Monday, May 31, 2010

What I Saw at the MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art was un-be-freakin-lievable! To simply say that it blew my mind would be a monumental understatement. On the other hand, to say that it potentially changed my life would be a bit of an overstatement but it certainly is the most memorable trip to a museum I have ever taken. I'm a big fan of museums but the only art museum that I have gone to prior that is worth mentioning is the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Not the Louvre in Paris or the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. You could say that I'm a bit of a museum n00b, but what can you expect when your home museum is the Glenbow1.

We started at the top floor of the MoMA and decided to work our way down. The special exhibition featured the performance art of Marina Abramović. Now, a little fish such as myself has never experienced performance art on this scale and to be honest, it scared the crap out of me!2 The performances were both twisted and perverse, seeming as a narcissistic attempt to gain attention; but the performances were also intriguing and captivating, often narrating humanity better then any university professor could. The performances were deeply moving, invoking a mixture of emotions that I never knew art could.

In a short 4 hours, I was only able to see 3 floors of the MoMA. It was surreal to admire famous pieces that I have only previously seen in posters and jpgs. Needless to say, we need to go back! What I found to be most interesting, however, is to take a piece of art out of it's frame by considering it in its surroundings; admiring those who admire the piece. It's funny how some people react around a famous piece of art. Some take photos of it, others with it while most just stare in awe. So, here are some spy shots3 in the contemporary art floors of who I saw at the museum.

1. No disrespect to the Glenbow, it's actually a cool museum. In a heritage class I took in the fall I got to tour the museum archives which is an entire floor that stretches two city blocks. I've never seen so many locally recorded mid- 70's folk/country records in my life.
2. There were at least 8 completely nude 'actors' in the exhibit, performing Abramović's art. In one, the audience is asked to step between a completely nude couple as they stand inches from each other(NSFW). When I came up, I was so nervous that I think I stepped on the dudes toe. I faced the girl.
3. It was extremely difficult to take these photos without seeming like a complete creep. I figure a better method for this collection would be to install a small camera or webcam just above the piece so you can capture a photo or stream a video online of the person's face as they view a piece of art. I wonder if there are museums willing to participate. Hmmm..

Roy Lichtenstein - Drowning Girl

Andy Warhol - Gold Marilyn Monroe

Andy Warhol - 32 Campbell's Soup Cans

Jasper Johns - Flag

Jackson Pollock - One: Number 31

Marina Abramović - The Artist is Present

Chloe Pagalilauan - I <3 H.K.


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