Friday, March 02, 2007

The Total Exhibition Experience

As I walked through the Nauman exhibition I was trying to focus on one or two works and comment on them. But what I found myself doing was being drawn to every single artwork at the same time. I could not view one art work and then analyze it and simply move onto the next one but what I was experiencing was the whole gallery as an artwork. For me walking though the exhibition was an experience and I could not look at one artwork without being distracted or drawn to another artwork. I felt mysef experiencing more than one artwork at the same time. I would be looking at a sculpture and then out of the corner of my eye I would see a movie playing and then I would hear an audio from another part of the room. This was made possible by the use of a range of mediums that the artist uses in his exhibition. By using a range of mediums Nauman is allowing the audience to experience his artworks through a range of senses (look, listen, touch) but this can be done with a range of artorks simultaneously. He creates a room that is much more powerful and intriguing than other exhibitions.

His untitled artworks allow the audience to view it how they like. Titles of artworks often depict how a piece should be viewed. They can tell the viewer what the artwork is when it would otherwise be obscure. eg the artwork "Abstracting the Shoe" could be seen as anything but the title tells us that it is a shoe. Nauman also often mixes more than one media into one artwork which complicates the subject and gives it more characteristics. eg photography and sculpture together and then the audio from a different artwork in the background indirectly changes or contributes to the mood of the artwork I was looking directly at. This often makes the artwork seem human like and as if it is speaking, looking and listening.



Blogger Silbi Song said...

I totally know what you mean by looking at different things at the same time. I too was very distracted by other art works, and it was a great experience. It was a unnique experience of trying to absorb everything that's in the room and feeling the life of these artworks. However, I didn't like the whole tour guide thing. I felt restricted whenever he was talking. Whenever I see an art, I want to have my personal connection with the art work and the artist. It's fun for me to try to figure out what the artist was trying to express all by myself. But the tour guide really spoiled that kind of experience for me. I thought he was nice, but boring. I also felt like he was reading into things too much, which made certain art works seem less attractive for my taste.

3/04/2007 8:30 PM  
Blogger Guillermo Murga said...

I also enjoyed the way the exhibit used different mediums to tie different works together. It differently help keep a theme running. While I enjoyed some artwork better than others, I was a bit turned away from some of his work. I found some things to be strange, like the video of him posing in different positions. I couldn't see how that could be considered art, but I'm sure others do. It made me realized the definition of art is in the eye of the beholder and almost anything can become a masterpiece. It even inspired me to film myself in awkward positions and who knows, maybe I'll be in an exhibit in the future!

3/05/2007 12:45 AM  
Blogger Miriam said...

I also agree with what you are saying. It is difficult to erase our surroundings and concentrate on a single object. One could also argue that other viewers also affect our experience. The people around us also make noises and "ohhs" and "ahhs" about the works that add to our experience of it. I remember certain pieces acording to the pieces around that one.
With the same, one must also be able to concentrate on one, similar to what we do with a scene of a film.

3/05/2007 10:03 AM  

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