A rainy day it seems everyone in LA opted to stay home as the freeways were clear for us all the way to downtown. Or so we thought until we reached the museum, where there was a line befitting a trip on Space Mountain, snaked through the entranceway of MOCA – truly a day to be thankful of our fast-pass MOCA memberships, though Audra and Jesse had to wait in standby while we raided the bookstore.
I love the Geffen and I’m glad this was the venue for the show, it’s warehouse interior is perfect for hosting environments – like the Happy Flower Room (I don’t know it’s real name, but you’d know it at once from that description), or the monumental Orb/Buddha figures. Spectacular to see these icons of manufactured pop presented as shrine statuary, like walking into a temple of some alien race.
I was naturally intrigued by the life sized action figures, some spewing bodily fluids as if they were a super power. It was cool to see how freakish these anime body proportions were with super-long legs, and huge breasts or penis. These figures so blatantly sexual, called out the sexuality of the genre, causing giggles among the little boys, and remarks of disgust from little girls. I particularly liked the transformer/woman, who turns into a rocket, her vulva becoming the nose-cone turning the whole Freudian penis-rocket symbology on its head (oh and all the warning stickers and maintenance tags were a delightful read as well).
I also particularly enjoyed the animation piece and some of the commercials directed by Murakami. In a way it’s amazing just how many media he works in. I suppose some found the inclusion of a functioning Louis Vuitton shop as part of the show equally as shocking as the sexuality of the action figures, but there it was selling bags with Murakami designs. I couldn’t help but think of Any Warhol and his factory making mass produced art. Murakami had taken that idea and taken it a step further – of course wall copy indicated that Japanese culture doesn’t have these designations of “high” art and product, in which case, Andy should have packed up the factory and moved to Tokyo.
In any event, a great show to see, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t gone yet to go check it out. Mind the potential for long lines, and bring a credit card if you want a designer hand bag.