Phil Tarley writes:
Sonically mesmerized by the accompanying narrative, we stood in a slipstream of dazzling lights. The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time projections rolled over our heads, and champagne bubbles drifted up our noses. There we were, all children of the last century, all standing together on the Getty’s grand plaza, watching our collective history paraded across the years, projected across the museum’s façade that the night had transformed into a temple of adoration. Had we not all come to pray to the god of art? The god who distills the essence of our shared experience into something magical, something wonderful. It certainly seemed that way.
That night, the Getty felt as if we were in some great congregation that had come together for the bliss of enlightenment. The lights of the spectacle, the dancers and singers and the food kiosks all staging music and gustatory delights parsed out like the art show, decade by decade – they marked the touchstones of Pacific Standard Time’s forty-year spread. Yes, we were revelers, supplicants, and art cognoscenti, time travelers revisiting those formative years. Those fecund Los Angeles artists that the PST show spotlighted were the pioneers of today. The Getty wanted us to enjoy the art but also to understand its legacy. To have those synaptic connections in moments of “Yes. I see. I see” that is a great treasure and a rare party favor. I did admire and I wondered at the fierce connections of the contemporary that these great art works foretold. I was transported, I was impressed. And when my sweet party head hit my pillow I saw the past as the future. (Text and photo by guest blogger Phil Tarley)
(Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in LA Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970, October 1, 2011-February 5, 2012, at the Getty Center)