An Introduction

September 29, 2008

Big changes are afoot at LACMA today, so we thought it would be a good time to introduce a small change as well. But first, a little prologue.

Adesso peró (But Now) bookcase, Ettore Sottsass

Adesso peró (But Now) bookcase, 1992, photo © Santi Caleca

During the Ettore Sottsass show (spring 2006) I noticed that without much intervention the titles of the Italian designer's works might arrange themselves into a found poem that we could call But Now, Ceramics of Darkness and feature on lacma.org. So I assembled the poem, added an introduction, showed the curator, and we concluded that, you know what, there was no home for it on the website. It wasn't a show description, and it sure wasn't art analysis; it was just a fan's notes about something cool going on with the art. It was like what you might notice and remark upon to a friend in the galleries, and we just didn't have a place for that.

Well, as of today, we do. It's called Unframed, you're reading it, and it's a blog begun by a number of us at LACMA who hope to transcend those major categories and create an open conversation about all the things we find intriguing or brilliant or curious as art fans and museum hands. In-house contributors will include a team of LACMA staffers and curators, and the subjects are bound only by a relationship, tangential or otherwise, to the art and artists of LACMA, L.A., and Southern California.

I said "a conversation," and that is key. To state the obvious, your involvement as readers and correspondents will help decide whether the blog succeeds and what it becomes. And the tone will be conversational, person-to-person. Passion, humor, and candor are prized. Being in touch with what turns you on about art is prized most of all. And we don't deduct points for not having all the answers.

As for the found poem of Ettore Sottsass titles... I can't find it; the found poem is lost.

Tom Drury