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Can the LA River Be Something More Than a Concrete Trough?

[via playthelariver.com]

[via playthelariver.com]

The L.A. River has long been the butt of jokes, with many viewing it as little more than a dry, concrete-lined trough, but with renewed interest in the river as a natural site for recreation, and a $1 billion revitalization plan in the works, that is poised to change. Embodying this attitude is Play the LA River, a 51-week project organized by arts collective Project 51 that “invites Angelenos to enjoy, explore, reclaim & reimagine the mighty LA River as a grand civic space that can green & connect our communities.” It all kicked off on September 13 at the newly expanded Marsh Park, and continues until next September with almost a year’s worth of events, performances and activities located along the river’s 51-mile stretch. The calendar seems pretty thin now, but perhaps it will get filled in as the program gets rolling.

Play the LA River card [via playthelariver.com]
Play the LA River card [via playthelariver.com]

A central part of the project is a card deck featuring 56 sites along the river with suggested activities to do there. They come as a physical deck or can be viewed on a computer or smart phone on their mobile-friendly site, though when we tried it on an iPhone 5, navigating was a bit clunky. Some of the activities could be more well thought-out (a “rain dance” at Water Reclamation Park, really?), but the cards do a good job of identifying the many different kinds of sites and the types of adjacent paths (pedestrian, bike, and horse), as well as providing a bit of history.

Play the LA River sites [via playthelariver.com]
Play the LA River sites [via playthelariver.com]

As for how the arts relate to river revitalization, Cathy Gudis, one of the project organizers, recently told KPCC: “”The arts have had a longstanding role in drawing public attention to the fact that, one, we have a river and, two, that it is a river.” She sites Frank Romero’s Anza Mural, which is just one of a number of artistic interventions that have helped to define the river as vibrant, communal space, open to all and full of possibility. Whether or not you’re a fan of the card deck’s gamification of river exploration, it’s hard to argue that a year-long program drawing attention to one of L.A.’s greatest natural resources is not worthwhile and long overdue.

 

 

Sexy Beast Gala Enlists Art to Benefit Planned Parenthood

SexyBeast_napkin

The art world is often portrayed, rightly or wrongly, as being insular and self-absorbed, cut-off from the everyday concerns of real people in the real world. In contrast to this detached stereotype is Sexy Beast, an upcoming benefit and auction that aims to harness the power of the artistic community for a specific cause. All proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, which is especially timely given the multiple upcoming threats to reproductive choice across the country.

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Stay/Go), 2007, pigment prints, 74 x 100 inches, ed. of 10 [via paddle8.com/auctions/plannedparenthood]
Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Stay/Go), 2007, pigment prints, 74 x 100 in, ed. of 10 [via paddle8.com/auctions/plannedparenthood]
Alex Olson, Untitled, 2014, Oil and modeling paste on linen, 24 x 18 in [via paddle8.com/auctions/plannedparenthood]
Alex Olson, Untitled, 2014, Oil and modeling paste on linen, 24 x 18 in [via paddle8.com/auctions/plannedparenthood]

 

“It feels really good to use our commercial chops for another means, and for something that is outside of the art world and effects change in a daily and quantifiable way,” said Mieke Marple via email, who, along with her Night Gallery co-partner Davida Nemeroff, are Sexy Beast event chairs. “Davida and I actually approached Planned Parenthood Los Angeles about doing an art auction fundraiser,” she explained. “Without knowing us or knowing anything about the gallery, PPLA was very receptive to our idea.  After that, we assembled a great planning committee, since we didn’t really know what we were doing, and then a great production team, who is making this ambitious event possible.  Lastly, we got an amazing group of emerging and established artists to donate significant pieces that don’t feel like ‘charity art.’”

Sexy Beast Auction Paddles designed by Alex Israel [via Night Gallery's Instagram]
Sexy Beast Auction Paddles designed by Alex Israel [via Night Gallery’s Instagram]

Some of those artists include Sam Falls, Barbara Kruger, Christopher Williams, Joe Reihsen, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Alex Olson and Andrea Bowers, among others. In addition to the auction, there will be a performance by indefatigable choreographer / dancer Ryan Heffington, and an award presented to actress / comedian Jenny Slate. If that’s not enough, the auction paddles are designed by Alex Israel, and the whole event will be hosted by funnyman Jack Black. Single tickets cost $550, but if you can get a group of 6 or more friends together, the price drops to $467 each. This may be steep for some, but if there’s going to be a gala art event you can’t afford to go to, shouldn’t it benefit a good cause?

Sexy Beast will be held from 7-10pm, on Saturday September 20 at the Ace Hotel Theatre, 929 S. Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles.

 

 

Daniel Rolnik Gallery brings Positive Vibes, Wizards to Santa Monica

Daniel Rolnik  - can he become the World's Most Adorable Dealer? [via danielrolnik.com]

Daniel Rolnik – can he become the World’s Most Adorable Dealer? [via danielrolnik.com]

Daniel Rolnik, who calls himself “The World’s Most Adorable Art Critic,” will open his eponymous gallery in Santa Monica on Sept. 18 with its inaugural exhibition, Smile Isle. In addition to contributing to dozens of publications, the 25-year old impresario co-owns Intellectual Property Prints, runs Youtube channel For the Funk of It, and writes for artist interview series Underpainting. We reached him by phone and asked him about his motivations for starting a gallery, what his program will look like, and what visitors can expect.

“I wanted to create a space where the quality isn’t sacrificed by having a lower price point,” Rolnik explained. “So to do that, any piece in the show that is like a very expensive painting, is paired with a print of the same piece or something similar, so that there is an access point for everybody.”

“I feel like Napster in a weird way,” he went on, referencing the early-aughts file-sharing service, hailed by many (especially Metallica) as the beginning of the end of the music industry as we knew it, “cause they unveiled that music can be free. I’m unveiling fine art that can be accessible.” Unlike Napster’s Sean Fanning, however, Rolnik assured us that all his artists will be paid.

As for his program, “it’s gonna be really, really, really fun and about positive vibes and having fun and making people smile,” Rolnik gleefully announced, echoing no art dealer ever. It will focus on art from “the Americas. North and South, I have this love for America, I don’t know why, I think it’s cause I’m half first generation…it’s still the Wild West out here which I love, I’m gonna have a lot of Wild West-themed things.”

Graham Curran, Cargo, 36 x 24 inches, acrylic on wood, 2013 [via danielrolnikgallery.com]
Graham Curran, Cargo, 36 x 24 inches, acrylic on wood, 2013, on view in Smile Isle [via danielrolnikgallery.com]

Rolnik’s gallery follows in the footsteps of other critic-run spaces like Matt Gleason’s Coagula Curatorial, located across town in L.A.’s Chinatown. As with dealers who moonlight as museum directors, there is the potential here for a conflict of interest when the line is blurred between arbiters of taste, and those who benefit financially from their pronouncements. Rolnik dismisses these concerns, saying “that’s only with shady people, I’ve surrounded myself with good people.”

He’ll begin the space with a three-month stint, noting “if it’s going grand and smooth we’re gonna keep the train rollin’, even taking it on the road.” In a couple of weeks, he plans a visit from artist and “magician/warlock” Gabriel Shaffer, who will perform a drought-ending ceremony in the space. “It’s always cool to have wizards on your side,” Rolnik exclaims, with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of an 8-year old.

The Daniel Rolnik Gallery will open with Smile Isle on Thursday, September 18th from 6-10pm. It is located at 1431 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401.

 

 

Step and Repeat brings Performance Back to MOCA

Dynasty Handbag, photo by Ian Douglas [via http://mocastepandrepeat.tumblr.com/]
Dynasty Handbag, photo by Ian Douglas [via mocastepandrepeat.tumblr.com]

This Saturday, L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art kicks off Step and Repeat, a month of Saturday evenings full of “performance art, music, comedy, and poetry that marks MOCA’s return to live arts programming,” as their Tumblr states. Performers will come from all over the country, with a special attention paid to “the burgeoning performance communities in Los Angeles.”

This first weekend has something for everyone, from poets Rae Armantrout and Vanessa Place, the first poet to perform at a Whitney Biennial in 2012, to musicians including artist/DJ Ashland Mines, R&B revivalists Rare Times, Ille, founder of magazine and record label Pop Manifesto, producer and performer P. Morris, and SFV Acid, whose sound Pitchfork described as “acid house, boogie funk, and electro” and who recently wrote and recorded an album entirely at a San Fernando Valley Starbucks. Video and performance artist Ann Hirsch will be presenting “a staged reading of her censored e-book set in a late 1990s AOL chatroom,” while Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist Jacolby Satterwhite will bring his energetic and expansive performance to the stage. (You may remember him busting serious moves in Jay Z’s face while Lawrence Weiner looked on in the Picasso Baby video.) Rounding out the list is Dynasty Handbag, the stage name of musician, performance artist and hilarious crazy-face maker Jibz Cameron.

Upcoming performers include artist and film-maker Wu Tsang, comic Kate Berlant, TV Carnage creator Derrick Beckles, legendary performance artist Barbara T. Smith, and indie rock god Steven Malkmus and the Jicks.

If you’re not from L.A. (or from the Westside) you may not be familiar with what “Step and Repeat” means. We asked MOCAtv creative director Emma Reeves who co-organized the program to explain: “Step and Repeat is a play on celebrity culture, as it refers to the process of stars parading in front of a wall of logos on a red carpet, being photographed and doing interviews one after another. The title also works well in conjunction with different types of performance, such as the rhythm of language of the poets, the movement-based performance of Jacolby Satterwhite and the DJs. It can be thought of as a ‘beat’ and this series is listening and responding to the beat of vital creative performers in LA and beyond.”

Under former director Jeffrey Deitch’s tenure, MOCA had been criticized by some for prioritizing entertainment over art. However, Step and Repeat seems like it just might be able to combine the best of both worlds – highlighting the role of performance in contemporary art, while acknowledging the potential for convergence between various modes of performance.

Step and Repeat runs from 6-11pm Saturdays through October 4th. Get tickets here.

My LA2050: Crowdsourcing for the greater good (and the bottom line)

[via la2050.org/]

[via la2050.org]

It used to be that the moneyed classes would dispense their endowments with scant input from the hoi polloi. The latest trend in philanthropy, however, is asking the public to vote on who is most deserving from amongst a group of competing applicants. First there was the Hammer Museum’s $25,000 Public Recognition Award, which was donated by the Mohn Family Foundation and went to Jennifer Moon this year, and now comes the million-dollar My LA2050 grant challenge.

Created by the Goldhirsh Foundation, My LA2050 began last year as “an initiative to create a shared vision for the future of Los Angeles.” They gave out $100,000 each to ten organizations, based on their ability to contribute to the future of LA along eight metrics, from education to housing to arts & cultural vitality. They received 279 submissions and over 70,000 people voted, however the results were not purely populist. Ultimately the Foundation itself selected the winners from among the top ten vote recipients in each category. Two “Wild Card” slots were picked solely by the Foundation. The Arts award was given to the Hammer Museum, an undoubtedly worthy institution, but not exactly a struggling arts non-profit.

This year they’ve switched things up a bit, with two $100,000 awards given in each of five categories: Play, Connect, Live, Create, and Learn. One winner from each category will be selected based on public votes, while the other will be picked by a panel of judges. There are 63 projects in the Create category including a muralist apprentice program for at risk youth, a mobile opera that takes place in cars, and arts and music studio L.A. Fort, not to be confused with FORT, a community workshop that makes functional goods out of reclaimed materials. (Full disclosure: The Los Angeles Review of Books, which I am Arts Editor of, is also in the running.)

Voting began September 2nd and runs through next Tuesday, September 16th. The only catch is that you need to create a GOOD account in order to vote, GOOD being the Upworthy-esque magazine founded by Ben Goldhirsh of the Goldhirsh Foundation. GOOD’s consulting branch, GOOD/Corps, combines philanthropy with corporate branding,  working on the Pepsi Refresh Project, “an innovative attempt both to strengthen the Pepsi brand for meaning-seeking millennials and to benefit communities across America,” as well as Vote. Give. Grow, “an online platform to deepen customer loyalty by creating opportunities for My Starbucks Rewards member to help direct Starbucks Foundation grants to local nonprofits.” Donating generously to bolster arts, education and social services is never a bad thing, but it’s important to consider who’s giving the money, why they’re giving it, and what sort of corporate interests are being served.

 

 

Art Apps: LACMA’s Snapchat and Miranda July’s Somebody

via LACMA's snapchat

via LACMA’s snapchat

via LACMA's snapchat

via LACMA’s snapchat

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art made cyber-news recently when Hyperallergic announced that they were the first museum to join Snapchat. A handful of other museums chimed in that they were also using the mobile image-sharing app popular with millennials, however with 40,000 Snapchat views, LACMA is clearly “killing it,” as LAist noted.

Since images or videos sent to other users disappear immediately after viewing, Snapchat has become associated, perhaps unfairly, with content that demands discretion (dick pics in common parlance). Users can, however, post “stories” that remain viewable for 24 hours, which is how most art institutions are using the app.

“The majority of people don’t use it as a sex app,” says Maritza Yoes, LACMA’s social media manager. “They’re using it as a platform for play, from the mundane to the cool. It’s a little less narcissistic than Instagram, it’s ephemeral, it’s quick.” In addition to sharing artwork from LACMA’s collection that she pairs with captions from pop culture, Yoes uses Snapchat to share content not available on other platforms, such as images of her visits to artists’ studios. There is also a new LACMA geofilter with which users can tag their museum snaps to properly brand their experience.

via the Blanton Museum's snapchat

via the Blanton Museum’s snapchat

via the Blanton Museum's snapchat

via the Blanton Museum’s snapchat

The Blanton Museum in Austin has followed LACMA’s lead, captioning old masterworks from their collection with lyrics from pop music, including Beyonce and, unfortunately, LMFAO.

 

Miranda July's Somebody [via http://unframed.lacma.org/node/1424]
Miranda July’s Somebody [via http://unframed.lacma.org/node/1424]

If you’re looking for a more analog way to communicate via smartphone, Miranda July has just released Somebody, a messaging app she created in collaboration with fashion brand Miu Miu. The basic gist is that you send a message to a friend, which, instead of showing up on their phone, is delivered in person by another app user in their general vicinity. You can specify inflections or actions such as “longingly,” “fist bump” or “ask her what she’s worried about and reassure her that everything will be OK.” A short film (with Miu Miu wardrobe) produced in conjunction with the app is equal parts sincere and cringe-worthy, so typical July fare.

LACMA's social media manager Maritza Yoes with Somebody sandwich board

LACMA’s social media manager Maritza Yoes with Somebody sandwich board

The app works best with a critical mass of users in one place, so official hot spots have been designated, including LACMA, the New Museum and the Museo Jumex in Mexico City. To promote the hot spot, Yoes recently spent a day walking around the LACMA grounds sporting seriously old-school messaging technology – a sandwich board.

It’s unclear if the hot spots will actually enhance the social aspects of museum-going, or if users will simply race past great works of art in attempts to deliver quirky messages to strangers. Concerns have also been raised regarding privacy issues, since the deliverer of the message is given GPS tracking information about the recipient to help locate them. This seems fine in a public space during the day, not so much if the message is delivered when one is home alone at night. Even less so if the message involves pooping back and forth forever.

Deborah Sussman, Iconic Designer of Supergraphics, Dies at 83

Deborah Sussman [photo: Lauren Joliet for the New York Times]

Deborah Sussman [photo: Lauren Joliet for the New York Times]

The design world lost one of its leading lights on Monday August 18th when Deborah Sussman passed away at her Los Angeles home. She was 83. The cause was breast cancer, according to her husband and partner Paul Prejza.

Sussman was a pioneer in the field of environmental graphics – often called supergraphics – that leapt off the page and onto architecture. Her brightly colored “designs could turn buildings into urban events,” noted Joseph Giovannini in the obituary he penned for the New York Times. The urban event that garnered her wide recognition was the system of graphic signage that her firm designed in collaboration with Jerde Partnership for the 1984 Olympics set in Los Angeles. “With intensely colored banners, bunting, kiosks, streamers and graphic confetti, like free-standing stars,” writes Giovannini, “the designers created an instant landscape on light poles, lawns and sidewalks that gave pockets of the city the air of a carnival.” The colors she chose reflected the panoply of cultures represented in L.A. — magenta, yellow and vermillion from Mexico, saffron from Asia, and aqua “representing the Mediterranean spiritual climate of Los Angeles,” as she said in a 1986 L.A. Times interview. Although her Olympic designs were not universally lauded at the time, Frank Gehry, who collaborated with Sussman in the 1960s, praised their impact. “That’s what the Olympics were about — to put Los Angeles at the center of attention,” he told the L.A. Times. “Deborah put that into a visual.”

Deborah Sussman's designs for the 1984 LA Olympics.
Deborah Sussman’s designs for the 1984 L.A. Olympics.

Before founding her own design practice in 1968, Sussman got her start working for Charles and Ray Eames from 1961-67. She marred Mr. Prejza, an architect in 1972, and started a firm with him, Sussman/Prejza in 1980. In addition to designing corporate identities for clients like Apple and Southern California Gas, she contributed graphics for the traffic systems at Disney World and created visual identities for the City of Santa Monica and Culver City, where she had a studio. In 2012, she designed signage for L.A.’s newly opened Grand Park featuring 16-foot tall posts that said “the park for all” in 26 languages.

Sussman’s work was recently included in California’s Designing Women at the Autry Museum and her Olympic Designs were prominently featured in Overdrive at the Getty. Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles, an exhibition focusing on her work from 1953 to 1984, was held at the Wuho Gallery at the end of last year. In his review of that show, the Los Angeles Times’ Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne pinpoints what made her such a pivotal figure in Los Angeles’ design landscape: her expansive vision of design, and the longevity of her contributions: “Sussman’s work, in that sense, provided a bridge between two definitions of graphic design — one about text and the other about the city — as well as between two eras in L.A. design history.”

For a better look at just a fraction of her work, visit Curbed L.A.

 

 

The Duck Has Landed

The Rubber Ducks floats into LA [Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times]

The Rubber Duck floats into LA [Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times]

After touring the world’s waterways for the past seven years, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck has finally arrived in California, pulling into the Port of Los Angeles on Wednesday. There it sits alongside battleships and other vessels, anchored to a barge and illuminated until 11pm each night, as part of the Tall Ships Festival LA. Although the oversized bathtub toy has previously visited Pittsburgh and Norfolk, VA, this marks its West Coast debut.

Originally created by Hofman in 2007, various versions of the sculpture ranging from 16 – 59 feet high (LA’s tops them all at 61 feet!) have graced the ports of Australia, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, Belgium, Brazil, Japan, and elsewhere as a kind of goodwill art ambassador. According to the artist’s website, “the Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation.”

Despite the Duck’s unifying lack of meaning or purpose, it has had its fair share of controversy. In 2009, when it was stationed in the Belgian city of Hasselt, locals stabbed it 42 times. Last summer its Hong Kong visit coincided with the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, inspiring a mashup of the iconic “Tank Man” image with a row of feel-good rubber ducks. Chinese sensors promptly added “big yellow duck” to their list of banned words on social media platform Weibo, alongside “June 4” and “Tiananmen Square.” Earlier in its Hong Kong stay, the Duck proved so popular that Chinese knock-offs popped up online and unscrupulous realtors began placing unauthorized replicas in front of their properties. Even Mother Nature unleashed her wrath on the inoffensive inflatable, deflating the Duck twice – in Hong Kong it was blamed on a storm, while eagles were the likely culprits in Taiwan. Earlier this summer while stationed in China, heavy flooding swept the 1-ton floater down the Nanming River, never to be seen again.

Barring similar acts of God, the Duck will be on view through Sunday. Tickets are $15-$19.

Micro-Museum, Potters, and Revolutionary Artist win Made in L.A. 2014 Mohn Awards

Los Angeles Museum of Art at the Hammer Museum [via latimes.com]

Los Angeles Museum of Art at the Hammer Museum [via latimes.com]

The votes are in and the recipients of the Made in L.A. 2014 Mohn Awards have been announced! Three awards were presented in conjunction with the Hammer Museum’s L.A. biennial, all funded by philanthropists and collectors Jarl and Pamela Mohn: the $100,000 Mohn Award chosen by a jury; the $25,000 Career Achievement Award, also picked by a jury; and the $25,000 Public Recognition Award chosen solely by votes from the public. This year there were 6,604 votes, more than tripling the amount cast in 2012.

The big prize was awarded to Alice Könitz and her Los Angeles Museum of Art, described as “a micro-gallery and art installation” by the Los Angeles Times. The size of a large closet, it had lived outside of the artist’s Eagle Rock studio before being brought to the museum. Könitz exhibits the work of other artists through this experimental venue, which “represents a significant trend among artists in Los Angeles and beyond that bucks an increasingly market-driven art world in favor of collaborative, critically engaged work,” according to the press release. LAMOA was just one of a number of collectives or collaborative projects featured in the biennial this year, alongside KChung, Public Fiction and James Kidd Studio.

 

Magdalena Suarez Frimkess and Michael Frimkess, Throwing Standing-Up Teapot c. 1972, Glazed stoneware. 8 x 8 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Joshua White. [via hammer.ucla.edu]
Magdalena Suarez Frimkess and Michael Frimkess, Throwing Standing-Up Teapot
c. 1972, Glazed stoneware. 8 x 8 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Joshua White. [via hammer.ucla.edu]

The Career Achievement Award “honoring brilliance and resilience” was given to Magdalena Suarez Frimkess and Michael Frimkess, a couple who have been making imaginative art pottery together for over fifty years. He throws the pots and she paints them, with the resulting vessels drawing on influences as disparate as Greek vases and comic strips. Their inclusion in the exhibition was part of the Hammer’s attempt to highlight the work of under-recognized artists, in the same way that 2012’s Made in L.A. refocused attention on the late serial geometric artist Channa Horwitz.

Jennifer Moon, There Is Nothing Left but Freedom, detail of You Can Kill My Body, but You Can’t Kill My Soul, 2013, Photograph. 56 x 53 ¾ in. Courtesy of Transmission Gallery, Glasgow. [via hammer.ucla.edu]
Jennifer Moon, There Is Nothing Left but Freedom, detail of You Can Kill My Body, but You Can’t Kill My Soul, 2013, Photograph. 56 x 53 ¾ in. Courtesy of Transmission Gallery, Glasgow. [via hammer.ucla.edu]

Jennifer Moon was “the hands-down crowd favorite,” according to Hammer director Annie Philbin, securing her the Public Recognition Award from among the 35 participating artists. Moon’s autobiographical sculpture, photography and text-based work blend elements of fantasy and revolutionary ideology with a deadpan sense of humor. Take for instance, her photo “You can kill my body, but you can’t kill my soul” which features Moon emulating the famous image of Black Panther Huey Newton seated in a peacock chair. Her dog Mr. Snuggles sits at her feet, wearing a matching red beret. In “The Book of Eros,” a massive tome resembling something from “The Hobbit,” Moon chronicles every person she’s been romantically or physically entangled with since 1993. It is this mix of the personal and political, presented as an engrossing narrative, that proved so appealing to the public. Or perhaps as Moon told the L.A. Times, “the fact that the public engaged with my work might mean that they are actually ready for revolution.”

 

Baldessari, McCarthy on View at France’s Oldest Mint

John Baldessari, Your Name in Lights [via http://www.monnaiedeparis.fr/]
John Baldessari, Your Name in Lights [via the Monnaie de Paris]

When the oldest institution in France, the Monnaie de Paris, re-opens next month as a center dedicated to culture and commerce, it will showcase work by two of contemporary art’s biggest names. They are not Parisians, however, but Angelenos.

John Baldessari’s Your Name in Lights will inaugurate the space, running for a month beginning on September 13. Thousands of people will receive their 15 seconds of fame when their illuminated names are displayed on the 18th century building’s façade. The artist has put out an open call, and organizers expect 100,000 participants.

Paul McCarthy, Santa with Tree. Photograph: Svetlana Bachevanova, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Hauser & Wirth [via Claudine Colin Communication]
Paul McCarthy, Santa with Tree. Photograph: Svetlana Bachevanova, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Hauser & Wirth [via Claudine Colin Communication]

The Monnaie was founded in 864 to mint coins, so it is fitting that Paul McCarthy’s sprawling Chocolate Factory installation pays homage to this commercial legacy. From October 25th to January 4th, visitors will be greeted by an actual chocolate workshop staffed by confectioners. They will be churning out chocolate sculptures of Santa Claus and a Christmas Tree that bears a striking resemblance to a sex toy. For those who have always dreamed of owning a McCarthy but have lacked the means, “the consumable and perishable artworks produced by “Chocolate Factory” are available for purchase there and then, in unlimited quantities,” according to the press release. (Unlimited quantities, people!) Hopefully R. Kelly will be providing the soundtrack.

Beyond the main hall, a series of salons have been transformed into McCarthy’s “own personal dreamworld.” The artist’s bed will also be on site for the duration of show, giving Tracey Emin a run for her money.