Hammer Blog



    Recently I invited Li Zhenwei, a young Beijing artist, to exhibit at Telescope. He is a 2011 graduate from CAFA, Central Academy of Fine Art, in Beijing, and had never had a solo show outside of the Academy setting. I love him as an artist and as a person. He is a serious, thoughtful, and cares more about his work than becoming a fixture on the scene. There were many frustrations and roadblocks along the way to realize his plan but I kept pushing him to keep going and not give up on it or settle for less. Finally with a deadline approaching we hit a brick wall and had to make some fast decisions and creatively compromise on his vision. But ultimately we produced a fantastic show and something we were both very proud of. When the show came to an end he told me that he was

  • The HAMMER KCHUNG Remix Project

    The HAMMER KCHUNG Remix Project

    Over the years, I have attended several evenings presented by Hammer Public Programs. They are always interesting and thought provoking, sometimes for several days, weeks, and even years, afterwards. The Hammer Watch + Listen Archive allows the viewer or listener to revisit incredible ideas and phenomenal discussions. The readings and lectures live on in the archives; it's truly a great gift to the public. Accessing the files of the archive is like going to an extraordinary produce section of a really smart grocery store. You are bound to find something in there that will make an incredible soup. The HAMMER KCHUNG REMIX Project At first, I really didn't know what remixing the Hammer Watch + Listen Archive would sound like. For some reason, I couldn't imagine what I would do with these recordings. Why would someone want to listen to a remix of, for example, a talk about who pays taxes? Especially

  • How Have the Arts Restored Your Neighborhood?

    How Have the Arts Restored Your Neighborhood?

    Show us how the arts have restored your neighborhood + you could win an Arts ReSTORE LA prize pack! -Just Tweet or Instagram your pictures with the hashtag #artsrestore be entered to win! -All submissions will be posted on the Hammer Museum tumblr and LA2050’s blog and displayed at the Open Forum pop-up during Arts ReStore LA: Westwood. -Deadline to enter is November 8. -Contestants are invited to a reception at Open Forum on Saturday, November 16 at 7:00pm to view the completed display and claim a photo magnet of his or her submission. A winner will be announced during the reception. --- Arts ReSTORE LA: Westwood—a new initiative by the Hammer Museum that aims to re-energize Westwood Village with the creative force of local Angeleno artisans and craftspeople. From November 1 to 24, the Hammer will fill several empty storefronts in Westwood, donated by the property owners to this project, with an array of

  • Pokemon at the Hammer

    When do you get too old for something? When should you stop indulging in seemingly pointless media? Is any media really pointless? These are questions that I often ask myself as I prepare for the panel discussion on Pokemon, to be held at the Hammer Museum on Saturday the 26th at 1:00pm. Pokemon was created by Japanese game designer Satoshi Tajiri and released onto the Gameboy in 1996. In the world of Pokemon, young children set out on a journey to catch and harness the power of a vast array of super powered animals and then train these monsters for friendly battles with other "trainers" like themselves. Players can also trade and battle Pokemon with other players in real life through various modes of system connectivity. Satoshi Tajiri was an avid hiker and bug collector as a child, and many of the places he spent time in as a

  • The Beijing Shanghai Gao Tie

    The Beijing Shanghai Gao Tie

    The Gao Tie (Gao Tee-yeh) is the Chinese High Speed Rail. The trains are sleek, new, clean, comfortable, and fast. Beijing to Shanghai is about a 5 hour trip as opposed to 9-15 hours on a regular train or who knows how long on an airplane. Flying or taking this deluxe train can be about the same price but you can count on the train being on time. Flying domestically in China has become a real problem. Almost every flight I have taken for as long as I can remember has been delayed for some reason or another. They often say the weather is bad at the destination but I think the country just cannot handle the incredible amount of air traffic. It grows and grows as Chinese become more affluent and mobile and as more and more foreigners travel here for tourism and business. Whatever, the trains, especially

  • Guru Rugu on Reading Radio

    Guru Rugu on Reading Radio

    As part of the KCHUNG Residency at the Hammer Museum, several DJs are crafting alternative audio guides for current exhibitions and spaces within the Museum. One such audio guide is a Reading Radio interpretation by Jack Heard of the Hammer Projects exhibition, Cabaret Crusades. You can hear Jack’s audio guide on the Hammer App, available for iPad, iPhone, and Android. Enjoy the following blog post from KCHUNG DJ Guru Rugu about DJ Jack Heard’s radio show, Reading Radio. Listen to last 10/16/2013 edition of Reading Radio, featuring Guru Rugu reading Raven Moot! While many listeners tend to believe that KCHUNG Radio is primarily a public service—a form of sacrifice on the part of the DJs that primarily serves the needy ears and minds of non-KCHUNG-DJ Los Angeles—it may come as a surprise that many of us DJs are also equally moved by and find solace in the shows of

  • Beijing Transports III

    Beijing Transports III

    James Elaine has been taking us on a tour of the various types of vehicles in Beijing. Here is the last of his Beijing Transports series. An excerpt from his last Beijing Transports blog: I always try to have my mobile phone or camera ready when I ride my bicycle through the streets of Beijing, and that’s everyday. A bicycle offers the perfect vantage point to be able to capture the amazing images that are all around me. I have made so many photos of various types of vehicles that one blog posting is not enough. --James Elaine

  • Broadcasting Live from Beautiful Downtown Westwood, California!

    Broadcasting Live from Beautiful Downtown Westwood, California!

    This Saturday, October 12, will mark the kick-off of another new KCHUNG residency program at the Hammer Museum. Starting this week and continuing through the end of November, every Saturday from 11:30am-4:00pm, KCHUNG DJs will broadcast their regular programming live from the Mobile DJ Cart on Lindbrook Terrace. To start us off, this Saturday’s broadcast will feature: 11:30am-12:30pm: DJs Swan and Julie Moon of Divided Daughters will discuss art in the vein of Sister Wendy. 12:30-2:30pm: During Slam Dunx from the Free Throw Line, DJ Lady C will play some records and talk a little ball. 2:30-4:00pm: DJ egroeg will present a special edition of CDS Digest featuring the accomplished auditory artist, Matthew Sullivan. [caption id="attachment_3616" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Matthew Sullivan"][/caption] A bit more about Matthew Sullivan from DJ egroeg: For the last ten years Matthew Sullivan has worked under a number of monikers (Privy Seals, Earn), as well as

  • Choate on Bess: A Recap

    Choate on Bess: A Recap

    We always love to hear from artists about the process of making their work. Here’s Andrew Choate illuminating his musical selections for a Forrest Bess pre-public program set. Besides having a direct kinship with Tantric painting and the "Thought Forms" of Annie Bésant and C. W. Leadbeater, Forrest Bess's work to me has always been about the shaping of color. For my live broadcast* in the Hammer courtyard, I chose to play songs with titles that specifically reference certain colors, as a way of approaching his paintings from an altered, auditory viewpoint. I layered and juxtaposed those songs in ways that evoked specific Bess paintings. What follows is an explication of what songs I played, why, and the correspondence to each Bess painting. "Complete Freedom" has such a variety of intense blues that I wanted to focus on that first. I started with a section of "Blue Shift" by

  • That's a Wrap

    That's a Wrap

    Exploring Architecture: Family Day at the Hammer on September 8, 2013 was the third annual Family Day, a large event of art-making, music and fun based on one of the Hammer’s special exhibitions. This year’s Family Day was themed on architecture, and coincided with the last day of the A. Quincy Jones exhibition. The goals of Family Day are to bring creative, exhibition-based and hands-on educational activities to a diverse and multi-generational audience. This year’s Family Day was supersized; we had more artists and more projects than we have ever had before, and were able to explore architectural questions in depth. The activities were so successful in a way because they were so simple yet so focused. Each architect and artist came up with a question to explore in their activity that related to architectural thinking about space, light, scale and material, from “What is a home?” to

  • Hammer Museum to Offer FREE Admission for All Exhibitions

    Hammer Museum to Offer FREE Admission for All Exhibitions

    LOS ANGELES—The Hammer Museum has announced that it will eliminate its admission fee and become entirely FREE to the public in 2014. Free admission will coincide with the opening of the Hammer’s 2014 exhibition season in early February. Hammer director Ann Philbin shared the exciting news at the Museum’s annual Gala in the Garden fundraiser on Saturday, October 5. The Hammer is committed to eliminating admission fees permanently. Free admission for the first four years is made possible by two gifts received over the summer from longtime Hammer Museum benefactors Erika J. Glazer and Brenda R. Potter. Erika Glazer is an art collector who joined the Hammer’s Board of Directors in 2009. She has worked in the real estate business, construction, and as a private investor since 1976. “It is rare that you have an opportunity to make a gift that simultaneously helps transform an institution and serves the

  • (Time for a) Dance Dance Revolution

    (Time for a) Dance Dance Revolution

    "My mind is telling me no, but my body, my body is telling me yes!" -R.Kelly It's a disco tragedy, the battle between body and mind. I'm on the dance floor, swaying to the music, letting the beat move me to and fro, when listening to the words of the song stops me in my tracks. Maybe it's misogynistic lyrics, or a sexist command to dance a certain way, or maybe it's just the sheer banality of another pop song about sexpectations: whatever it is, my mind urges me to take a principled stance and walk away. And yet…the body won't give up that easily, and thus I become the definition of losing myself to the dance, tossing aside learned ideology to let loose and embrace the rhythm. Should I feel bad for this? I mean, isn't that what the dance floor is all about, letting the

  • Choate on Bess

    Choate on Bess

    Forrest Bess' work to me has always been about the shaping of color. For my DJ set, I have chosen songs whose titles specifically reference certain colors, and I will layer and juxtapose those songs in ways that evoke specific Bess paintings like The Hermaphrodite, View of Maya, and an Untitled, 1949 greenish piece with a patch of grey and red (1949) that was in the Gober-curated section of the 2012 Whitney Biennial. [caption id="attachment_3577" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Forrest Bess. The Hermaphrodite, 1957. Oil on canvas. 8 x 11-1/4 inches. The Menil Collection, Houston. Gift of John Wilcox in memory of Frank Owen Wilson. Photo: Hickey-Robertson, Houston."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3578" align="aligncenter" width="449" caption="Forrest Bess. View of Maya, 1951. Oil on canvas. 8 x 8 inches. The Menil Collection, Houston. Bequest of Jermayne MacAgy. Photo: Paul Hester."][/caption] The music itself will range from classics like Brian Eno's "Another Green World

  • Beijing Transports II

    Beijing Transports II

    I always try to have my mobile phone or camera ready when I ride my bicycle through the streets of Beijing, and that's everyday. A bicycle offers the perfect vantage point to be able to capture the amazing images that are all around me. I have made so many photos of various types of vehicles that one blog posting is not enough, so welcome to Beijing Transports ll (and possibly lll). Beijing is full of migrant workers coming from all over the country’s rural areas. These are the people that make, alter, and operate the majority of these vehicles. Many of their carts are works of art in themselves, but are made for purposes of survival, not for museums. Perhaps these are the people that pulled the rickshaws 100 years ago. I see the beauty of their ingenuity, persistence, and dedication, but also know their lives are not easy