File this one under "only in Los Angeles."
This weekend, you can go to one of the strangest art gallery openings in recent years: An exhibition of pop culture ephemera connected to the trial of O.J. Simpson.
Don't expect to see the infamous glove. Instead, you'll find board games, watches, pogs, T-shirts and more — nearly 300 items in all.
The man behind it is Adam Papagan. He was 6 years old when the trial occurred. Growing up in Brentwood, it always fascinated him.
For Papagan, the exhibition isn't about the crime or the trial. It's about the public's reaction to it.
"If you just hear, 'Oh, a commemorative OJ pocket knife. Oh, that's sick.' You chuckle about it or whatever. But when you see it all together in one room, I think it really makes this statement of wow, this was our entire culture for a year and a half, two years. This made it into every part of our culture," he said.
The exhibition, or "pop-up museum" as Papagan prefers, opened Friday morning and runs through the end of the day Tuesday, Aug. 22 at Coagula Curatorial, a gallery in Chinatown.
The items come mostly from eBay or other collectors — there's a small, oddball fraternity of them — Papagan said. He has only been collecting for the last two years.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a wall lined with 80 T-shirts, each one different. About half of them are pro-O.J., a quarter are anti-O.J. and the rest are neutral, according to Papagan.
"I think that the T-shirts are all very weird and interesting. Because this was before people had easy access to Photoshop. It was a lot harder to get a T-shirt designed and screen-printed. I think it's interesting that people were doing it at all. And then you look at the little variations. You can tell one is bootlegged from another shirt."
Papagan has also parked a white Ford Bronco outside the gallery, on Chung King Road. Bad taste? Wildly offensive? The glorification of a man who some see as a murderer?
"That is only one part of this," Papagan said. "This touches on so many things about our culture. All we're doing is presenting the objects and it's up to the people coming in to make their own decisions."
The exhibition costs $5 to view and, naturally, there is a gift shop.