Hedi Slimane’s “California Song” at The MOCA in Los Angeles

by Keesean Moore

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles is exhibiting Hedi Slimane’s California Song, which spans the photographer’s “California period.” The collection traces Slimane’s “explorations of cycles of urban youth culture and artistic communities, through installations of photographic essays.. And publications.” The exhibit will be on view at MOCA Pacific Design Center through January 22, 2012, and marks the first West Coast solo museum exhibition of the photographer’s work.

Since stepping down from his position as creative director at Dior Homme in 2007, a reign that produced some of the most iconic menswear of this century, thousands of fans have followed Slimane’s new medium of expression on his colorless photo-blog Hedi Slimane Diary

What most would rule off as a stagnant compilation of topless skater boys is actually a very telling view of modern, living Western subcultures. It is this idea that Jeffrey Deitch, recently appointed the director of the Los Angeles museum, is trying to explore:

“He’s interested in performers, artists, who have an affinity for and an inspiration from the darker side,” Deitch said, to the NY Times. “The work is something that leads into the darkness, but you come out with positive inspiration. It’s not all depressing work. It looks into the deeper recesses of the soul.”

MOCA successfully showcases Slimane as a member of a pristine, new genre of documentary photography that combines in many ways the technique of Dorothea Lange and other old masters with the brashness of Dash Snow and his contemporaries.

For more information please visit the exhibit’s page on MOCA’s site