Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So We Actually Went Out

102/365 Peep Starry NightAnd did stuff and everything. Between the cold fairy and the migraine fairy, I haven't been up and about much for the past few weeks. And now, thanks to MTA track work, I'm looking at over a month of being unable to go into Manhattan on the weekends.

So His Awesomeness and I seized MLK day and used our MoMA membership. First, we had crazy yummy food at the 2nd floor cafe. Then we looked at art. The big exhibit at the moment is by Sanja Iveković, a feminist activist Croatian artist. Cool stuff, pretty accessible. The statue/monument at that link is a response to all the WWI and WWII monuments that ignore women's actual contributions during the war, and relegates them to a symbolic role. It was erected within walking distance of the monument it spoofs and the large photograph that shows both of them at once was quite powerful.

But the day wasn't all high falutin'. In the photography area, there was a series of snapshots, photographer unknown, from a certain person's collection. As in, you or I could do the same thing with a shoebox of grandma's old pictures. An artist didn't arrange them in a certain way. The museum curator just selected them and hung them. A random collection of old photos is cool, but it's not art.

You see, the first time I met HA's mom & aunt, we went through two, count 'em two modern art museums.* If you've never been to a modern art museum with people who don't like or get modern art, well, I can't say I recommend the experience. I spent the whole time defending and explaining the art. I had to dig deep and bring my A game and probably did my art history teachers proud, but now I get annoyed at art that I couldn't possibly justify to someone.

*Sample exchange from that day:
HA's mom or aunt looking at an Untitled 3-D painting/sculpture thing (possibly this one): I hate it when they don't title it.
Me in my mind: Me too.
Me out loud: Well, that makes you participate in the experience. You have to decide what it is.
Me in my mind: "Untitled" is such a cop-out.
Me out loud: It looks like a turtle's eye

Since I've been so much on the couch lately, my endurance is nil, so I hit the wall as we got to the 4th floor (less than halfway through the place). We went to the 5th floor cafe for some amazing cocoa and pomegranate cheesecake. Then we used our last burst of energy to visit Vincent Van Gogh, right by the cafe. I try to stop by every time I'm at MoMA since the amazing Doctor Who episode where the Doctor bends the rules and undoes a great injustices--the fact that Van Gogh is so admired and beloved now and was completely unappreciated in his own time. He does this by taking Vincent to a 21st century exhibit of his work and gets the curator to talk about how great Van Gogh is while he's standing right there. Just thinking about that scene makes me goose bumpy. Because I'm not dead inside.

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