Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Your Social Life In These Dire Economic Times

The recession is supposedly over, which I'm sure the 12%+ unemployed in LA will tell you is total bullshit, as will all the people who currently don't have health insurance coverage and even those who had it but ended up filing for bankruptcy after being dropped by their insurance company, something that's not going to improve at the rate our beloved President is dragging his feet to impose a public option.
Since you and I know that no, the recession is far from being over (or if it is, can we have our taxpayer money back, dear bankers and AIG executives, so we can pay our rents and buy health insurance?) we're left with a dearth of options to entertain ourselves cheaply, that is if we don't infringe on copyright laws and download a bunch of stuff from the Internet. Thankfully, old-fashioned reading is still free, thanks to our public libraries (which people in Philadelphia almost lost, can you believe it?) and if you visit museum strategically, art viewing can also be free, about once a week on some inconvenient evening all over the country. In parts of the country that haven't shut down their museums yet, that is, or imposed levies on cultural (Philadelphia, I'm looking at you, and your bloodsucking civic leaders who manage to be even more inept than SoCal ones, a record!)

Now, if you live in Los Angeles (or New York City), luckily our non-profit organizations and our local art dealers are doing a public service for you, letting you enjoy a healthy dose of visual arts to restore your soul and sometimes, if you're very, but very lucky, even stimulate your intellect.
So let's start with Not Los Angeles at the Fellow of Contemporary Art space, which Geoff Tuck kindly signaled to my attention. I also want to publicly thank him for letting me know that yes, that's it, MARGO LEAVIN FINALLY GOT HERSELF A WEBSITE!!! Wow, better late than never.
It's this Saturday, which is also the day of the 3rd LACE annual 10k art crawl, "Out of Bounds" which is combined with a membership drive. So for $50, or for free if you're already a member, you can walk in Hollywood (a radical concept, I know) and enjoy an afternoon of fun, while supporting a venerable local non-profit space.
Speaking of non-profits, if you are in Riverside this weekend, don't miss the opening of Intelligent Design at UCI's Sweeney art gallery. It looks really good. And still in Riverside, let me give a shout out to the Small Wonder Foundation, an interdisciplinary space which also publishes [com]motion magazine.

It's all very well, but what about people who wants to mill around West Hollywood on a Thursday afternoon and early evening? Why, they can go to the Pacific Design Center which allows lots of art dealers to show artists, rent-free, in exchange for filling up empty show-room spaces and try to (visually at least) somewhat mitigate the experience of the recession for what is basically a high-end shopping mall. Nature has emptiness in horror, and apparently so do owners of commercial shopping malls. I hear this type of thing is also in the works in Palm Spring and I heard of similar ideas in the UK. Whether it will be a positive experience for the viewers, the artists or the galleries is difficult to say.

[the picture here has nothing to do with the post, it's a building that now has retail spaces but that I hear was Bruce Nauman's studio in Pasadena in the 1960s]

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