I’ve been lucky enough to attend three PST events thus far, and look forward to many more:

  • the opening of Doin’ It in Public: Feminism and Art and the Woman’s Building (for which I was one of the academic advisers): the show, thanks to curator Meg Linton, and adviser Sue Mayberry, does a truly amazing job presenting the ephemera of a movement, the residue of organizing, the strange after effects of activism, and the wily output of collectives.
  • a panel of the curators for MEX/LA: Mexican Modernism(s) in LA 1930-1985 where Jesse Lerner, Rober Ortiz-Torres, and Harry Gamboa Jr. spoke compellingly about the inspiring inter-relations of Mexicans, Anglos, Chicanos, and Angelenos, as they lived, traveled, toured, stole, shared, learned, and represented across and between these regions and ways of living.

  • a lovely, funky, fancy brunch hosted by Ann Magnuson and Kenny Scharf who gave a generous and detailed walk through of their East Village West show (charmingly, idiosyncratically, definitively unrelated in any visible way whatsoever to PST, given that the show presents the work of themselves and their friends, most of whom are lost to AIDS, in and about NYC in the 1980s, but all the more telling for that jarring, strange geographic and temporal twist).

The show as a whole, built from all its amazing parts, exhibits the wonderous if chilling power of high-quality deep-pocketed patronage. By conscientiously supporting institutions, scholars, and curators with enough hard cash to do our best work, the Getty is going to single-handedly change the story of art in LA. We thank them/it for it. While I am proud to have played a part, happy to have been paid, and pleased to learn from all the amazing shows that will flower across the city, the fact that this could never have happened using solely the resources of the academic, artistic, and cultural institutions of this city lead us to consider the place philanthropy will take in setting the stage for knowledge and culture in the near future.

Advertisement

Please go to “Flow’s” Special Issue on The Archive to see a slightly modified selection (“The Views of the Feminist Archive”) from my longer essay “A Process Archive: The Grand Circularity of Woman’s Building Video,” which will be published in 2011 in the catalog for Doin’ it in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building, one of 15 Getty sponsored art shows, “Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA, 1945-80.”

By way of John Grierson  and Tom Gunning, I come to the conclusion:

“Their process led to no product (other than its video documentation), but rather to affection, collectivity, and self-expression. But, I’m starting to bore myself. That’s their theory, and it is represented in everything they made. Where patriarchy, and its documentary see linear, singular, goal oriented processes resulting in commodifiable products and places, Woman’s Building video produced and preserved a multiple, messy view of the development of collective experience, voice, and growth en route. In the 1970s, women at the Building augmented their feminist art making and education with video recordings (now archived) to allow for a permanent record of their developing theory of process: a multiple, collective point of view reverberating and transformative in and across people and places, the present as well as the future. At the Getty Research Institute today, watching their compelling if confusing and often outsized archive of process, I am wowed by the complexity and originality of their view.”