Nuclear Nerves and Ballet Slippers
There are intriguing objects aplenty, ranging from an echt-modern Hideo Toyomasu poster, Save Life on Earth (1980s, top of post) to a rather less subtle collector's plate on basically the same theme. The chronology ranges well into the Reagan era. (Make that Reagan eras. Eight years before The Manchurian Candidate, actor Reagan starred in Hollywood's first Korean War brainwashing film, Prisoner of War, 1954.)
|Warning to the People of the World, 1979, Kahlo Porcelain, East Germany|
|Still from Vladimir Tarasov's Shooting Range (1979)|
|Konstantin Aleksandrovich Prokhorov, Yuri Gagarin in Artek, no date|
|Atomic Chief, American toy c. 1947|
|Genrikh Frantsevich Bzhozovsky, Portrait of Ludmila, 1965|
"Red Shoes" has more of an L.A. angle than you might expect, with surprise appearances by Armand Hammer and Zev Yaroslavsky.
|Installation view, "Red Shoes"|
Future Wende exhibitions will treat Russian Perestroika paintings; the art of Sun Mu, North Korean propaganda artist-defector; Eastern Bloc television. The Wende is also inaugurating a notably adventurous music program this fall. Maybe the takeaway is that all ages and cultures have an Other, and the Wende is L.A.'s Museum of Otherness. Consider that the opposite of a selfie-museum; an invitation to contemplate ourselves through the most awesome filter of all—the lens of history.
|Installation view, "War of Nerves"|