Yayoi Kusama at Marciano Art Foundation

We had to take off our shoes and/or wear plastic slippers on top of them before entering. I was wearing boots so I had to take off my boots but my husband and my daughter wore their plastic slippers on top of their shoes. It was not inconvenient but it induced a sort of reverence-cum-anxiety in me. Once inside, I was aware of this feeling while admiring the work. How much of the admiring was weighed (up or down) by this anxiety? It’s hard to tell but it was a factor. There was the sense of being in the presence of “art”. There was a sense of reverence fostered by the ritual that had preceded the viewing.

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There was a man. Rather suddenly, loudly and with a tinge of impatience in his voice, he asked everyone in the space to move to one side so he could get the picture he wanted — two tulips angled in a certain way. Everyone complied. I’ll admit I was surprised. This is not something that would have happened in India and it was a moment of cultural reckoning. What surprised me was the way he said ‘please’, with some authority , as if he deserved this, as if we had been getting in his way by viewing the exhibit normally. I asked the docent later if this was common. She said it was not.

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The museum itself is beautiful, another example of the architectural beauty Los Angeles has to offer.

Boys outside the Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
Two people sit in the lobby of the Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles

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