The latest episode in the MOCA crisis saga brings in a new cast member: the museum’s former chief executive Charles Young. He’s been out of the game for a while, but now he’s back to set things straight with the museum he once helped run. He wants to oust MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch from his throne, and has been urging his friend, Eli Broad, to perform the coup. Is this the beginning of the end for the Deitchstag?
In an email acquired by The Los Angeles Times, Charles Young reprimands Eli Broad for continuing to support Deitch’s controversial decisions—like the elimination of all but three of the museum’s curatorial staff, the mass departure of trustees, and now, the cancellation of a major, Tate-backed exhibition. Even the recently-announced disco-themed exhibition Fire in the Disco is now rumored to have been cancelled. The email paints a picture of MOCA as a museum in crisis:
“I hope that the four-alarm fire now enveloping MOCA has at least given you pause for thought about his appointment and your continued attempts to try to save him for a job for which many (including myself) believe he is unqualified.”
Young doesn’t mince words. He goes on to state that Deitch’s directorship is “likely to take MOCA into the abyss.” For the final sign-off, Young ends with a scathing demand for the museum’s future: get rid of Deitch.
“I will do anything I can to try to right the MOCA ship, but nothing will work, in my mind, without a new Captain/Director.”
This is a serious request, and in the coming weeks, the remaining trustees will remain under fire to avert any long-lasting damage to the museum’s reputation. With or without Deitch, they need to prevent MOCA from crumbling.