Jeffrey Deitch on LA's Art and Culture
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FROM RIGHT: Electric Earth (2003) by Doug Aitken; Above June Lake (2005) by Florian Maier-Aichen
DS: I understand Doug Aitken is creating a project for the upcoming MOCA gala.
JD: We’re very excited about that. I have two basic guiding rules for the museum and just in life in general: One is that it’s always got to be about art; the other is that it’s always got to be fun. In running a museum, there are a lot of things where it could become bureaucratic or institutional. I want to really assert that when we do our annual fund-raising gala, and we have all our patrons, friends and the major local artists there, it’s got to be an art experience! I was thinking, Who can create a total work of art where from the moment you arrive to the moment you’re leaving, it’s really an art experience? I think the ideal artist is right here in LA—Doug Aitken.
DS: As someone who has always stretched the boundaries of the artistic experience, how are you going to change how MOCA interacts with the community?
JD: Building the community around MOCA is one of the priorities. We start with an excellent community, and MOCA comes out of that, but there is a part of it we need to reconnect with. I need to open [the museum] up to the communities that are here through all kinds of means: public events, lectures, parties, performances, establishing a special performance space—that’s one of the biggest priorities. I want to develop physical spaces and create networks where we are building a community around the museum and also contributing to the community.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEFANIE KEENAN/WIREIMAGE.COM (DEITCH)