Doug Aitken: Electric Earth

For more than 20 years, Doug Aitken has shifted the perception and location of images and narratives. His multichannel video installations, sculptures, photographs, publications, happenings, and architectural works demonstrate the nature and structure of our ever-mobile, ever-changing, image-based contemporary condition. With a profound knowledge and understanding of the history of 20th-century avant-gardes, experimental music, and cinema, and an intimate kinship with the protest movements of the late 1960s, Aitken has invented a unique immersive aesthetic. Rooted in interdisciplinary collaborations, and the broad availability of images and the vulnerability of individuals, his work accounts for the cool but relentless human, industrial, urban, and environmental entropy that defines 21st-century existence.

Doug Aitken: Electric Earth, Aitken’s first North American survey, is organized as a full collaboration and dialogue with the artist. From his breakthrough installationdiamond sea (1997) to his most recent event-based work Black Mirror (2011), the exhibition unfolds around the major moving-image installations that articulate his thematic interest in environmental and post-industrial decay, urban abandonment, and the exhaustion of linear time. Conceptualized as an entropic landscape suspended between city, broadcasting machine, and labyrinth, the exhibition is punctuated by the signs, sculptures, photographic images, and altered furniture—all unbound from vernacular language and culture—that Aitken has conceived over the years. The exhibition also includes Aitken’s less exhibited collages and drawings, as well as his work with architecture, printed matter, artist’s books, and graphic design. The exhibition’s logic incorporates that of the nomadic cultural incubator, cross-continental happening and moving earthwork Station to Station (2013), which, like so many of Aitken’s works, embraces a collaborative spirit across disciplines and beyond walls to reimagine the nature of what a work of art can be and of what an art experience can achieve.


Barney’s first major solo museum exhibition in Los Angeles. River of Fundament (2014) is one of Barney’s most challenging and ambitious projects to date, and his largest filmic undertaking since the renowned, five-part CREMASTER film cycle (1994-2002). The film, written by Barney in collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler, tells a story of regeneration and rebirth inspired by Ancient Evenings (1983), Norman Mailer’s sprawling, provocative novel set in ancient Egypt. The presentation at MOCA comprises the epic length, operatic film and approximately 85 works inspired by or made in conjunction with the film, including large-scale sculptures weighing up to 25 tons, drawings, and storyboards. The exhibition also includes Barney’s Water Castings, a new group of sculptures on view for the first time. Overall, the works in the exhibition intertwine history and mythology with the contemplation of fundamental human drives—such as sex, violence, and power—that have continuously propelled civilizations.

For more information about the film, visit:

River of Fundament will screen regularly throughout the duration of the exhibition.


1:30–3:25pm: Act I
3:45–5:33: Act II
5:55–7:30: Act III

Saturdays and Sundays

11:30am–1:25pm: Act I
1:45–3:33pm: Act II
3:55–5:30pm: Act III​