Museum roundupThe Arts Thursday, January 30th, 2014
It’s been a while since I have provided you with a survey of the many diverse exhibitions on show around town. Since it is exhibition turnaround season I thought I would take this opportunity to let you know about what is coming and what is going.
Women, War and Industry will be wrapping up its run Feb. 18. The well-regarded exhibition examines the myriad ways in which women have been represented in relation to war and industry in modern and contemporary art created in the United States. During the twentieth century, both the advent of war and increased industrialization led to major changes in the lives of women: their roles in their families, the way in which they dress, and the manner in which they are perceived in the public sphere. Bringing together work created in diverse media, this exhibition examines the iconic, historical and fictional ways in which women have been represented in relation to the complicated and related factors of war and industry.
On the Beach opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jan. 31. Given San Diego’s Pacific location and the museum’s prime real estate overlooking La Jolla Cove the exhibition seems a no brainer for our city. The works in this show portray beaches as sites of social and cultural interaction. They also explore the presence of conflict in paradise. The innocent sounding term On the Beach is the title of a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Nevil Shute and the name of one of Neil Young’s bleakest albums. In military parlance, the phrase means “retired from active duty.” In San Diego, our paradise, beachgoers must contend with jet planes, nuclear power plants, military bases and an intimidating border fence. These images complicate the utopian nature of the beach, and suggest that this is a public space that consists of much more than sand, sun and surf.
Finally, Prix Pictet opens at the Museum of Photographic Arts Feb. 1. The annual juried prize uses photography as an instrument to shed light on important social and environmental issues. Each year it selects one theme on which to focus. The first three themes were Water, Earth and Growth. Now in its 4th installment, Prix Pictet has selected Power as the subject of this year’s exhibition. MOPA will have 56 images on display from the final short-listed 12 artists.
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