Photo Essays

It Was Donut O’Clock at Christian Marclay’s LA Screening

Donut with a side of art, please. (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

LOS ANGELES — It’s no secret that food is a no-fail come-on for an art opening. Food and drinks = sated audience ready to indulge the higher rungs of their hierarchy of needs.

Last weekend, Los Angeles-based For Your Art hit on Los Angeles’ sweet spot with a 24-hour pop-up shop serving donuts from all around the city. The pop-up shop ran alongside the 24-hour screening of Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) across the street. In response to our query over Twitter, For Your Art told us they handed out 2,700 donuts during the 24-hour period.

A discreet sign that donuts are available inside at 6020 Wilshire Boulevard. (click to enlarge)

Though not quite intricately tied to the LACMA screening (donut-hungry visitors don’t necessarily have to see the Marclay screening to score their fried dough ring), ForYourArt’s tasty affair did tickle Los Angeles taste buds of all ages. While at the pop-up, I saw middle-aged couples, full-fledged families with their kids in tow and, of course, the well-heeled art patrons all in attendance.

There was no huge sign with the words “free donuts for art” outside, but Kenny Scharf’s green, glittery “Carzy Roy Al” golf cart parked on the pavement was enough of a clue for those truly in the know. Inside For Your Art’s commandeered space at 6020 Wilshire Boulevard, there was the sought-after donut table bearing the donut of the hour. A new flavor was introduced after two hours, so attendants would be wise to hang out to get their fill.

While waiting for the changing of the doughy treat, tables with crayons and uncolored photocopies of donuts let you design your dream donut dessert. Some took liberties and added sprinkles. Others, simply slathered on a plethora of color, relishing the excuse to play with crayons. At the back, art events around town flashed along with the latest news from For Your Art.

The whole event had a kiddie party feel to it, makeshift décor, bright balloons, Kenny Scharf donut pins and all. It transformed everyone inside into a little kid again as well. As a sweet introduction to Los Angeles, it did not disappoint. It even provided helpful little pamphlets imprinted with LA donut shops around the 80-square mile-ish city. I did however miss any connection with the Marclay screening, except perhaps for the contemplation of time (i.e. when’s the new donut flavor going to come?) I doubt if everyone made it to “The Clock” screening, but perhaps they found themselves wandering inside the neighboring galleries lined up on both sides of  6020 Wilshire. That, at least, counts for something.

Kenny Scharf donut pins on giveaway.
The donut of the hour is the glazed coconut donut from La Puente’s Donut Hole.
Please, just one donut per person. I didn’t see any return customers, so I believe this honor system actually worked.
Visitor-generated artwork on display.
Contemplating donut time.
Everywhere, there are reminders of sweet temptations.
Communal tables are the perfect place to strike up a conversation on donuts, Los Angeles, and perhaps art.
Planning their next move with ForYourArt’s handy guide.

Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” was screened at LACMA (5905 Wilshire Blvd, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles) from Saturday, March 24 at noon until Sunday, March 25 at noon.

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