Dear Hedi Slimane,
I tried to see your exhibit California Song on its opening night, but it was so swamped with glamourmodels and celebs like Kirsten Dunst that I couldn’t even get in the building. Thus, I’ve been dying to feast my eyes on it since I heard it was coming to MOCA PDC. I visited the exhibit Saturday and I must say it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in my whole stupid life.
Here is the banner on the outside of MOCA PDC (sidenote: am I the only one who thinks the Pacific Design Center is the most amazing, 90z ‘Saved By The Bell’ building in the whole world?).
While California Song was the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life, the first section of it was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. There were some major issues with the first floor gallery. I found the installation completely disappointing. Here are these absolutely stunning, gorgeous images, glued to dumb plywood and placed only at heights (too high or too low) where any intimacy with them was entirely impossible. It looked like something a first-semester architecture student would put together to showcase his final project. And the mirrors at waist-height? Who cares?!? I don’t want to stare at my own crotch I want to stare at you photographs! I would have preferred to see four photographs, simply framed, just hanging on the wall. The installation completely distracted from the power of the images.
As you know, I completely love your images, Hedi, so seeing them displayed in this studenty manner felt like a complete desecration.
The good news is that the exhibit redeems itself 500% once you reach the gallery on the second floor. It features a giant cube with rotating images on three sides, surrounded by a complex and beautiful speaker situation.
The speaker system plays sound installations by Ariel Pink and No Age. It’s basically just entrancing music that sets a mellow mood, causing you to get lost in these gorgeous, large scale projections. The soundtrack allows you to enter wholeheartedly into HediWorld, a place where everything is beautiful, interesting, edgy, soulful, and sensuous.
I love the Gore Vidal portraits. I also loved standing where I could see two sides of the cube at once, seeing how the meaning of the images changed when they were juxtaposed against one another.
Just for good measure, and because I love them so hard, I have included two Hedi video treats (unrelated to the exhibit):
In conclusion, Mr. Slimane, your exhibit is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life and it actually brought me to tears because it was so awesome. If scientists ever figure out how to make it possible for me to enter into an alternate universe, I’ll choose HediWorld for sure.