William Poundstone
William Poundstone on Art and Chaos

William Poundstone’s Los Angeles County Museum on Fire

That 70’s Show

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Whenever somebody writes the Jeffrey Deitch-MOCA biopic (opera?), the final act will turn on the disco show. Media leaks turned “Fire in the Disco,” Deitch’s scheme of recreating famous discos in a MOCA exhibition, into a meme. “When I heard about that disco show I had to read it twice,” said John Baldessari. “At first I thought ‘this is a joke’ but I realized, no, this is serious.”

It’s still serious. Since leaving MOCA, Deitch has continued to talk of the disco show (to be curated by electronic musician James Murphy). In October Deitch told the Brooklyn Rail

“I am developing a disco exhibition that will be a combination of an educational experience and a completely immersive club or festival experience. I hope to combine the two, in a way that museums have been heading toward, but that has never been quite realized to this extent, where people will dance in the middle of the exhibition.”

Last November, Deitch realized a proof of concept in “AREA: The Exhibition,” a five-night pop-up recreation of the old AREA nightclub at The Hole, the New York gallery, and other Manhattan sites. The write-up for the exhibition name-checks the many artists who created original work for AREA (click here for the only known photo of Michael Heizer, David Hockney, Andy Warholand Leroy Nieman in proximity). The art and disco connection is not so entirely tenuous as you might assume.

That granted, the question isn’t, is disco worthy of an art museum show? Nor is it are social experiences art? Museum directors face a more difficult puzzle: Is a disco show the best thing an art museum can be doing with its finite resources?

(Photos of “AREA: The Exhibition” by Elise Gallant at purple Diary.)


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Comments

  1. This is hilarious, as in that when my wife was in graphic design classes at UCLA(after a real career in finance including the treasury dept)they were told to NOT do endless variations on the Absolute bottle and single eyeball(big with car guys) and try something new, as with women(especially asian) always using rice paper.

    The lack of creativity in the arts is always amazing, design professionals know better. The museo/academic/gallery complex loves it, easy to sell to idget nouveau riche.

    art collegia delenda est

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