Deriving its title from D.A. Pennebaker’s brilliant 1967 documentary about Bob Dylan’s attempt to control his work in the face of the new spectacle culture, Don’t Look Back: The 1990s at MOCA is the gallery’s latest exhibition that plots the decade’s key concerns and transformations.
Organised by MOCA’s Chief Curator, Helen Molesworth, the exhibition features work for MOCA’s permanent collection made during the 1990s.
Whilst the 1980s were shaped by the advent of identity politics, the 1990s witnessed the rise of the internet, the end of the Cold War, the election of Bill Clinton and the rise of the LGBTQ civil rights movement. The art world saw an increased interest in artists from around the globe, the rise of international biennials, the growing consensus that Los Angeles was a centre for contemporary art as well as the rise of installation art as an increasingly dominant mode of art making and the emergence of MOCA as one of the preeminent museums of post-World War II art in the world.
Don’t Look Back: The 1990s at MOCA features work by Catherine Opie, Cady Noland, Sarah Sze and Paul McCarthy. Divided into six thematically grouped sections, titled: Installation; The Outmoded; Noir America; Place and Identity; Touch, Intimacy and Queerness; and Space, Place and Scale, the exhibition explores the complexities of the period.