20 December 2010

oh the places you will go: los angeles

Just two months after setting off for New York City I boarded another plane, this one heading in the opposite direction: the west coast. I had planned the trip immediately following the end of the Fall term, and once my finals were complete, headed to see a friend in Anaheim and to visit select museums. I had three days, only one of which I spent in LA. I packed a single bag; a toothbrush, some shampoo and conditioner, two shirts and a pair of pants for sleeping, a pair of keds, two books, and my date book. I left my computer and my camera at home. I wanted to experience this, not document it.

Family Tree © Zhang Huan

My two main destinations: The Getty and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Getty was visually and spiritually overwhelming, a tremendous way to begin the day (after a three+ hour train/bus/tram/walking trip to get there from Anaheim). Photography from the New China, the exhibition of interest, features pictured work from Zhang Huan and Song Yongping. I would have to say Song Yongping's collection from his series My Parents was the most striking and resonating for me.

Passage 1,2,5,6,7,8 from My Parents © Song Yongping

The William Eggleston exhibition, Democratic Camera - Photographs and Video, 1961 - 2008, was my destination at LACMA. I thought the breadth of the work display was quite spectacular (the man is nothing if not prolific), but I can say I was confused with organization or layout of the exhibition. There seemed to be no logical way in which to move through the rooms. Each wall seemed choreographed in and of itself, but one wall to the next had no synthesis. It left me disappointed as a viewer. I bought two postcards.

Untitled, from Los Alamos, c. 1970 © William Eggleston