Well, this whole blogging business does cause one to feel the obligation to have an interesting life, or at least to make one’s life seem interesting. I’ve never really thought of my life as all that interesting; I am the sort of person who spends half an hour to an hour every night trying to negotiate a five year old into bed. Not entirely the sort of thing the whole world needs to hear about.
At any rate, today we actually did do something rather interesting. We — the DH and I — went to LA to see an art exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art (http://www.moca.org/wack/). It’s a rather large exhibit of feminist art, pretty much all of it from the 70′s. Now, I must explain: I teach Women’s Studies, I consider myself pretty much a Second Wave Feminist, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts (http://www.nmwa.org/) is one of my favorite museums in the world. I’m exactly the kind of person who goes to this kind of exhibit, and I wasn’t thrilled. As was noted on the exhibit’s webpage, it contained a gret deal of, shall we say, yonic imagery.
And the thing is, I’m not even really bothered by the bare skin. For example, I think of Alice Neel (http://www.aliceneel.com/) as an example of really good feminist bare bodies in art — it is provocative and confronts issues of beauty and gender identity construction, but also is emotionally moving. They had two of her paintings, including a lovely one of her pregnant daughter-in-law. A lot of the bare skin in this exhibit seemed to be heavy on the provocation, without much follow-through. I suppose that’s OK; we’re talking about the 70′s. A lot of these women were serious groundbreakers, and the exhibit was interesting as an example of the extravagant gestures women artists have had to make in order to be noticed.
Also: it seems to me that part of the whole point of performance art is its transience. Taking still photos of it — or even filming it — diminishes its power rather than extends its audience.
OK, I’ll let go of the exhibit. In front of the museum, right there at the corner of First and Central in downtown LA, we found two enormous, old trees. They had to have been there since before Little Tokyo (where we were) (http://www.visitlittletokyo.com/) was founded, and maybe even before the Pueblo itself. For a moment, standing under those two beautiful, healthy trees, I couldn’t help but imagine the surroundings when the trees were young: an open field, some cattle perhaps, with a tiny village — just a few houses — about a mile north (http://www.olvera-street.com/). All these years, all this construction — ranches, homes, Buddhist temples, factories, museums, parking lots — and no one has ever cut down the trees.
I guess I just find the uninteresting interesting.
(A note: I’ve made some changes in my word choice, having been warned that my previous vocabulary might attract untoward attention from spammers.)