Art?

I went to the Walker Art Center for the first time ever last night. Rebecca saw it due to culture me in some way or another, and so we found ourselves meandering through the labyrinth of exhibits pondering the mysteries of life. Needless to say I didn’t understand half of the exhibits.

My favorite was a digital projection of a talking dolphin that you could ask question via keyboard. One onlooker asked, “What is the meaning of life?”

The dolphin replied in a series of giggles and squeaks with a subtitle below reading, “Life is the apprehension of consciousness, which is all that a living entity can do.” Or something to that extent.

Another “painting” was simply a canvas painted black. It was supposed to be some sort of “abstract expressionism” symbolizing the Cold War era’s dread of nuclear holocaust. Another exhibit was three square canvases each painted a different color: red, blue, and yellow. The idea behind that one was that each of the colors is an abstraction and cannot be referent of anything independent of our minds.

One exhibit that made sense of the whole experience was a canvas with a slit down the middle. No paint, no drawing, just a tear down a perfectly blank rectangle. The concept behind this one was that the art medium of painting was dead. Or something.

I’m sure these interpretations aren’t exactly correct, but I’m not sure why that would matter. I mean isn’t that the point? To give everyone a subjective experience of nonsense? I don’t get it, I guess. And I am perfectly okay with that.

(some of the photography was cool, though)

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7 thoughts on “Art?

  1. I was EXTREMELY disturbed last time I went to the Walker, and I doubted I’d ever go back. I’ll have to tell you about that sometime.

    On the dolphin, I’ve asked it two questions: “Hablas espan~ol?” to which it replied, “Un poco.” And then, “What’s the deal with pre-faded jeans?” which it could not answer, so I got really indignant and stormed out of the exhibit.

  2. Why would you expect a sea faring animal that doesn’t wear pants to know the answer to that question?! Afterall, the meaning of life is one things… but how could he have a point of reverence for “pre-faded jeans”???

  3. Dan L says:

    I don’t think most of that crap is worthy of being called art. Most of that stuff looks like it took about 10 minutes and was pretty easy to do. If that is all it takes to make art then I create great art in the bathroom every day.

  4. Adam,

    Have you ever read the classic, “Modern Art and the Death of a Culture”? I live in Buffalo NY where we have the Albright Knox art gallery. Apparently, it has a very good collection of modern art…Warhols and the like. I never really ‘got’ the art in there. When my brother-in-law’s family visited us we went and I realized that he adores and appreciates Modern Art very much. To become conversant in it, I read that book, along with ‘The God who is There’. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t most modern art reflect hopelessness, despair, and a kind of self-referentialism that is wayyyy over the top.

    I guess you could say that I don’t like it…but modern artists would respond…’good, that’s exactly how we want you to feel’.

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