October 3, 2006 - Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - Conversations Los Angeles Leiden: Nature and the City
October 3, 2006

Conversations Los Angeles Leiden: Nature and the City

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES

Michael C. McMillen installs Crocodelephant for the Conversations exhibition in Leiden, the Netherlands.
Photo by Todd Sali
Conversations Los Angeles Leiden: Nature and the City
features original works by Los Angeles Artists Paul McCarthy with Raivo Puusemp, Ed Moses, Michael C. McMillen, John Outterbridge and Jon Hassell inspired by renowned collection at the Naturalis in the Netherlands

For more information on the exhibition, visit the Conversations Los Angeles Leiden: Nature and the City link at www.nhm.org

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County travels its new exhibition model to Leiden, the Netherlands, with a presentation featuring the work of four Los Angeles-based visual artists and one musician who have immersed themselves in the collections of the Naturalis, the national natural history museum of the Netherlands. Conversations Los Angeles Leiden: Nature and the City, on view through December 2006 at the Naturalis, is an international iteration of the acclaimed Los Angeles exhibitions Conversations: Collections, Artists, Curators (February-June, 2005) and Sonic Scenery: Music for Collections (February-August, 2006), which integrated artists perspectives into the presentation of artifacts and scientific ideas. The unconventional installations in Los Angeles and in Leiden promote new ways for visitors to experience natural and cultural history collections.

Artists Paul McCarthy with Raivo Puusemp, Michael C. McMillen, Ed Moses, John Outterbridge and composer Jon Hassell worked with Naturalis curators to create installations that address the theme nature and the city. Employing the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Countys multi-sensory exhibition model called See/Hear, Conversations Los Angeles Leiden:Nature and the City offers visitors a new perspective on objects and specimens that may be familiar to them from other, more traditional display contexts. Using specimens such as the Nile crocodile, the black-tailed godwit, the harbor porpoise and the African elephant, the artists created an innovative pairing of science and art to help visitors reach a deeper understanding of the natural world.

Fostering a synergy of ideas and resources between the two museums, Conversations Los Angeles Leiden: Nature and the City is the first undertaking in a larger ongoing collaboration between The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Naturalis to explore a new language for exhibition using the See/Hear model, which will be utilized in the renovations of the permanent galleries of both museums.

Paul McCarthy, curating and working on a concept developed by Raivo Puusemp, buried a favorite sculpture of his own making on the grounds of the Naturalis. The resulting work, Burial, reverses the process of unearthing practiced by paleontologists and archaeologists. McCarthys with Puusemps work was performed on the day of the exhibition opening and documented on film for display in the exhibition. The buried sculpture resides underground as an artifact for future discovery.

With his installations Crocodelephant and The Flying Dutchman, Michael C. McMillen challenged the typical scientific approach to interpreting the living world. His inventive land and sea animals involve combining the head of a crocodile with the body of an elephant and rigging the skeletons of marine animals with handmade sails, as if they were a fleet of trading ships referencing the maritime history of the Netherlands.

Jon Hassells sound sculpture Magic Place (Naturalis) features digitally transposed recordings of Dutch wildlife and Javanese gamelan, harmonizing a layered interpretation of Dutch history and culture.
Catalog and Lithographs
Published by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Conversations Los Angeles Leiden: Nature and the City features statements from the artists and essays by the producers along with 81 full-color images. It also includes a DVD with a behind-the-scenes account of the exhibition, video coverage of Paul McCarthy with Raivo Puusemps Burial performance and audio of Jon Hassells composition. The catalogs are 56-page, limited edition, hardcover.

Signed, limited-edition lithograph prints created by the artists are also offered through the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. McCarthy, McMillen, Moses and Outterbridge produced one print each (edition of 40), which can be purchased individually or as a portfolio of four.

Please contact the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County at (213) 763-3418 or bsedor@nhm.org to order the catalog or prints.
Website
For more information on the exhibition, visit the Conversations Los Angeles Leiden: Nature and the City link at www.nhm.org
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Museum Admission and Hours
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is located at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles. It is open weekdays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. For more information, visit the museums website at www.nhm.org or call (213) 763-DINO.
About the Museum
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County serves more than one million families and visitors annually, and is a national leader in research, exhibitions and education. The Museum is L.A.s second oldest cultural institution, the first to open its doors to the public in 1913, and has amassed one of the worlds most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history more than 33 million objects, some as old as 500 million years.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES

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