John Baldessari’s Floating Head Makes Reporter Contemplate Moving to LA

Mr. Baldessari

The last video to promote Pacific Standard Time, a cluster of events in Southern California celebrating LA art, starred Ed Ruscha and Anthony Kiedis and it didn’t really go over so well (but hey, at least we know that Mr. Kiedis made the right decision when he didn’t go into art criticism as a profession). This new clip of Jason Schwartzman and John Baldessari actually makes us wish, for the first time really, that we were on the other coast. It begins with a voice offscreen asking a bearded Mr. Schwartzman, “Wanna go check out the museum?”

“Are you kidding me?” He responds. “Have a good night. I don’t like art.”

The floating head of John Baldessari (!) appears in the form of a video projection on the side of a building.

“Maybe there will be something there for you to take a look at,” he suggests to Mr. Schwartzman in a kind, fatherly voice.

Mr. Baldessari’s head proceeds to follow Mr. Schwartzman around Los Angeles at night, slowly breaking him down.

“Why are you just a big head?” Mr. Schwartzman asks.

“I prefer getting people disoriented,” Mr. Baldessari says.

Mr. Schwartzman, driven mad by the floating head, begins to rethink his thoughts about not liking art.

“Cubism is showing all the angles at one moment? That’s impossible.”

“You know, it’s not lukewarm stuff.”

“Art should be fun,” Mr. Baldessari concludes and Mr. Schwartzman walks into a museum.

Our colleague Andrew Russeth is braving the LA streets himself. Check out his great coverage of all the Southern California art events happening this week.

John Baldessari’s Floating Head Makes Reporter Contemplate Moving to LA