Or, I will not write any more boring words–well, that’s always the intention at least. The above snap was taken at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, visited Saturday after a Friday night in downtown LA.
Up on the 24th floor of the Ritz Carlton we sipped old fashioned and gin-and-tonic cocktails in the WP24 bar, followed by a trip to the movies. The night ended in the kitchen of the apartment where we were staying at in Little Korea eating a scrumptious home-made Bread Pudding.
Breakfast the next morning involved raman noodles at the amazing DAIKOKUYA, transporting you straight to Tokyo as the sweat beaded on your brow from wrestling with the vast bowl of noddles and trying to talk at the same time.
Double Conscience is MOCA’s presentation of Kahlil Joseph’s m.A.A.d, a double screen projection that is a lush portrait of contemporary Los Angeles. The camera sinuously glides through predominantly African American neighborhoods, pausing to capture quotidian moments—driving in a car, a marching band, the barbershop—that are suffused with creativity, joy, and sadness. The split screen divides the viewer’s attention, and alludes to the history of auteur cinema—a form of filmmaking pioneered by French director Jean Luc Godard—which sacrificed linear narrative for experimentation with the formal and political possibilities of filmmaking. m.A.A.d extends this tradition of formal experimentation by crossing the wires of music videos, amateur film footage, and moments of magical realism. The two-part projection may also slyly evoke philosopher W.E.B. Dubois’s early twentieth century concept of “double consciousness,” a psychological description of Black life in America. The film’s verbally dense and thick booming soundtrack, provided by hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar, adds yet another layer to this prismatic account of contemporary life in Los Angeles.
I left the screening room buzzing from the combination of Kendrick Lamar’s in-your-face beats and heady visuals.
The video alone was worth the price of admission, though the range of art works on offer from Mark Rothko to Alberto Giacometti to Elaine Sturtevant provided icing on the cake:
A rare thunder storm meant we drove back to Santa Ana in the rain as the LA highway system ground to a halt, hence this traffic advice update on my friend’s phone:
Once back, it was time for a nap and a shower before the next nocturnal adventure…