A short Introduction
This was not my first time at the Harn Museum of Art. I had visited the museum a couple of weeks before on a small "field trip" for my Design 2 class. In particular, we looked at the Roman Exhibit, and the multiple drawings that were created through the use of lines to create systems and figure-ground. So, I'd say it was an architecture-specific visit, and I went into the museum feeling slightly familiar with the content, yet intrigued about the new exhibits I would see as part of the Good Life tour.
Medium of the art
Map of Rome from Arthur Ross Collection.
Since I had already visited the Harn, I knew for a fact that I wanted to focus on the medium of line and figure-ground used in the Arthur Ross Collection for this particular section. I think that the most impressive thing about seeing these prints in person, is that, if you get close enough, you can see the careful line work in every single detail. This massive drawing is a collection of drawings stitched together almost to perfection. Furthermore, this communicates the amount of effort that the multiple artists of ancient Rome dedicated to mapping their cities immaculately. As an aspiring architect, this particular exhibit resonated with my idea of work ethic and effort one must put into their work, and therefore choosing a medium that conveys their ideas best.
design of the museum
S.F.I. Exhibition Hall in Honor of Avery Myles.
Once again, my experience as an Architecture major really helped me digest parts of the museums that were meant to convey more than just the art. I was mesmerized by the S.F.I. Exhibition Hall in Honor of Avery Myles in the way that it directs the eye through a narrow corridor, using the space to highlight the plethora of artworks from the Guerrilla Girls Collection. Moreover, the use of a threshold in space that changes from a very compressed hallway and opens up into the much larger exhibit hall with the rest of the Women in Art Collection allows for one to feel the sheer size of the collection. As an architect, I have been taught to observe how the form of a particular structure must follow the function of the space that is being used. The architects behind the Harn Museum of Art are aware of how to make space in the museum work as a supplement for the art.
ARt and core values
The Guerrilla Girls exhibit caught my eye instantly. From it's use of modern art as a blatant criticism of society, in particular the representation of women in the world of art, it brilliantly used it's advertisement style to scream the message of equality loud. Now, I'm not a woman. But, personally I am a feminist and have had multiple strong women in my life guiding me to become a better person and showing me to be resilient even when the world kicks me down. This is a value that has stuck with me, and therefore, seeing these artworks portraying such a strong message in such a loud and aggressive way (the way that it should be) resonates with my beliefs in standing up for one's right to equality. Further, the fact that these pieces show facts about women artists, and use them as art made by women screaming for recognition simply communicates a desire to fight. Resilience, challenge, and strong-mindedness for one's values is the major message conveyed by these pieces and they truly affected me on a personal level.
ARt and the Good life
Volcano Series no. 2 - Ana Mendieta
"Made by an immigrant." Those were the words that first caught my glance as I approached Volcano Series no. 2 by Ana Mendieta- a Cuban immigrant born in 1948. The second thing that caught my glance, was the oddness of the photographs in front of me, because Volcano Series no.2 is a rather metaphorical piece of art. The idea is this, Ana Mendieta used her own body to create molds and set them on fire and burnt them down to ash in order to represent spiritual transformation, creation and destruction. This piece resonated with my idea of the Good Life in that it seeks to connect the artist with nature, and use herself as a metaphor of the burning flame of life. This art piece is about Seeking the Good Life, seeking for something more. This piece made me understand the feeling of trying to understand life as it flashes past us. We all seek understanding. We all want to burn as bright as possible for as long as possible, but similarly we all burn out at some point and die. However, as Mendieta presents in this art piece, we all hope to leave a mold of ourselves behind- a legacy.
Disclaimer: All photographs used in the Spark Story were taken by Claire Hodges and used with her permission.