On 11/11/11, fashion designer and photographer Hedi Slimane’s solo show opened at MOCA Pacific Design Center. Confusing many LA residents, the first night was open to the public–no RSVP, no real list necessary. The lack of a velvet rope is notable when the artist and his subjects tend to exist on the interior of all international velvet ropes.
The exhibit presents Hedi Slimane’s “California period,” his photographic journey into rock documentary, portraiture, and display of West coast youth culture. Pieces include photographs previously posted on his Diary, a photo blog Slimane created in 2006.
The first floor room is a maze of large-format photographs and mirrors in raw wood case frames. The second floor presents the centerpiece – intense, bright projectors spill slideshows of Slimane’s photographs onto a large white cube. In the darkness, an elaborate rigged sculpture of speakers play ambient sounds composed by LA’s own No Age and Ariel Pink. No Age performed on the opening night, unassuming and playing close to the dark floor.
The opening-night crowd matched Slimane’s work: both were saturated with beautiful people draped in black, fashionable clothing. Celebrities looked at work alongside civilians, and dark personalities stood next to smiles and the faces of children. Slimane’s black and white photography is romantic, hitting the balance between the display of celebrity icons and fragmented showcasing of vulnerable moments and places.
For such a high-profile artist, the exhibit is notably small: we finished our visit within an hour. Thankfully, the exhibit is nestled inside the Pacific Design Center, which is always a worthy visit for its beautiful grounds and vast offerings in designer furniture and art. The show is currently open at MOCA Pacific Design Center until January 22, 2012. Vist MOCA.org for more information.