MOCA Jive-Ah

Sitting like a misshapen kiddie block at the corner of Euclid & Mayfield, the new Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) taunts and teases passers-by. Unequal angles, reflective surfaces, black-ops presence--a play of light and general goofiness. Others say yuck. I like it.

Lobby java seller tells us to take the white-walled staircase up, yellow stairway down, "It's a totally different experience." Like in yellow, not white, and down, not up? I remind myself to stay alert for roaming bands of contemporary art-farts and their all knowing winky-ness. I reserve my right to uninformed responses!

About a hundred steps later we hit the main gallery. It's sportin' several nutty lovelies: a round metal cage holding various fabrics and hanging wooden people; a hollowed out "tree" trunk bursting with apocalyptical artifacts; carefully timed photos of light montages; a deadpan video-bizarro; and, relatively speaking, normal abstract paintings. I dig it all for its nonlinear flavor and resistance to convention.

With modern art it's all in the questions--there are no right answers, only wrong questions. It's the next play of senses (or nonsenses), a crumbling expectation, inside jokes we only wish we got. Or not. Um & Ah on your own time buster, we got serious art to get to here!

My favorites were the two gold metal boxes, mailed to the museum by the artist. So the stickers, packing slips, sticky fingerprints of Fed Ex employees and little dings from package sorting lines, handcarts, truck shelves and heave-ho's by purple-shirted drivers along the way are now the art itself. Art as process, artist letting go, art as co-created by folks who know not that it's "art." That's cool.

Now go find the yellow stairs and get the hell out before somebody turns you to sculpture.

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