Amoeblog

Broad Contemporary Art Museum

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 8, 2008 11:33pm | Post a Comment

I finally had a chance to check out LACMA's new building devoted to modern art. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum opened to less than favorable reviews, but for someone like me who had never had a chance to witness these famous works up close, I was glad that they made this.

The BCAM comes from the collection of Eli and Edythe Broad, who have collected famous works from a selective group of artists for the last forty years. Among those artists are Andy Warhol, Mike Kelley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman and recent Academy Award nominee, Julian Schnabel.

The architecture of the building is pretty amazing. The elevator shaft that runs through the entire three-story building is an installment in itself, courtesy of Barbara Kruger's still unfinished piece. The museum devotes the entire first floor to Richard Serra's sculptures. Band and Sequence are two separate metal sculptures that are fifteen feet in height and took over two and half years to create. Walking through them, I had the feeling I was a few centimeters tall walking through a maze of ribbon.

I am by no means an expert in modern art but I can see why BCAM has created uproar in certain art circles. For one, the art collected by the Broads is limited, no matter how groundbreaking it is. There are many great contemporary artists whose art has had more influence in society that are not included simply because the Broads aren't collectors of their work. Also, the artists are limited to just American artists, which limits the scope of contemporary art of the last forty years even further. Still, to be able see the work of these great artists up-close makes me think how much these artists have influence culture, advertising and how we view everyday life.

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Nightfall

Posted by phil blankenship, March 8, 2008 08:59pm | Post a Comment
 



MGM/UA Home Video M0801326

(Wherein your neon's flashin & your one-arm-bandits crashin.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 8, 2008 08:47pm | Post a Comment

"Say cheese"

Oh, hey! Fancy writing you here.

Where? Vegas, baby. Yours truly is currently 29 floors above desert level, tucked inside the golden, looming Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on The Strip of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Corey, the dude I’m totally in a relationship with, and I left early this morning (if you ask him) or late this morning (if you ask me) and hit the freeway.

His car’s stereo plays MP3’s, and I’m notorious for making gigantic mix CD’s for the slightest road trip. (“Oh, we’re driving to Trader Joe’s? Better burn a ‘Going to Trader Joe’s’ mix!”) Corey, who finds my ravenous appetite for music overwhelming, manages to be patient as I force hundreds of hours of tunes upon him.

A couple weeks ago we were driving back from a romantic getaway in Santa Barbara, listening to the mix I had made for our trip to Disneyland, because we had already listened to the mix for driving to Santa Barbara on the way there (you following?). The mix for driving to Disneyland was mostly chipper, romantic songs – lots of doo-wop, some schmaltzy kitsch, with some Disney songs here and there for good measure. One of the songs was “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Corey smiled and said, “Now this is music!”



What Corey would say, as he’s said to me countless times, is that he “finds an album he likes, then listens to it over and over for weeks – maybe months – until he’s tired of it”. MP3’s containing entire discographies, however, are daunting.

Body Waves

Posted by phil blankenship, March 7, 2008 11:50pm | Post a Comment
 





New Horizons Home Video #NH00440

Rive Gauche

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 7, 2008 09:14pm | Post a Comment

Roughly occurring at the same time as the more well-known and more celebrated French Nouvelle Vague (or New Wave), another group of frequently collaborative film-makers were grouped together under the moniker "Rive Gauche," named after Paris' artsy side. These film-makers (Agnès Varda, Chris Marker, Jean Cayrol, Henri Colpi, Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet,) applied to film the concepts which defined the Nouveau Romain in contemporaneous literature. Duras and Robbe-Grillet were also writers and associated with the literary movement in which experimental authors sought to create a new style with each work. Together, they produced an amazing body of film which remains largely overshadowed by the much more popular New Wave, though no less interesting or significant.

Because of the film-makers' approach to art and their being French, as well as contemporaries of the New Wave, they're often lumped in with them even though the New Wave, while radically experimental, was more stylistically consistent due its focus on the director as the film's author. Ironically, the New Wave view served to encourage the personal and recognizable authorial nature of film, whereas members of the Rive Gauche often sought to depersonalize their works in an attempt to defy expectations, placing them in polar opposition in this regard.



Alain Resnais began making films in the 1940s. He is best known for his films Nuit Et Brouiilard (1955), Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and L'Anee Derniere a Marienbad (1961).

Nuit Et Brouillard stands alone in cinematic history in its depiction of the Jewish Holocaust. Resnais avoided the familiar black and white stock-footage for most of the film and instead presented tranquil scenes of the by-then abandoned concentration camps in color, with flowers growing through the cracks and sun beams shining on the desolate remains. Compare, for example, Nuit Et Brouiilard to a cinematically conservative film like Schindler's List. Spielberg chose to film in black and white (both literally and morally), with big name actors and with action unfolding in a familiarly un-ending winter that makes the events seem cliche and safely remote.

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