Being an aficionado of art galleries (especially the modern art collections) I have been always finding myself in situations when I did not how to react to an artwork. The “Inside” exhibition in Palais de Tokyo in Paris (January 2015) with its exposing and shocking installations and Louise Bourgeois “I was in hell and I am back” left me completely confused but with one clear question on my mind: “How to visit an art museum?”
Luckily, at the Pompidou Center opened in Malaga in spring 2015 I came across an amazing book which, in my opinion, all amateur art lovers would find interesting.
The book is written by Johan Idema who promotes innovation in art and offers a fresh perspective on looking at art which can be applied to viewing exhibitions starting from Da Vinci, Rodin, Monet and continuing with Kandinskii, Kahlo and Koons. It is written in a simple language and at the end of the book there is a reference list which offers an example of an art gallery where you could apply the knowledge from each of the chapters like recognize bad art or get a hands-on experience with art.
Having read the book I decided to take on a few advices:
1. “TAKING PICTURES IS A WAY OF CONNECTING TO AND PARTICIPATING IN ART”
Do not just take a picture of a picture on the wall. Interact with art, make art, become art. Do not just stand in front of an art work and smile, try to find a creative or at least different way of becoming a part of the art work.
Kader Attia, Ghost, 2007
The art object is a collection of 102 female bodies praying. Made of silver foil and empty inside, the Ghost talks about absence in modern society. Surrounded by so many people and so closely connected through social networks we often feel confused about our identities and feel alienation within the society. Being on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn I feel empowered by these technologies to connect with friends and people that I love. But does it really empower me? Do I still feel isolated?
2. “WHY YOU SHOULD GET YOUR HANDS ON ART”
In most of the museums you can`t touch the art, what to say, you can`t even come close to it. When I was visiting the Jeff Koons exhibition in Pompidou in Paris in January 2015, I approached to that golden mirror to take a closer look at the object and was stopped by a loud alarm that let everyone around know that I stepped on the separating line and was too close. (what a relief was to hear a few beeps every now and then after, indicating that I was not the only one who wanted to feel closer to art). Fortunately there are some art galleries where visitors are allowed to “play” with the art and create your own works.
The Body in Pieces
A collection of art tools that allow you to use your own body to create forms and leave your marks give you an opportunity to touch the art and create the art. You feel almost like a child pressing yourself against these flexible forms and expressing your own feelings and emotions.
Playing with your image
Try on a moustache, a beard, weird glasses or red lips. Be whoever you want, try new styles and who knows, maybe you will find your new self?
3. “WALK SLOWLY BUT KEEP WALKING”
When Johan mentioned the term ‘museum legs’ my own legs immediately remembered that feeling of walking for hours from one gallery to the other and stopping every now and then. Do not attempt to spend 5-10 min watching every single art object (especially when you really have not done your research about the exhibition and you are just contemplating). Try to engage and think about an object by being selective. It is not just about seeing everything in the gallery, but finding those few works that really stand out for you and that evoke thoughts and emotions.
The Centre Pompidou in Malaga offers an amazing collection of art that is worth visiting. It also allows you to interract with art, be part of it, invites you to interract with other visitors and also has a great shop with books on art.