Thursday, August 03, 2006

Moi? Ce n'est pas moi....

Today's LA Times story reveals that the Pompidou Center in Paris "accidentally destroyed" two works in the much-heralded exhibition "Los Angeles 1955 - 1985." The curatrix, Catherine Grenier, says only, "It's not our guilt" (one can only assume this is the best translation they could come up with), meaning that she sees no reason to take responsibility. The two works in resin, one on Plexiglas by Craig Kauffman and owned by LACMA, one by Peter Alexander lent by Franklin Parrasch Gallery in NY, are excused by Mme. Grenier as "fragile."

Most artwork is fragile, especially modern and contemporary work, like that in the exhibition (full disclosure: I attended the opening events as a representative of one of L.A.'s fine cultural institutions). Curators are responsible for the well being of the works in their care. Mme. Grenier says, "it's not something with the installation, not something with the public." Regardless, it's her problem.

Makes me wonder if the Pompidou is a little slack in their procedures...on the morning the exhibition opened, a colleague, an art school dean, and I wandered through the exhibition. No one asked us what we were doing there, and we weren't wearing badges or any official identification. Sloppy, or just gracious toward insiders? Qui sait?

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