The Annenberg Space For Photography

Exhibit: Extreme Exposure, Michael Nichols
The Annenberg Space For Photography
2000 Avenue of the Stars #10
Los Angeles, CA 90067
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Type: Indoors
Category: Rainy Day, Day after Sunburn
Company: Everyone
Cost: Free! Parking ranges from $1.00-$3.50 depending on the day/time

Quickie: It only takes about an hour to walk through the entire exhibit AND watch the show - so even the most impatient adults/children/boyfriends will be able to handle this "museum" (shhh) - and absolutely love it.

OTC Tip: Save this activity for a rainy day when you want something a little more engaging and enlightening than the movies or the mall.

They say the best things in life are free, which means in the LA exchange rate you have to pay a buck or two (in this case, for parking). Don't feel bad if the free lunch that just walked up to your plate nags at your curiosity (what's your angle, Annenberg?), especially since you will find yourself so impressed with the (FREE) experience that you won't be able to stop telling everyone you know to go and see for themselves.

Sparing you the Google search, Annenberg was a well-known tycoon, ambassador, and philanthropist. Over his lifetime, Annenberg gave away an estimated half his worth (a number that straddles a handful of billions) to various causes ranging from university groups and orchestras, to community beach houses and museums.

While this explains most of the circumstantial existence, it doesn't quite uncover Annenberg's motivation (I'm sure there are entire books and college psych lectures on this very topic): but don’t waste your mind or energy on thoughts of money and semantics - all you need to know about the Annenberg Space for Photography is that admission is free, it’s open most of the time (unless between shows) and it's one of the most thought/feeling provoking things you can do in LA - so - soak it up.

Extreme Exposure, Donna & Stephen James O'Meara
Rotating every 4-6 months, The Annenberg Space for Photography showcases themed digital and print photography displays accompanied by video reels of the works via "state of the art" visual technology. This "museum," if you will, is literally dedicated toward the betterment of the Los Angelean people by aiming to instigate the "spark" that encourages visitors to believe that they can "be the change they see in the world" (Gandhi).

When I visited back in March, the exhibit was "Extreme Exposure," a highlight of five "extreme photographers" known for braving the most impossible elements to "capture the shot" (example: Clyde Butcher has had malaria 25 times, and Paul Nicklen scuba dives in -40 degree F waters). Despite being of the feather that likes to "get in and get out" of museums, I found myself so enthralled by the quality and magnitude of each photograph, not only did I spend considerable time in front of each photograph reading its description and photographer back-story, but I also sat through the entire video (and I never "just sit").

The next show debuts this weekend (5/21), and even though it sounds stereotypical LA (as it's called "Beauty CULTure"), feel comforted that the collection is much more Warholian in perspective than ENews groupie. Based on the website previews, while images of airbrushed models and plump botoxed lips dominate the screen, I guarantee that the theme of beauty, culture, and impression will trump any initial notion of feeling lost in Elle magazine.

I know, I know - why, you ask, would you want to spend an hour inside this weekend when you could be outside in the lovely Southern California sun? Well, think of it this way - when you get home all sunburned like poached lobster on Saturday and need something to do on Sunday that gets you out of the house and doesn't involve exposure to UV rays - take an hour and check it out.

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