

"Their use as film locations is one of the main reasons they are still here and intact," said Hillsman Wright, co-founder of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, which has been working to preserve the storied real estate. "They are very powerful buildings that were designed to take you away from the troubled world, particularly during the Depression era. They were built to inspire and they still have that quality."

Richard Middleton, executive producer of "The Artist," said the old movie houses are an asset to a city that has suffered from runaway production.

The Oscar contender is set in the 1920s and tells the story of a silent movie star struggling to adapt to the advent of the talkies. It was filmed on location in Los Angeles, at the Los Angeles Theatre and the Orpheum.

"It's pretty hard to find period-correct theaters that can give you the look from that time," Middleton said. "Luckily for us, these theaters are in good condition and have maintained their architecturally integrity."

In addition to "The Artist," several other movies have filmed at the Orpheum, including "Funny People" "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Dreamgirls." The theater has also been a location for commercials, music videos, live concerts and even performances of "American Idol."

Owner Steve Needleman has invested more than $4 million in improvements to renovate the theater, which he heavily markets as a film location. He says that up to 60% of his business comes from film and TV productions, which pay as much as $10,000 a day to shoot there.

"We're offering a production value to them that you just can't get in other places," Needleman said. "It's getting back to that old- time look of Los Angeles."
Read More: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...,1638371.story
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 02:20 PM   #495
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Speaking of theatres and Muppets, I'm finding it difficult to score anything negative on this Muppet movie that debuted yesterday.
100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes! 82% exit!
.
DISNEY
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Old November 25th, 2011, 11:40 PM   #496
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I wish I would've knew about this sooner. But here's the event and the discussion below:

How Los Angeles Invented the World

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From movies to pop music to surfing, Los Angeles has created many of the world's most iconic cultural symbols. The rest of the world has eagerly lapped up the fruits of L.A.'s labor, helping turn a group of high schoolers from Hawthorne into the Beach Boys, one of the most beloved rock bands of all time, and embracing movies that provide a gritty, yet romanticized glimpse into L.A. life. What social, political, economic, and historical forces made the city and its cultural scene flourish? How did L.A. culture come to stand in for America in music, books, film and art? The J. Paul Getty Museum and Zócalo Public Square present a half-day conference exploring how Los Angeles's unique culture was built and how it spread to the rest of the world.

This event complements Pacific Standard Time at the Getty Center.

Pacific Standard Time


'How Los Angeles Invented the World' with Wim Wenders, William Friedkin and Others: Is L.A. in a Cultural Adolescence?


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If the movie people, radio hosts, ex-journalists, academics and cultural gadflies who convened at the Getty Center on Saturday for "How Los Angeles Invented the World" -- a daylong symposium organized by Zócalo Public Square for Pacific Standard Time -- are to be believed, then Los Angeles, long regarded as a young city, may be entering adolescence.

Pacific Standard Time has focused on the works of art -- and the images in mass media -- that broadcast L.A. art's rapid ascent to the rest of the world just sixty years ago. But what the eighteen moderators and panelists explained to us on Saturday is that the images from PST don't necessarily capture the lived existence of California. Instead, they portray a generation of imagemakers struggling, for the first time, under the weight of a cultural albatross -- the notion of Los Angeles of a simple binary, of life and death, sunshine and noir, dreams and failures, go big or go home -- and settling on a kind of navel-gazing ambivalence.

For many years, the image of Los Angeles as the ultimate, extreme version of the American dream was our primary cultural export. Now it seems the city has lost that kind of naïve exuberance that drew people here in the first place. No longer a baby enchanted by its own reflection, the Los Angeles born in the wake of the art of PST is more like a pizza face with issues of self-esteem, struggling with the consequences of a boom-bust hormonal rage.

While no other city might be able to pull off PST, this kind of self-congratulatory feat, with a straight face, Los Angeles is pretty good at making a case for the celebration of itself. First of all, there's a prevailing attitude that we have the balls and the brains to pull off whatever we put our mind to -- like, for example, the routing of the Colorado River and the creation of a harbor following the arrival of the Southern Pacific railway here in the 1870s. Second, living as we do on a fault line, we accept inevitable annihilation and thus indulge our vice for gambling -- seeking greater riches by selling half of the state to the same railway ten years later. In other words, we're a self-reliant tribe that's "very comfortable in making something of ourselves," no matter the context, says Jennifer Watts, curator of photographs at the Huntington Library, during a panel discussion of postwar nuclear fashions ("How Los Angeles Invented the Good Life").

Because the capricious disposition of the Angeleno just doesn't agree with the weight of history, we chose to understand ourselves -- or rather, see ourselves -- as people influenced by what is right in front of us. (As Joan Didion might caustically note, that means we're more a breed of nature people, affected only by the beautiful and heroic rebirths that come every season.) On Saturday, we learned that this surface-oriented interpretation of the city has long invigorated alchemists -- from D.W. Griffith, making silent street films in the early twentieth century, to the first generation California surfer dudes blithely lifting pachuco styles, like the Pendleton flannel, from the barrio in sixties, to more recently, a certain sinewy architect in striped socks.

"What's appealing about building in Los Angeles is that the city is blasé or oblivious to this idea of what the world ought to be," says Eric Owen Moss, sitting on a panel that attempted to explain "The Past and Future of L.A.'s Global Image." A native Angeleno, Moss has spent his career transforming the empty auto shops of Culver City into hubs of galleries and new media offices, essentially creating the post-industrial design paradigm now embraced the world over. He knows that in Los Angeles, your imagination is limited only by zoning laws. "You're not building next to Raphael's Palazzo," he says. "Building here doesn't obligate you, you don't have to conform in a way. If you can do it, then do it."

Because images, not stories, have long inspired us, it should follow that our common history is in fact comprised of old pictures. On Saturday, the audience chuckled at a picture of a racially homogenous brunch party from an old Sunset magazine. The fantastically Caucasian luxury on that cover is about as common in today's Los Angeles as an empty San Diego Freeway, and UCLA urban theorist Eric Avila called the image "about as historical as you can be."

But that severe interpretation of history -- that it's just another word for "stuff that we don't see here anymore" -- has strange consequences in today's Los Angeles. Fearing that our sources of civic pride -- like modernist architecture, public murals, and the environment -- may some day be consigned to the ash heap of images, many Angelenos choose to support preservationists like the Eames Foundation and the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), and environmentalists like the Sierra Club. And for those of us who resign ourselves to impermanence, we instead revere the filmmakers who shoot their movies in Los Angeles, thus creating for mini-museums of a now-extinct city.

On Saturday, To Live and Die in L.A. director William Friedkin was asked to explain the role the city played in his landmark 1985 film. Widely celebrated for the scenes shot in unusual or overlooked places, Friedkin says he shot in Wilmington, San Pedro, and industrial downtown to convey a "different sensibility." To his right, copanelist and CalArts film professor Thom Andersen is wearing a kind of defeated grimace and staring at the floor. "Slick, sun-bleached freeways, reflective surfaces, and nothing that had any kind of a permanent feeling to it, whatsoever," he says.

Andersen is outspoken in what he believes are the profound self-esteem issues that Los Angeles frequently evinces onscreen. In Friedkin's To Live and Die in L.A., for example, cops and prostitutes gaze longingly at the Vincent Thomas Bridge, the bridge that crosses that same port we created ourselves all those years ago. Rather than a symbol of the great technical achievements of the state of California, the bridge instead suggests life at the crossroads. You can go here or there, you can stay home or see the world, but either way, you're going to feel alone.

But maybe it's time for this moody city to grow up. Sitting between Moss and an aloof Wim Wenders on the day's final panel, essayist and critic Richard Rodriguez told the audience that Los Angeles can no longer afford to promote the types of self-critique -- you know, like this review -- that grew out of the art of PST.

Leaning back in his seat, Rodriguez shook his finger at a screen looming over the panelists. Above him was a projected image of a brand new and nearly empty San Diego Freeway, the pavement shiny under an oppressive sunlight. At first glance, Freeway (1966) -- the work of Latvian émigré Vija Celmins -- exudes the heady rush of the California of the immediate postwar era. But note the many framing devices this image of freedom on wheels passes through -- the window on the dashboard, the lens of the camera, the brush of the painter, and finally, situated as it is from the perspective of the viewer, your eye. This image is a story about the people who were forced to recognize the great distance between reality and their dreams.

"That picture is the fiction of Los Angeles that I was drawn to as a young man," blurts out Rodriguez, 67. "I've come here to tell you that the people who have described California through their dreams ... have forced us to drive down freeways congested with so many cars because there are so many dreams."

What worries Rodriguez is the conviction among Angelenos that the rest of the world still looks to them.

"When I walk down the streets of Los Angeles, the young people are not looking ahead, they are looking here." He pretends to stare at a video phone. "They are living in a kingdom of the imagination. And digital enterprise has so revolutionized the way young people look at a city -- at a globe, perhaps -- that maybe to even talk about a place, shows how old we are.

"They live on Pacific Standard Time in Las Vegas and in Redwood, Washington," he added. "For Los Angeles not to want to embrace these cities, that's when it starts to feel like San Francisco to me."
Audio and video links here.
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Old November 26th, 2011, 12:02 PM   #497
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Leave it to VZN to educate, delight and inform his fellow Angelenos!
You Dennis Haysbert lookin' son of a bitch, you!
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Old November 26th, 2011, 05:44 PM   #498
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The days when Los Angeles was considered an uncultured stucco laden suburban wasteland by outsiders are surely coming to a close. In the next couple of decades we're going to see the "new" L.A.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 08:47 AM   #499
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from Mark Ridley-Thomas on Vimeo.

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Old December 10th, 2011, 11:48 AM   #500
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You give us all hope, Dennis! Haysbert!
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