Craft & Folk Art Museum 

On Sunday during my recent short trip to Los Angeles, I decided to opt out on paying the pricey admission to go inside LACMA (at the time I wasn’t feeling that keen about worshipping Picasso and Rivera, the two male titans). Instead, I dragged my poor sick sister to the nearby Craft & Folk Art Museum because they were having two exhibits that caught my interest (and the admission was far more affordable). The first exhibit was called Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California. Over 60 local artists were featured and the works (spanning two floors including the entrance) covered sculptural installations, interactive found-books (visitors could tear a piece out of a blank page for keeps or manipulate the printed words to form a sentence), zines and hand-printed/illustrated editions. The many themes ranged from conceptualism to feminism.  Nothing gets me more excited than when words not only can be functional in visual art, but when they also can just exist as static matter.   The second exhibit on the top floor was called Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video.  The juried exhibit was in collaboration with the Farhang Foundation, a non-profit that provides support for Iranian art in LA. My favorite section was the video/sound installation by the artists Elahe Moonesi, Maziar Moradi, and Farhood Yazdanpanah. I sat and watched goldfish, frozen in melting ice cubes, hanging by strings in the sun – and a young woman lying on her back, smothered in her white (wedding?) dress, as her fabric is getting violently sewn by other hands.  It only reinforced my wish to someday venture back into video and sound.