This government agency and that government agency all rolled over for billionaire Eli Broad to build his museum at the 200 block of South Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. The aging civic booster will pay the construction costs and relocate his Broad Art Foundation there from Santa Monica, but you and I can agree on what to call it and take ownership of this institution by controlling the language! Hey, Starbucks calls a chocolate malt a "Moca Frapuccino", we can call the old man's museum whatever we want.
Beyond a refusal to acquiesce public space to one man's name no matter the content of his his wallet, the real problem with calling the Broad "The Broad" is the dude's name to begin with. This certain-to-be-sterile institution will have nothing in common with a swaggering old broad. Nope, Eli the dullard capitalist is the furthest thing from a saucy broad in looks, taste and vitality. But regardless of the impotency of his wallet-free persona, his museum must be given an acronym with pizazz and marketing potential. So here are ten possible acronyms for Mr. Broad's new museum, each with their own mission statement.
BAM - Broad Art Museum
The easiest acronym may be problematic with lousy cellphone reception:
HER: I'm at the BAM
HIM: Where is there a Dam in LA?
HIM: Well damn you too! (hangs up)
And pray there is never a shooting on Grand Avenue
OFFICER: What happened when he pulled out the gun?
WITNESS: It was like BAM!
OFFICER: I thought you said this happened at MOCA, I think we're going to need to take you in for more questioning.
So if none if you want to spend the night in jail on the receiving end of good-cop bad-cop, pick one of the nine remaining acronyms...
ABC - Art of the Broad Collection
If network television does not have much longer to go, Eli's ego can allow him to defeat Channel 7 and take on the alphabet itself for significance.
BACO - Broad Art Collection
If the museum is just artificially maintaining the price tag of Eli's art holdings, you can bet that his boring blue-chip art collection will be the constant center or our shortening attention spans.
The EEL - short for Edythe and ELi
Marketing the overpriced collection with a hip moniker that sends props to Broad's wife Edythe for buying matching drapes all these years. Many a good headline awaits:
•Dan Flavin looks Electric at the EEL
•Barbara Kruger EEL Survey Lacks Spark
•"Nam June Paik Electrocutes Art History at the EEL"
BAM BAM - Broad Artist Management at the Broad Art Museum
Perhaps Eli intends to become the art world equivalent of CAA and manage the careers of the artists he collects. Why not have the agency housed in the same building as the art?
DOGMA - Downtown On Grand Museum of Art
If the museum is meant to prop up Eli's real estate holdings downtown and his vision for Grand Avenue (whatever they may be, I have a hunch he is not a renter), why not put the location into the name - it will help all those westsiders punch the name into their GPS for a rare foray east of Highland. And this museum may end up so boring you will really need to believe the dogma of postmodernism to make the move.
BROMIDE - Broad Museum In Downtown Everyday
Nothing upsets a museum visitor more than showing up when the galleries are between exhibitions. A "7-Days-A-Week" policy could be a marketing bonanza for Eli. It will assure his building the lion's share of anyone needing a Jeff Koons fix on the day LACMA is hosing down their balloon dog.
POVERA - Palace Of Visual Entertainment and Return on investment Art
If Eli buys it, you can bet that it looks good in his portfolio next to the business investments. But so little blue chip art is meaningful beyond the core art audience, so why not emulate the Arte Povera movement and scatter about the Visual Entertainment of interesting Los Angeles contemporary art amidst the bankable Damien Hirst and Cindy Sherman hedge fund decorations.
EAMES - Eli's Art Museum of Elite Snobbery
Well, there would be no doubt of what kind of furniture Broad would put in his cathedral to honor feeling superior. The hippest seating of the 20th century would abound at a place that aims to make the ordinary museum visitor feel small and insignificant amidst all the price tags.
COPACABANA - Center Of Permanently Accessible Contemporary And Broad Acquired New Art
Cue Barry Manilow: While it would be the hottest museum north of Havana, just imagine if they hire a curator named Lola!