"Science" PST to Feature Dioramas, Sci-Fi Sex & Jurassic Geometry

African Elephant Diorama, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

The Getty Foundation has announced $5.38 million in research grants for the upcoming Pacific Standard Time collaboration, to focus on art and science and open in 2024. Natural history institutions and universities will play a relatively prominent role, as will several spaces not yet open: the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and the Orange County Museum of Art's new Thom Mayne building. 

Sprawling thematic exhibitions are to include "Breath(e): Towards Climate and Social Justice" (Hammer); "Seeing for Yourself: The Art and Science of Visualizing Hidden Worlds" (Huntington); "Lumen: The Art & Science of Light" (Getty); "Cosmologies" and "Better Living through Science: The Home of the Future, 1920–1984" (LACMA).

Carolina Caycedo (Vincent Price Art Museum, East L.A. College) and Olafur Eliasson (MOCA) get single artist treatment. So does Joseph Beuys, in a way, for the Broad is bringing the artist's 7000 Oaks—an action that planted 7000 oak trees with basalt markers in Kassel, Germany—to Los Angeles. The Calfornia African American Museum is building an exhibition around George Washington Carver, who was a painter as well as a scientist and educator.

The Natural History Museum is building a show around its 63 wildlife dioramas, "The Creation of Wilderness: A Century of Dioramas at NHM." According to the museum, the dioramas' landscapes were created by an unheralded assortment of "accomplished plein air painters, Hollywood backdrop artists, and Imagineers." 

The Laguna Art Museum will explore quantum theory with "Particles and Waves: Southern California Abstraction and Modern Physics, 1945 to 1980." The Museum of Jurassic Technology takes on the geometric art of medieval Islam with "Intimations of the Infinite: Islamic Geometries of Medieval Al-Andalus" (which promises immersive environments).

Science fiction is a theme running though many of the offerings. There are surveys of cyberpunk (Academy Museum), Indigenous futurism (Autry), and LGBTQ sci-fi fandom (ONE Archives, USC). The latter, "Sexual Science and the Imagi-nation," is one of at least two shows touting the science of sex, and is not to be confused with "Scientia Sexualis" at the Institute of Contemporary Art. 

And here's something you don't see everyday: an exhibition on invisibility. The Skirball Cultural Center is planning "Invisibility: Powers and Perils."

Wendy Red Star, Stirs Up the Dust, 2011. Autry Museum. (c) Wendy Red Star


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