los-angeles

Sam Durant

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)

You hear Sam Durant’s show at the Museum of Contemporary Art before you see it. When I asked the front-desk attendant where the exhibition began, she told me to follow the music: good advice, not only in terms of orienting oneself spatially but also as an interpretive principle. For in a manifestation of Durant’s consistent attitude toward architecture, a cacophonous brew of overlapping sound composed of the blues, rock, and rap tracks that accompany most of his exhibited sculptures blurred and even contradicted the geometric rectitude of MoCA’s Arata Isozaki–designed building. As in the artist’s Upside Down and Backwards, Completely Unburied, 1999, in which a miniature model of the structure from Robert Smithson’s Partially Buried Woodshed, 1970, is packed with three CD players, MoCA’s designer building was itself choked on noise. But the sound tracks featured in Durant’s projects don’t

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