The Oxford dictionary defines loiter as: “to stand or wait somewhere especially with no obvious reason.” With that definition in mind, the “Loitering is delightful” art exhibit currently on display at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery aims to allow its patrons to do just that.
Most of the exhibits are designed as such to allow a patron to not only simply view the exhibit, but to also become a live participant within it. Several have seating in one form or another to allow one to sit and loiter, to experience the art in a novel approach.
Dead center of the entrance way were flowers arranged from floor to ceiling. This was literally the centerpiece of the exhibit, titled “the unified field” by Lani Trock located dead-center of the gallery. It features various flowers and fabrics arranged around a long rug with many pillows arranged to and fro to be sat on by gallery patrons.
The exhibit consisted of the minimalist clutter associated and typical of art galleries. In all about 20 pieces with about three duplicates from 10 different artists were on display.
To the North was Lauren Davis Fisher’s untitled piece, a large structure of plywood arranged as such to create many seating arrangements. Naturally, the youths were attracted to this exhibit as it probably resembled a children’s play area one might find at a park. A personal moment to loiter on this piece was taken while snapping pictures of adjacent pieces. The plywood was a tad bit uncomfortable which cut the loitering short.
If there was one exhibit that captured loitering to a T, it would be by the artist David Horvitz. His exhibit, “???? (gàrusõn)” forced the participant to stay still long enough to loiter by offering Japanese green tea in small Japanese style tea cups. The tea was from Japan and the water was snow from the Sierra mountains in Nevada. Seats were positioned directly across from another Horvitz piece. This was a personal favorite as it made understanding what the exhibit was truly all about, and the tea was pretty darn good and refreshing as well.
Other pieces consisted of audio melodies playing through headphones that one could listen to, while others had videos of flower arranging. These too had seats or bedding that one could loiter about on while taking in the exhibit.
All this participatory attempt to engage the viewers left some questions in mind: where did one installation end and where did it begin? The herbal mists of Dylan Mira’s NWOT C# exhibit were the primary attraction, but how much of the exhibit were the buckets used to contain the water that was sonically vibrated until it turned to mist? And if they were, how much decision making went into the selection of the buckets? They appear as plain utility buckets, why not choose something more aesthetically relaxing for the design? Why not seats besides the buckets to allow one to loiter among the mist? Were the seats at the tea exhibit part of the piece as well or simply staging?
The mind wonders, but that is part of what art does to a viewer.
“Loitering is delightful” is an exhibit now until January 12, 2020 at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Admission and parking are free.