Like Morrissey armed with a medium format camera, Hedi Slimane takes a long hard look at the wistful lives of the young and alive in "California Song," his West Coast museum debut opening tomorrow at MOCA's Pacific Design Center. Since trading in the cobblestone streets of Paris for the Los Angeles' aimless sprawl, Slimane has rekindled his romance with the energy of youth culture, capturing everything from East Side skaters to Bay Area rockers with exacting precision. All wide eyes and nubile bodies, this may be more a fantasy than a chronicle of a teenage wasteland, but it is just as enthralling and marks another ingenious move in MOCA's programming, bridging the gap between fashionable art and artful fashion. The ambitious install includes selections from Slimane's elegant black and white portraits, which evoke Mapplethorpe's subversive formalism with unlikely heroes immortalized in all their listlessness like glassy eyed crooner, Christopher Owens from the much buzzed about San Francisco band, Girls. The second floor will feature a full-scale installation with projected images and a specially built stage (after all where would Hedi be without a little rock 'n' roll?) that will host numerous up and coming Cali bands. The exhibition kicks off on Friday evening with an opening soiree, and a performance by No Age. Slimane will be overseeing the festivities, along with a most of Southland's lithe and lean, who prove there's nothing quite like California dreaming.
Hedi Slimane, "California Song"
November 12-January 22, 2012
MOCA Pacific Design Center
Los Angeles, CA