tiny trip: LA for Quay

by Tanya

Earlier this week, J. and I took a teeny tiny adventure to LA metro, just for one day.

it’s really bright at the top of Getty Center

We got in Tuesday morning and first headed to the Getty Center for a delicious lunch (grilled Barramundi on a bed of kale and mashed squash), followed by a thorough visit to the exhibit of Medieval illuminated gospels, some of which date as far back as 900 AD. The Armenian books were the most breathtaking, with lots of carefully applied gold leaf and intricate calligraphy and scrollwork.

After taking a break in our hotel room we drove over to Sony Picture Studios to attend a screening of the most recent film directed by the Brothers Quay, “Through the Weeping Glass,” hosted by the Museum of Jurassic Technology and screened at the Cary Grant Theater. The half-hour film provides a mesmerizing visit to Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum, part visual poetry, part documentary. Following the screening, Stephen and Timothy Quay discussed their work and answered some audience questions.

As an aside, I have to wonder: why do people have to ask the most inane questions? Or even worse, they don’t ask questions but rather attempt to involve the artist in some sort of pointless, pedantic discussion of one tiny needling detail, masking it as a question. “Oh I noticed this one thing you did, which is like this other thing, and was your intention to blah blah blah?” That’s not a question. You are just showing off. People…

After the moderated discussion we were shown a short behind the scenes film shot in digital b&w, tracking the process of the making of the documentary. While I enjoyed the actual film, I actually found the behind the scenes look even more interesting. It was fascinating to see the artistic process and the techniques used. The Museum is really small, with narrow exhibit spaces and not much room to maneuver. There were some great uses of two way mirrors, scrims and cut-out panels that cast shadows, and some stop motion. Weeping Glass was made on a shoestring budget, but it does have Derek Jacobi (!) as the narrator. All in all, it was a worthwhile event. J. and I also chatted with two women, a photographer and an art dealer who drove from Santa Barbara, and it was nice that the screening also had such a big turn out to support the Quays.

After the event, we drove to Canter’s where we ate kugel and eggplant parmesan and pickles (well, I ate the pickles because I love them so much). And then the following morning, we headed home. Tiny adventure = great success!

Oh, the Sony Pictures lot has a great mural for Cary Grant and Irene Dunne’s “The Awful Truth,” which is one of my favorite old comedies: