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Tuesday Night is By Donation

I have been thinking a lot about art lately. Ever since I read My Name is Asher Lev. I've been mulling over the role of the artist in society, the responsibilities of the artist (if such a thing exists), and the motivation(s) for creating art.

I went to the Vancouver Art Gallery today. I was thorough. I looked at every piece there - except for one film and half of another film piece. I even walked past the off-site exhibit on my way there and got a good look at the larger-than-life photographs.

There were a lot of photographs.

A series of photographs by Scott McFarland are mainly composites of multiple landscape photos, taken over the course of a day or a year and edited with small discrepancies - shadows pointing in different directions or a tree blooming out of season. Several could be paired together as the same scene save minute changes - the season of a particular tree, or the cloud formations in the sky.

Another exhibit showcased visual media that combined still photography and film of relatively mundane scenes. Some moments seemed to be a combination of both, where part of the image was fully still while another showed the slow motions of a relatively static film. Watching was somewhat soothing and nearly boring.

Both displays challenge the commonly held notion of photography as capturing a single moment in time and space. It also intrigued me to realize that I was able to notice that something looked not-quite-right or a little surreal, but had difficulty identifying exactly what it was that was "off" without any prompting. (The human mind is a complex thing.)

Emily Carr's charcoal drawings were lovely to behold. My two favourites are both "untitled" and a little difficult to describe.

As always, there were a handful of works that made me ask, "Really? This is art?" Perhaps if I'd had a personal and knowledgeable tour guide, their explanations would have quelled my resistance to a sheet of purple feathers or a photo of a dusty cellar corner as being worthy of the Art Gallery.

Other Assorted Art Gallery Thoughts:
  • I love visual art.
  • I need to be able to process art with others.
  • Cell phones should not be allowed to ring in art galleries.
  • People should be courteous and speak in hushed tones in art galleries. They should not crack their necks/backs/bones while sitting in a relatively quiet and communal space.

A Few Out-of-Context Quotes From Earlier in the Day:
  • "I don't know if they eat cell phones or what...but they are always buying cell phones."
  • "This is almost as awkward as being in a bathtub together."
  • "Do you want some cookie?" "No thanks." "Wow, you really did have a bad day!"


Laura J said…
it was a really good cookie.
Jill said…
sounds like it was a good time at the art gallery. i'll have to remember that Tuesday nights the time to go.

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