One of the first pieces of art I saw as I walked into the museum was the "Old Man's Cloth" and at first glance I thought to myself "oh it's just pieces of cloth stitched together no big deal." Then I got closer and inspected the "cloth" and it turns out that it is made out of what appeared to be crushed mason jar lids and bottle caps. I was completely blown away since from a distance it looks exactly like real fabric. If I had just seen a photograph of it I would've thought it was just fabric, but being able to get close and look at it's tiny details made it so much more amazing. It made me think about why El Anatsui chose that particular medium for his work. Being able to read the informational panel next to the art, revealed that he did it to show the effects of colonialism and pollution on Ghana.
"Old Man's Cloth" by El Anatsui at the Harn
One of my favorite sections of the Harn was the area before the Asian art section it had lovely wooden floors and a magnificent view of the garden that was outside. I believe that it was a Japanese themed garden but I am not entirely sure. It was well kept and even had a bench to sit outside and enjoy nature, which provides a nice contrast to the still art inside the museum. The lighting in the garden was all natural and it came into the museum and reflected off the polished wood floors. I don't know how to describe it, everything just looked so pristine and went so well together. It was the right balance of man made objects and nature.
Area prior to the Asian art exhibit at the Harn
One of the exhibits that really spoke to my core values was the Women's rights exhibit. It was creative and pleasant to the eye while also being informative and eye opening. One of my favorite works was the "Semiotics of the Kitchen" by Martha Rosler. It shows a woman from the 70s in the kitchen and she uses different kitchen objects to go through the alphabet as if it was a children's show, but her movements get increasingly forceful to represent the frustration of women during that time. I am not going to lie it also made me laugh, because the woman in the video takes it a bit far and looks like she is ready to murder someone and I just sat there trying to figure out what was going on. Thankfully the information panel was there to explain what was happening.
Photo of the video "Semiotics of the Kitchen" by Martha Rosler
The Gorilla Girls exhibit certainly encompasses the theme of Fighting for the Good Life. They made all of those posters to promote awareness of the gender inequality which still exists in the United States. I am personally a very logical and facts and figures type of person so the poster with the $1 bill that was in thirds was the one that stood out to me the most. Women are still fighting to receive the same wage as their male counterparts, especially in the Arts it would seem. It annoys me that women who work just as hard or harder than their male counterparts make less money just because they are women. Some of those women are single mothers who are the sole provider for their family why shouldn't they be paid the same as her male coworker who has the same responsibilities? It just does not seem right to me.
Dollar Bill poster in the Gorilla Girls exhibit at the Harn.