Pacific Standard Time organizers just released the third in their “celebrate” series of video advertisements for the event, this one shows Ice Cube talking about what there is to love in Los Angeles and specifically Charles and Ray Eames’ Case study House #8, “The Eames House.” Other videos in the series include Jason Schwartzman celebrates John Baldessari, and Anthony Kiedis celebrates Ed Ruscha. These videos are charming, funny, and bring art into a mainstream context… but… they all honor white male artists and allow men to do all the honoring. Although a bevy of diversity might seem too constructed or forced, this absence seems conspicuous, especially when utilized to advertise an event that intends to, and does reasonably well, present the LA art scene in its entirety.
To see the videos click here: http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/videos
In response to the PST festival and its advertising, performance artist and filmmaker, Susan Mogul, created this ad as a spook of the “celebrate” posters:
In a recent lecture at the Orange County Museum, Mogul questioned the way PST fetishizes feminist work from the 1970s, forcing artists into frames of what they once were, forgetting any emergence or growth that may have happened in the ensuing years. While the initiative has brought focus to many artists who should have seen greater glory in the first place, for others, they feel as though they are going backwards rather than forwards, with galleries and museums solely interested in their early works or works that supported a constructed idea of LA art or 70′s art or feminist art, etc. Sometimes I wonder if the worst thing for an artist is to become famous – they end up stuck in an aesthetic, if they try to move forward they have everyone in their life, their dealers and supporters, forcing them back to what was successful, and their very creativity becomes a schtick.
But, you say, the most recent commercial celebrates Charles and RAY Eames… Ray was a woman! Well, try looking up “Ray Eames” almost every reference will include Charles. In fact, if you look up Ray, excluding Charles in the search, you only get about 400k hits, whereas if you look up Charles, excluding Ray, you still get almost 3 million. In this duo, Charles is often presented as the icon, with Ray the designer. Obviously, Ray is an important artist in her own right, in her position as collaborator with her husband, and through her own theory and design work, but is she really enough to represent the many women artists and viewer/enthusiasts who are a part of PST?
If you are interested in shows that include many women artists as part of PST, check these out:
Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983 (LACE) http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/exhibitions?id=los-angeles-goes-live-performance-art-in-southern-california-1970-1983
The Alchemy of June Schwarcz: Enamel Vessels from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection (Craft and Folk Art Museum) http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/exhibitions?id=the-alchemy-of-june-schwarcz-enamel-vessels-from-the-forrest-l-merrill-collection
Sympathetic Seeing: Esther McCoy and the Hart of American Modernist Architecture and Design (MAK Center) http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/exhibitions?id=sympathetic-seeing-esther-mccoy-and-the-heart-of-american-modernist-architecture-and-design
Maria Nordman Filmroom: Smoke 1967-Present (LACMA) http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/exhibitions?id=maria-nordman-filmroom-smoke-1967-present
Beatrice Wood: Career Woman-Drawings, Paintings, Vessels, and Objects (SMMOA) http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/exhibitions?id=beatrice-wood-career-woman-drawings-paintings-vessels-and-objects
Doin’ it in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building (Otis) http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/exhibitions?id=doin-it-in-public-feminism-and-art-at-the-woman-s-building
It Happened at Pomona: Art at the Edge of Los Angeles, 1969-1973, Part 2: Helene Winer at Pomona (Pomona Museum) http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/exhibitions?id=it-happened-at-pomona-art-at-the-edge-of-los-angeles-1969-1973-part-2-helene-winer-at-pomona
She Accepts the Proposition: Women Gallerists and the Redefinition of Art in Los Angeles, 1967-1978 (Crossroads School) http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/exhibitions?id=she-accepts-the-proposition-six-women-gallerists-and-the-redefinition-of-art-in-los-angeles-1967-1977
There are many more shows also that illuminate underrepresented artists working in Los Angeles, to see more, check out www.pacificstandardtime.org/exhibitions
This article is from september, but includes interesting thoughts on how attempting to prove their worth and incorporate so much is giving the audience a sense of “trying too hard”… http://blogs.laweekly.com/stylecouncil/2011/09/is_pacific_standard_time_tryin.php
what PST shows have struck you as most successful?