I’ve spent the better part of the week obsessing about how I’ve felt about the Marlene Dumas show currently on at the MOCA Grand Ave and what I think it might say about the MOCA. All 4 of us saw it along with Mary, Suzanne Isken- the director of education at the MOCA- and Suzanne Muchnic- the art writer at the LA Times, when we went on our downtown intern field trip with Mary on Monday.Let me just preface this entire next chunk by saying that I really, really liked the work on display. I know that it’s depressing, disgusting, perverse and all that blah-blah-blah stuff, but I liked it- not just because I thought that the paintings themselves were excellent technically but also because reading the gallery guide before I saw the work forced me to think about how I was reacting to the paintings. Oh and I also want to preface by saying that a lot of what I’m saying was originally brought up by Patricia, and I fully agree.But. I was incredibly disappointed by some of the presumptions that MOCA made when it put up the show. Suzanne Isken told us that many of the paintings had supplementary information that went with them (such as poems that Dumas has written for each painting), and that all the supplementary information could be accessed by dialing a phone number on a cellphone and punching in a code. So of course, when she said this, Rody promptly pulled out his phone and dialed the number, and Patricia asked her why the MOCA chose not to print the poems in wall labels.So while Rody waited on the number to connect (which it didn’t), Suzanne told Patricia that there were a number of reasons why the poems weren’t printed, two of which were that the poems would’ve taken up a lot of wall space (because, of course, the MOCA is known for its big white walls and minimal wall labels) and that the supplementary stuff was available in the show’s catalog (which costs $45). This sort of put us off because first of all, not everyone has a cellphone, and even if someone did, precious minutes would have to be used (and quite frankly, why should they?). And on top of that, when Rody did finally get through to the number, the audio quality was shitty, and you couldn’t understand anything that Dumas was saying.So, I don’t know. I’m not happy about the choice that they’ve made in terms of how the MOCA chose to include supplementary information about the works on display. Patricia really wished that there were wall-labels with the poems printed and with the source photographs for the paintings (because Dumas works off of photographs that she clips from newspapers, magazines and all sorts of other places), while I really wish they had a small pamphlet or hand out for that kind of thing. I’m pretty sure that some kind of handout with source information for a few choice works could have helped someone who is unfamiliar with Dumas to understand her working process and her thought process. But either way, the fact remains that there is no easily accessible way for anyone to get information about the works.I’ve too often heard people complain that contemporary art is confusing (and have too often heard people moan about how terrible it is) to know that many people will take an instant disliking to Dumas work. And while I know that contemporary art is not really everyone’s cup of tea, I wish that the MOCA would have made more of an effort to help people without an art theory or art background at least get a better understanding of Dumas’ process by providing easier access to her poetry and source photographs.