Los Angeles architect Arshia Mahmoodi, founder of the firm VOID, has launched an online petition to try to help save the troubled exhibition, A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture in Southern California at MOCA. The show, scheduled for a June 2nd opening, is currently in a holding pattern, and its curator Christopher Mount told AN he feared it would be cancelled. Mount blames mismanagement at MOCA, while several news reports have pointed to general apprehension about the show, and the recent withdrawal of Frank Gehry. Mahmoodi released the petition—directed to MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch—yesterday.
“The cultural and educational significance of this exhibition certainly outweighs any hindrance surrounding it,” wrote Mahmoodi in the petition, which has been circulating in the local architecture community. Mahmoodi told AN she was inspired by Mount’s call, documented in the LA Times, for a “community uprising” to keep the exhibition alive. She added that she doesn’t want the petition to be “antagonistic or condemning in any form,” since there is still so much haziness around the situation.
“The show,” she wrote, “is quite possibly the most important exhibition among the many curated under the Pacific Standard Time umbrella, as it is to provide a front for the emergent architecture in Southern California rather than the familiar historical or subjective curatorial discourse.” The last pitch to Deitch: “We respectfully urge you to champion this mission to its resolution and ensure you that the support of the undersigned for this exhibition is unwavering.”
As of this posting the petition had 42 supporters. “It could act as a referendum of sorts to show the decision makers who and how many care about this,” Mahmoodi told AN.