Thursday, 15 October 2009

Woensdag 14 oktober 2009





Ali Subotnick, curator hedendaagse kunst van het Hammer museum, kijkt me verbrouwereerd aan als ik vraag hoe het met de bezoekersaantallen gaat. “Op het Getty Museum na zal je in LA nergens drukbezochte musea tegenkomen. LA is geen stad waar mensen interesse hebben in cultuur, het draait allemaal om Hollywood”. En inderdaad, het museum is prachtig, de tentoonstellingen inspirerend, met een auditorium en een boekwinkel om van te dromen, maar er is geen hond.

Ik loop met haar door de zalen en ook mag ik even kijken naar de opbouw van de binnenkort te openen tentoonstelling “The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Genesis”. Altijd leuk om in de keuken van en ander museum te mogen kijken. Ali vertelt net het jaarlijks sponser gala te hebben gehad waar elk jaar twee “bijzondere vrienden van het museum” gehonoreerd worden. Dat waren dit jaar Dave Eggers en Kara Walker, die werden ingeleid door Salman Rushdie. Om een idee van deze glamoureuze avonden te krijgen: http://hammer.ucla.edu/support/gala.html

Misschien geen groot publiek voor het Hammer, maar wel een heel bijzonder….

The Annenberg Space for Photography
Omdat LA maar liefst 1290,6 km2 groot is, leek het me verstandig om één afspraak per dag te maken. Gemiddeld ben je anderhalf à twee uur onderweg – in totaal- en als het ook nog regent, kan dat wel het dubbele worden. Dus gisteren het Hammer Museum, vandaag The Annenberg Space for Photography.

Walter Annenberg is een typisch Amerikaans succesverhaal. Deze Joodse zakenman, rijk geworden met een uitgeverij, televisie- en radiostations, verkocht een gedeelte van zijn tijdschriften aan Rupert Murdoch in 1988 voor 3 biljoen dollar. Annenberg besloot de rest van zijn leven en zijn geld te besteden aan educatieve doeleinden. In heel de Verenigde Staten zijn scholen, bibliotheken, ziekenhuizen en musea die zijn naam dragen. Zijn dochter Wallis (‘My name is Wallis, not wallet’) die de foundation beheert, besloot een fotografieruimte op te richten, de eerste in LA.

Het gebouw bevindt zich middenin een kantorencomplex dat doet denken aan het WTC. Het is een bescheiden ruimte waar met name 'cutting edge technology’, zoals ze het zelf zeggen, een belangrijke rol is toebedeeld. Dus er zijn wel wat prints te zien, maar het grootste gedeelte van de ruimte bestaat uit een multimedia installatie met slideshows en interviews. De rode draad in de programmering is ‘Human interest’ en op dit moment hangt de tentoonstelling The Pictures of the Year. Het verhaal achter deze ruimte fascineert me duidelijk meer dan de ruimte zelf…

En tot slot nog een hele zoete afsluiting… Ik kan het niet laten.

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