Apr. 04, 2017

April Letter from the Director

In the last year and a half, some of the most meaningful revelations I’ve had about the making of The Main have come through discussions with artists, visitors, colleagues, friends, and others whose work might seem tangential to what we do here. Marcos Lutyens, an artist from whom Beta Main has commissioned a new work, is someone who has informed my understanding of what the museum can be.

Marcos has been working with Richard Cytowic, a neuroscientist and renowned expert in synesthesia, to develop an artwork in the form of a minute-long survey. This work will help us understand our endeavor, and you play a central role in this effort.

I hope you take a moment to complete this survey quite unlike any other you’ve ever taken (this much I can assure you). You’ll be activating a new work and also helping us expand our ideas about what The Main can be. If you’re so inclined, you can try a second, quite different kind of survey that takes about 40 seconds following the first survey.

Allison Agsten
Director, The Main Museum

P.S. In the spirit of experimentation, we are leaving the survey results available for viewing. The story embedded within the results might be best told through physical objects, or perhaps they will take the shape of a performance or a talk. We will let the data shape the outcome, just like how the work of Beta Main will inform our larger project, The Main Museum, in ways that we can’t always imagine.

Jan. 23, 2017

January Letter from the Director

Dear Friends,

Last month, I received a call from the artist Edgar Arceneaux about his piece, Library of Black Lies, which was then on view at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. The exhibition was closing soon and Edgar very much wanted the work to be shown in Los Angeles, where he lives. Was there a way to squeeze it into the schedule at The Main soon, he asked? We had other plans, namely construction, but after hearing about the installation I knew we needed to reconsider.

Much has been written recently about Los Angeles as a land of many museums. It is indeed an incredible time to live and work here for that reason, among many others. I feel strongly that for this institution to deserve a place amongst the other esteemed institutions that call this city home, it must fulfill a need. In this case, we were able to uniquely pivot to bring in an important work at the last minute. Starting on February 4, Arceneaux’s timely installation, a literal library that challenges the narrative of American progress, will be on view in Beta Main. I hope you’ll come by to weave through the artist’s immersive labyrinth, lined with Mylar, glimmering with crystallized books, and to see for yourself what we stand for.

I’m also excited to let you know about our newest artist in residence, Lauren Halsey. I’ve been following (and admiring) her work for years and will admit that I was a little nervous when she left for a Studio Museum residency in 2014… what if she didn’t come back from New York? But she did indeed return to her hometown and she will set up shop here and work on a show for The Main. Star Montana is in residence too and she is also working on an exhibition. Star’s photography show—portraiture of people in LA—will be accompanied by an investigation of experimental museum seating by Alice Könitz. Look for the Montana / Könitz pairing after Library of Black Lies.

So much more news coming your way soon. But for now, happy new year and we look forward to welcoming you to Library of Black Lies next month on Saturday, February 4th.

Allison Agsten
Director, The Main Museum

Oct. 20, 2016

Opening of Beta Main

You're invited to the opening of Beta Main and its inaugural project Performance Lessons: Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art.