Monday, 19 October 2009

Donderdag 15 oktober 2009





Ik drink gember-perzik limonade met fotograaf Lauren Dukoff in het café Lemonade van het MoCA, Museum of Contemporary Art. Onlangs zag ik een reportage in een Frans tijdschrift over de folk-muziek-scene onder leiding van Devendra Banhart. De foto’s bleken gemaakt door Lauren, een 25 jarige autodidact die onlangs haar eerste boek The Family met dit werk heeft uitgegeven. Ze maakte ook net een clip voor Banhart >>

In Parijs zal Banhart eind dit jaar een concert geven en een galerie zal gelijktijdig Laurens’ werk tentoonstellen. Hoe ga ik Banhart naar Nederland halen?

Voor mijn afspraak met Philip Kaiser, curator van MoCA, ren ik naar de overkant naar de Walt Disney Concert Hall, gebouwd door Frank Gehry. Lauren vertelt me dat gedeeltes van het gebouw, geheel opgetrokken in stainless steel, zo’n enorme schittering veroorzaakte als de zon erop scheen, dat veel omwonenden last kregen van overbelichte en vooral oververhitte appartementen hetgeen weer torenhoge airconditioningkosten verooraakte. Kortom, Gehry heeft een paar jaar geleden die gedeeltes laten overtrekken met een mattere laag. Het blijft een schitterend gebouw.

Philip Kaiser is een Zwitser die hier 2.5 jaar geleden terecht kwam. Het is erg leuk om vanuit een Westers perspectief te horen hoe het is om te werken in Los Angeles. Zo organiseert het MoCA ook gala-diners om de nodige centen bijeen te sprokkelen, maar deze zijn nog uitgebreider en grootser dan die van het Hammer, zegt hij trots. Zo zal Kanye West optreden komend gala in November. De mensen zijn hier zo verwend, vertelt hij, dat je echt goed moet uitpakken willen ze überhaupt geïnteresseerd zijn om te komen. Hij vertelt verder dat er enorm in alle budgetten is gesneden. Hun totale budget is met 5 miljoen dollar gekort. De grote belangrijke tentoonstellingen waar ze er in het verleden wel 8 per jaar van toonden, zijn teruggebracht naar 2, hooguit 3. Zo tel ik in 2007 nog 13 tentoonstellingen, dit jaar nog maar 3 in totaal. Kortlopende contracten worden niet verlengd en de boekwinkel heeft bijna geen aankoop budget meer.

En dan valt het bij hun nog mee, zegt Kaiser. Er zijn collega musea waar tientallen werknemers zijn ontslagen of die balanceren op het randje van de afgrond… Op mijn vraag waarin het werken met Amerikanen verschilt met ons, is hij duidelijk. In Europa is het hebben van een drukke agenda een goed teken. Je mag zuchten en klagen dat je zoveel te doen hebt. Hier is dat not done. Alles gaat goed en je hebt tijd voor wie je nodig heeft. Ook hoeft hij zich minder bezig te houden met administratieve zaken en heeft hij tijd over voor atelier-bezoeken en studie.

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