Notes on Looking, October 18, 2010
I had an interesting talk with Paul Pescador about the Elysian Park Museum of Art. Which, btw is the focus of an exhibition and a series of participation opportunities at LACE. 4 days later I talked with Solomon Bothwell about The Public School. By performing a little interpretive google mixography I find that EPMoA has been a proposed class at the LA branch of Public School, may indeed have been proposed by Luke Fischbeck, and incorporates such “tags” as barbecue, baseball, curation, earth art, ecology, installation art, institutional critique, landscape design, museum, outdoors, park, participation, performance art, public art, reading, site specificity, urban planning . Many are the fascinating strands to follow.
A few facts first. The Elysian Park Museum of Art was initiated in October 2009 as a series of performances, installations and interventions taking place in the 600 acres of Elysian Park. These acts would be open to the public and announced as such but would, owing to the nature of the project – usually requiring some sort of participation, walking out of doors, visiting the park itself – would be likely to attract modest crowds. Any interventions or lasting installations would of course be available for viewing or participation by the public but they would not be tagged as museum exhibits. Rather, anything noticed by anyone would be understood – well, freely. Without the kind of direction / explanation we may find in a wall tag or marker. See Public School proposal by Fischbeck here. See proposed syllabus by Pescador here.
Over the course of the last year EPMoA invited members of the class to each propose, develop and mount a curatorial project for the museum. This is where the self-limiting nature of participation comes in: many of us by nature are observers rather than actors in most of the plays we encounter. I guess I could say “play” rather than “plays” since even when something is all about fun it’s much easier to watch than take action. But I digress. Maybe.
Pescador spoke of the exhibition at LACE as commemorative, although he left open the possibility of future EPMoA projects. Meaning beyond the several scheduled in conjunction with the show. I get the feeling that the off-the-radar (or evanescent) nature of the past EPMoA projects functions well for Pescador. At least that’s what I heard as he spoke. My own prejudices may be at work here. Experience is limited to those who share it. That we regret missing what we hear about after the fact shouldn’t make us try to hammer down exactly what took place. We probably don’t need more and better documentation and recordings and ephemera and photographs and relics. We maybe need to pay attention and be active partners more often. (Wow. I so hate it when I’m preachy…)
I’m going to guess that several of the Vimeo posts on Akina Cox’s page may be Elysian Park Museum related. Here goes: Magical Hat thirteen minutes of birdsong, park views and yes – a magical hat; Spirit Transportation Device 23 seconds of inspired motion.
So my friends, go to LACE – check the calendar for upcoming events – don’t crave history, make the future.
Oh! Solomon Bothwell. He inadvertently got me going on this post, he and Paul Pescador. Pescador link here. Pic of and link to Bothwell below. Enjoy!