Kruger, exemplified in her anti-abortion piece in which the block letters “YOUR BODY IS A BATTLEGROUND” are written across a stock image of a woman's face, designed Consider This… (Usually followed by “ In violence we forget who we are.”)
The exhibition comprises the work of six influential artists – Mark Bradford, Dorit Cypis, Margaret Honda, Philip Rantzer, Mario Ybarra, Jr. and Bruce Yonemoto – chosen for their differing backgrounds, artistic temperaments and modes of expression. A postmodern potpourri, expect graffiti, portraits, video juxtaposing Cairo and South Central and taxidermied polar bears from the Natural History Museum under homeless-people's quilts.
In most museums, one is continuously aware of their body – and this is not usually due to the existential influence of the art, but by the physical influence of the guards' “Step away,” “Stay behind the line” or “Don't lick the statues.” ANXIETY is right – I'm afraid of my body nearing great works of art.
Consider This welcomes visitors to explore their perceptions of consumerism, neighborhood identity and post-9/11 life through interactive exhibits – writing on the walls, taking pictures of Words Learned Post-9/11, building their own transient abode. (Though, interestingly, most museum-goers are reticent to interact as the ubiquitous guards seem to remind them of the traditional museum experience.)
We are to leave the museum having considered this: who are we? (And, why are so many museums so pretentious?)
LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd., in Los Angeles. Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs. noon-8 p.m.; Fri. noon-9 p.m.; Sat., Sun. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Price: $9 adults, $5 students with valid ID, free to all the second Tuesday of each month and daily after 5 p.m. For more information, call (323) 857-6000 or visit www.lacma.org.