You don't even have to like the art at the Museum of Latin American Art's new exhibit Play with Me to like what it could do for museums.
As Stewart Ashman, MoLAA's President, writes in the exhibit catalog, "Play with Me is a different kind of exhibition because it requires the participation of the visitor to complete the artworks."
So, as you can see in the photos, you have to speak into the megaphone to energize Voz Alta, a tribute to the students massacred in Mexico City in 1968; you have to touch the "mood ring" substance on Big Bang; you have to climb inside the kinda wacky Capula X; and if you don't cast a shadow, Va de retro is just a spotlight and some duct tape.
If the response at the opening Saturday night in Long Beach was any guage, Play with Me is a success. Instead of the studied hush you find at many museums, people were laughing and smiling and playing with the art. That's a good thing; they'll come back for the next exhibit.
(Play with Me is curated by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Idurre Alonso and Selene Preciado, and is up through September 2 at the Museum of Latin American Art at 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802.)