Emi Fontana had a hunch. As director of the new
nonprofit West of Rome, she knew the opening of LACMA's Broad
Contemporary Art Museum on Feb. 16 would be hard to beat. So she
organized an exhibition featuring the work of Cindy Sherman, Barbara
Kruger, Jenny Holzer and Louise Lawler that would be impossible to miss.
"It's an art show for cars," Fontana says with a laugh.
Starting Saturday, Kruger will interject phrases
and videos on a Sunset Strip LED screen that will give ironic commentary
to yuppies whizzing by, and Holzer will use the Roosevelt Hotel, the LA
Weekly and posters for her own pointed "truisms." Sherman will add four
of her film stills on billboards around the city starting Feb. 19.
Fontana tells me that her idea was to "recontextualize" some of the key
work of the '80s, when such female artists were aggressively "taking
charge of public spaces," as she says. And it's no accident that there's
a cinematic element to many of the works, especially in Lawler's piece,
where she re-creates her classic 1979 performance in which she runs
John Huston's "The Misfits" with just the audio (at the Aero Theatre in
Santa Monica next Thursday).
"It's all about media," says Fontana. "What could be more perfect for L.A.?"
By Paul Young
For The Los Angeles Times