Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Logistics Report -- How Much of the Art Is Still Stuck in Japan?

[Previously about Japan:

Art As Irrelevant? Museum Faces Seeming Dilemma; Cancel Show Or Not?

Can This Sculpture From Japan Still Mean The Same?

Japanese Artists Said To Be Uninjured

Hopes, Thoughts With Japan]

This blog has previously noted that even while the previous TAM main exhibition, What's New, Pussycat was still open, a telltale sign of the continuim that is a full programming schedule had already arrived -- a lone package, from Japan, still sealed, wrapped in its mailing material, sitting on a side table in the office of the TAM curator and director.

That package, as it turned out, contained the work of artist Taku Anekawa. The art was mailed from the Tokyo gallery, Nanzuka Underground.

In the time since that early March TAM office visit and last week, the work of five other Japanese artists had arrived at the museum, according to TAM's Max Presneill.

(There are fourteen artists scheduled to participate in the Gateway Japan show who reside full or part-time in Japan. The other seven artists in the show are of Japanese heritage and reside full-time in the U.S.)

The Japanese works hadn't, however, arrived via international shipping.

Instead, work by Tomoo Gokita, of Japan, had come to TAM via his Los Angeles-based gallery representation. The same is true of Kenichi Yokono. Gil Kuno lives in both the U.S. and Japan, and his work is at TAM because the artist himself left Japan for L.A. the week prior the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor damage. His work was here already.

As of last week's conversation with Presneill, what would happen if not all of the Japan-based works of art were able to make it to Torrance on time, owing to the damages in infrastructure abroad and/or changes in at least short-term priorities?

Good curators and administrators alike plan for successful projects but also improvise if and as needed. Presneill was unwilling to be too hypothetical when asked for any definitive answer to the above. One option, he acknowledged, could be to give the Japanese American artists more space in the show, with a public explanation of where the previously intended works were.

We'll check in with Presneill and his team this week and see how many of the pieces have now arrived, and what -- if any -- late changes in the show may occur.