MOCA presents the largest collection of his Combines – over 70 – including the aptly titled Monogram , a signature piece of Rauschenberg's work. Here, a stuffed goat is thread through a tire, his face splatter-painted, his floor a collage of old newspaper (perhaps Rauschenberg was trying to house-train him). About Monogram , Rauschenberg has said: “A stuffed goat is special in the way that a stuffed goat is special. I wanted to see if I could integrate an object as exotic as that.”
As with all of his creations, there's a kind of adolescent playfulness that ensconces these Combines, a stream-of-unconsciousness that takes you back to your childhood garage; a collage of garbage where you still, somehow, knew where to find everything. It all made sense in a way.
While many of the Combines were done in the 1960s, they seemed to prefigure our intake of information in the present age. Like a mash-up, where a DJ takes two unrelated songs and blends them together, Rauschenberg collides disparate images, textures and artifacts just as we simultaneously download, read-and-close pop-ups, listen to music, watch TV and talk on the phone. We live in an A.D.D. world, but when this world is reflected back to us, it combines into visual Ritalin.The Mueseum of Contemporary Art is located at 250 S. Grand Ave., in Los Angeles. Hours: Mon & Fri 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-midnight; Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission: $8 or $5 for students with ID; Free on Thursdays 5 p.m.-8 p.m. For more information, visit www.moca.org