SATURDAY, NOV 21, 2009
250 South Grand Avenue 

Los Angeles–based artist collective
An evening of performance, music, and video situated around the museum, My Barbarian's The Fourth Wall is a critical and celebratory engagement with the concept of transparency, both as an optical experience and an institutional mandate. The constellation of events directly addresses the process of developing the exhibition Collection: MOCA's First Thirty Years in a playful and insightful participatory performance without a stage.

An Engagement Party Event



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In Augusto Boal's Invisible Theater, social and legal constructions are interrogated by stealth performances: performers enact the conflict/situation within a public space and engage directly with bystanders in an attempt to address political issues. This model will be re-designed for this performance of The Fourth Wall as Transparent Theater: no longer attempting to hide the identities of the performers or convince the audience that they are not performers, they will nevertheless occupy the real, non-mimemtic space of the museum-goer and engage them directly in discussions which are based on the interviews with MOCA staff.

The five scripts were written by Alexandro Segade from interviews with the staff at MOCA conducted by Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon and Segade. They are to be performed by actors directed by Jade Gordon, in line on Grand Avenue; in line about to go into the exhibition at the courtyard; or at the bar in the plaza.



PERSON A: What was your first museum experience in your life?

PERSON B: Oh. My first museum experience was back in Guatemala City, where I grew up. We were taken on a school trip to the Museum of Anthropology, which is the main museum in the city, to look at the Mayans. Yeah, that was my first trip that I remember. Yeah. What was your first museum experience in your life?

PERSON A: I remember going on a road trip with my mom and my cousin across the country and going to the National Gallery of Art. We went there and then we also went to the Children's Museum, so for whatever reason, I mixed the two together. At the Children's Museum, you could actually touch this amazing wall that would leave your prints. I remember going to the National Gallery and I got a little postcard of a Renoir painting. What was your first museum experience in your life?

PERSON B: In my life? Let's see. I've been thinking a lot about my first museum experience, I guess because MOCA's celebrating its 30th anniversary right now and you often recount history. And just start to think, "Why am I here? What was my first MOCA experience?" and then "What was my first museum experience?" It was actually at the Huntington Library and museum.

PERSON A: Oh yeah.

PERSON B: I remember that they gave all the kids a print of the Pinkie and Blue Boy. It was really sweet and my mom framed it for me. It was one of those things where you remember art is important. It's a special… This is a special thing that you did. A special experience. I think that was my first museum experience, in Pasadena. Do you remember the first time you went to a museum?

PERSON A: Yeah. My mom took me to the Huntington Library in Pasadena, and I remember it well. She tells the story that I was actually too young to get into the galleries to see the Pinkie and Blue Boys, so my brother, who was two years older than me, who was old enough, was like, "Well, if he can't go, I'm not going to go." It's still one of my favorite places in the whole world. What was your first museum experience? Can you remember, in your life?

PERSON B: Probably going to the Hermitage in, then, Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, as a child.

PERSON A: Wow. Do you have a vivid memory of that?

PERSON B: Only that it was amazing. Can you remember the first museum experience you ever had going to a museum?

PERSON A: To a museum or to MOCA?

PERSON B: A museum.

PERSON A: A museum. I believe it was August of '89 – I was asked to go to the LA County Museum. It was not a very good experience for me. As soon as I got there, people just harassed me. That was basically my experience. It was not a very good experience.

PERSON B: Yeah, my first experience that I recall is being a young child –I was definitely under five, about four, probably four years old – with my family in Amsterdam, being dragged to museums, really enjoying an exhibition of Rembrandt portraits, being completely engaged by the level of detail, by the works. Then the next day, going to the Van Gogh museum and being completely completely… what was… I was furious. I wanted to leave. I hated it. I was angered. I thought the paintings were horrible. I kind of wanted the realism of Rembrandt and actually threw a tantrum, which I remember saying that I hated Van Gogh and I liked Rembrandt and I wanted to go back to the other museum. So I remember that well. My tastes have changed a little bit – not that I don't like Rembrandt any more, but I've become a little more tolerant of Van Gogh and other work. Yeah, that's the first memory.

PERSON A: Probably my first museum experience was probably going to the… I grew up in Washington D.C., so my first museum experience was probably going to the Smithsonian, or to the Air and Space Museum and eating freeze-dried ice cream, climbing on dinosaur sculptures. That's probably my first experience.

PERSON B: Oh my god. Museum or Kunsthalle? Is it the same for you?

PERSON A: You can answer with a Kunsthalle.

PERSON B: Actually I don't remember but I was pretty young, I think. I grew up in Bern and I saw lots of…

PERSON A: I also grew up in Bern.

PERSON B: Okay, so I saw a lot of Paul Klee when I was young and that had a huge impact on me, of course. But, you know, Paul Klee was so important there, so you would go there with your school class, but I can't actually remember when it was. Maybe I was 10 or something?

PERSON A: You know, the Natural History Museum and right after that is the Science Museum.

PERSON B: On Exposition.

PERSON A: Yeah. To me, when I was a kid, they all kind of ran together, but I remember going there probably when I was six or seven. Somewhere around there. They didn't really send us anywhere when I was at school. I think it's cool when I see all these school groups here; they have field trips now. My parents took us everywhere. We used to go there once or twice a year. I don't remember which one I went to first – Natural History or the Science one. PERSON B: I grew up in Los Angeles and my most vivid museum experience, which wasn't my first, actually had to do with a show that was at UCLA at, I guess it was called, the Wight Gallery, and it was Matisse. It was this huge retrospective of the work of Matisse and I went with my father – just a father/daughter outing and we spent all this time in the museum and then we went over to Chips and we drew on napkins.

PERSON A: I remember visiting the Winnipeg Art Gallery in the early 70s with my mother and looking at work that included a lot of what I would now call "minimal art" interspersed with a lot of "prairie super-realism." They also had an amazing collection of Inuit art, which my mother collected. One of the first individual works I remember clearly was by the artist Suzy Lake, which coincidentally was in WACK.

PERSON B: But it was like an amazing... my best memory of my father was having this day at UCLA at this exhibition with him.





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