A Day at the Fair


Crazy-wonderful turn out for the Los Angeles Art Book Fair at MOCA’s Geffen-Contemporary in Little Tokyo over the weekend. If you could squeeze through the curious hordes — those on a quest and those just browsing — you could check out all-manner of printed matter (posters, postcards, art books, curios, first editions, t-shirts and totes). There was a real emphasis on D.I.Y — projects and products — as well as some fascinating specimens of the art book re-imagined as a lavish multimedia event (one such vendor exhibited a sort of 3-D computer-generated viewing “experience” that was coupled with various folios telling different paths of the story).

I have to say that I was just as taken by the carnival swirl of the event as it spilled out onto the plaza. A band set up; a line to get inside snaked even further out the door. It felt a bit like a county fair, but instead of scent of burgers and fries churning out of the food trucks , onion, curry and turmeric smudged the air.

Just steps from MOCA’s front doors a white-gloved hand pushed a shiny postcard into my open right palm. The glove caught my attention. I didn’t bother to read the text. Instead I looked up and into the eyes of what was a pretty remarkable Michael Jackson impersonator, right down to the super-shiny, short, blue-black ponytail and the precisely penciled-in brows. I’d thought my reaction was somewhat discreet, but apparently it was enough prompt a comment in that familiar delicate whisper: “Sorry to startle you, but I’m just down from Heaven for a little bit .” With that, he turned was lost in the flow and vivid color of the crowds. Why not a little bit of performance art to top off the day?





5 thoughts on “A Day at the Fair

  1. I would have loved to hear what *that* collaboration sounded like! John, do you have the album “Seven Souls” by Material one of Bill Laswell many projects? Burroughs is on this one and it feels like its own universe — the title cut is my favorite.

    • No – thanks for telling me about it! I’ll look for it later. There’s also a not-very-well publicized collaboration between Burroughs and Kurt Cobain.

      As far as I know, the Bley/Burroughs session wasn’t recorded (but I could be wrong).

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