Ever felt like a failure, especially when finals are nearing? Felt down over a failing grade on your chemistry exam? Disappointed about your failed D.I.Y-inspired creations? Well, you probably haven’t experienced the total sense of failing when it comes to the “Museum of Failure,” an avant-garde pop-up exhibit located in the heart of Los Angeles’s art district.
The concept and ambience of the museum speaks for itself. Showcasing a bunch of failed contraptions that range from Amazon’s Fire Phone to a Blockbuster DVD case (the franchise itself), there’s a whole bunch of knick-knacks and gadgets that remain unknown to the public’s eyes. By browsing through the endless amount of defunct items, there’s the sense that some point in your life, you miserably failed too.
When walking inside the Tumblr-esque building, inspiring quotes were displayed on the white walls that can be found, not so surprisingly, on Tumblr. One gigantic phrase towered near the entrance of the brick building, with a self-portrait of Oprah Winfrey and a quote from her that read: “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” I’ll definitely consider Winfrey’s quote and think like a “queen” once I take my final exams next week.
Not only were there quotes that reminded art-goers that it was “okay” to fail sometimes, there were also multiple sections across the room that displayed multiple “paintings” on the wall. Most of them contained photographs depicting human nature, which were eye candy for the non-conforming dadaists.
Across the west side of the exhibit contained even more paintings from different eras. I was thankfully equipped with the knowledge of distinguishing between the postmodernist and modernist era because of my art-centered English class. When walking through the aisle, I enjoyed viewing the pieces and reading the artist’s intentions on creating their art pieces. I was, however, confused about the whole presentation. Did it really resonate with the museum’s theme? Did some of the paintings actually fail? After all, art can be very subjective and sometimes confusing.
What came after the paintings spanned an endless amount of failed contraptions. This was the highlight of the museum, and I was immediately transfixed on the immaculate presentation of some of the creations there. Colgate’s frozen beef lasagna left me quite perplexed and rather disturbed, as I would’ve never imagined the company producing frozen dinner food. Next to the failed food creations were Oreo’s various flavors that were shaped into a huge “F,” and even a 1980’s version of Coca Cola’s “new” soda flavor. I’m guessing it didn’t contain cocaine in one of their ingredients.
After scurrying through the tables that featured gender-neutral sex toys and creepy dolls, my eyes immediately gravitated towards the section that contained an image of president Trump and his many failed inventions. The secured glass box consisted of Trump’s “groundwork” creations: his board game, two books on entrepreneurship, and a bottle of whisky. When viewing the Trump-centered pieces, there laid multiple paragraphs detailing his many failures. It was quite a long read, but it was noteworthy to learn how Trump’s university ended up being a massive scam.
Overall, the museum and its presentation was definitely a memorable experience. You get to see a whole load of crappy inventions and bask in their failures for the mere price of $15. But at the end of the trail, you learn an important lesson from this: everyone fails.
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