I'd only been to the Hammer once before, for a work-related symposium which confined me largely to the auditorium. Heading there this time, I was impressed once again at the building itself: stripes are in this season. In grey and white, no less. With tons of windows.
The Hammer Museum’s Public Engagement program seeks to create a new kind of interactive museum: an artist-driven visitor engagement program that encourages contact among visitors, artists, and Museum staff, and activates spaces in imaginative ways.
which is great. However, there isn't sufficient information about the concept of Sing Your Favorite Book for anyone to gain any insight or connection to the exhibit. How is the visitor's engagement with or appreciation of the artists (in this case, Ruscha and Kerouac) heightened by the singing? How does the visitor engage with the singer other than to watch them sing (which detracts from the art, right)? Or is the singer engaging with the art? Or with the viewer? I didn't really get it. So I moved on to the other galleries.
Having done with that (particularly struck by a Van Gogh and a Cezanne that were unusual in style compared to both artists' oeuvres), the emergence to the outdoor corridors was met with the sound of stringed instruments, which, when followed around a corner or two, led to the Disassembled Strings Ensemble. In this Public Engagement project,
a string quartet will attempt to perform together while interspersed around the museum terraces.
"Interspersed around the museum terraces" turned out to be at the four corners of the outdoor lounge area, which is different (in a less disassembled way) than I'd imagined it would be. But I didn't mind finding a seat in the cross-section of those sounds. I might have even slipped into a micronap, I was so relaxed.
After the museum visit, the beautiful day was by no means wasted. Lunch was eaten al fresco and followed by a walk through UCLA's MEM Botanical Garden, where the lotus were never found, but some other specimens were in abundance:
I ended up carpooling back home with Jax, after which we went to the farmers market, after which I went to dinner with friends. It was a long yet lovely day. *exhale*