To say I’ve been traveling frequently is an understatement. I’m about to leave for my 3rd trip back east in three weeks so I’m a bit weary for wear. One of my arts goals for the year was to attend this year’s MoCA Gala. Sadly, this was not to be due to fatigue and an exhausted arts budget (depleted by purchasing one too many handbags this month) and I was reminded of this sad truth yesterday as I saw the tents go up at MoCA Grand.
When I heard that performance artist Marina Abramovic is this year’s Creative Director I knew Gala attendees were in for an incredible evening. Last year Abramovic stunned visitors to MOMA with her exhibition featuring the artist sitting motion-less and emotion-less across from museum visitors. The interaction between visitors and the artist elicited a fascinating array of responses. The images from “The Artist is Present” are still seared in my memory. It was an incredible piece.
Flash forward to this evening. You’ve got to read the LA Times Article about what’s in store for MoCA attendees this evening. For tonight’s gala, guests will don lab coats and sit at tables with a hole cut in the center. Performers will stick their heads through the holes which will serve as centerpieces. To add some kinetic appeal to the centerpiece, the performers will be crouched down on lazy susans and will slowly rotate during the meal, thus giving diners a glimpse of the human head centerpiece at all angles.
This sounds a bit like a “Survivor”challenge because these performers 1. Must not talk or interact with the attendees 2. The attendees may in turn interact with the performers, and 3. The performers must remain crouched down under these tables with their heads sticking out for three hours (no bathroom, water or dining breaks).
I can barely remain in a plane seat for 3 hours (see above) and I can’t go 10 minutes without water.
It’s also a Survivor challenge for guests, because let’s face it–a gala is all about the clothes. To ask fashonistas to cover their strategically procured ensembles is akin to asking a celebrity chef to serve their prix fixe menu on a trash can lid. Abramovic’s concept to create a democratic, level playing field with the lab coats is a brilliant one and I am fascinated with how Angelinos will respond to this. I couldn’t help but remember a 60 Minutes piece on Eli Broad where Morley Safer had the best quote about the 2010 MoCA Gala. I’ve quoted it before…
“Just watch this crowd at the recent gala for the Los Angles Museum of Contemporary Art, which Broad bailed out 2 yrs ago for $30 billion dollars. It was a scrum of culture vultures, fashion victims and art victims, dealers and collectors- a night when skinniness was next only to godliness, when philanthropy and social climbing, self aggrandizement, and greed dissolved into one gigantic air kiss-all under the benevolent eye of that feared and admired dictator, Eli Broad.”
On second thought, I really wish I could have attended this. To only worry about shoes and a handbag would have been a no brainer.
Anyway back to these heads, there’s another reason why I don’t think I could have attended the event. I’m quite confident that my husband would have remained at the bar opting for a liquid dinner. As for me, I am too much a germaphobe to eat a meal with a rotating head in close proximity to my filet. I don’t think I could eat, I would also be too busy looking at reactions.
And that really is the point. So, I’ll be checking Twitter feeds tonight for updates and I cannot wait to hear the reports on the reactions to the gala.
I think attendees will be anxious to let off some steam on the dance floor after dinner, and Debbie Harry is guaranteed to bring the house down with her performance. It’s shaping up to be a heady night…
(Want to groan? Go a”head”–I can’t help myself!)