Good Life- Harn Museum Activity kimberly ramirez

At the Harn

The Harn is a museum that kind of stands in front of the gym and almost always goes unnoticed, sadly. For the Good Life class, we are required to go to the museum, disregard the norm and actually immerse ourselves into what is in front of our eyes. For me, interpreting a work of art means to assimilate it to your life and your self to get a more profound meaning of both, the artwork and your life. Appreciating art has become an anachronistic activity and appreciating it had been stripped to just gazing at a work.

Audrey Flack, Islandia, Goddess of the, Healing Waters (1988) Polychrome and gilded plaster


The sculpture's form, its details in her body and clothes left me in awe. The patience, perseverance and talent that it must have taken Flack (the artist of the piece) to create such a majestic, hyperrealistic figure is what makes it worth to go to a museum. One does not see these things in our daily life, making me question that. Why do we see what is in a museum beautiful, and what is on the streets is more close to average? The artwork made me understand that it is okay to say that this sculpture truly is a masterpiece, but just because it is housed in a museum makes it a masterpiece. To me, anything just as beautiful and intricate can also be found on the streets, one must only be on the lookout for it.


The exhibit Intra-Action is usually the one everyone first sees when they go into the Harn. It is the room right in front of the entrance and check-in, so there is a lot of traffic. However, even though it may be the crowdest place in the museum, it is design to look bigger by placing large windows that let sunlight shine through the entrance corridor before finding your first artwork. This entrance is beautiful because of the light and because when one peeks out the window there are gardens and green pastures, as well as a sneak peek to the Butterfly Rainforest next door. The art was arranged in an organized, spiral way that did not make you shuffle between artworks, but rather transition smoothly from one to another. The exhibit Intra-Action concentrated on women artists and its artworks presented feminine struggles with feminist undertones, which I loved to look at. I agree with feminism and consider myself a feminist. Because of this, I applaud at the museum for providing a platform to showcase various works that amounted to one idea: the female. It was an amazing exhibition that was also inclusive towards women of all ages and races, which was nice.


In that same exhibit, Semiotics of the Kitchen by Martha Rosler caught my attention. It was a video on loop. In this video a young woman stood in front of a kitchen and a table full of kitchen utensils and began to name them in alphabetic order. The closer she got to Z, the more violent she became. I understood this as a metaphor for the oppressive roles that women are pushed into, where they cannot always reach their goals because their job is to be "in the kitchen." I sympathized with the girl in the video when she was violently introducing kitchen utensils because she wanted to represent a suffering that I advocate to end because it is part of my values to give everyone equal chances, unlike society does with women. Seeing the video confirmed my belief that a world that treats all women the way white men are treated and have the same opportunities is the perfect world.


Guerrilla Girls, Do Women Have to be Naked to Get Into the Met Museum? 2012, Print

Some people have life easy. Unfortunately, women have not had it as easy as men. When I saw this piece, I immediately thought of the theme "Fighting for the Good Life." Naturally, some are more fortunate than others, but one does not live a good life by crying and moaning at life's unfairness. The key for having a good life is to fight for it, to revolutionize your life with actions and, especially, art. The piece is depicting the good life as the one that the woman looking the picture might not have. It's purpose is to alarm the viewer for him/her to take action to solve this issue. It is like saying, "hey, wake up! You're being sexualized and if that's not what you want then do something about it!"

My understanding of the Good Life is now broader because now I know that not everyone has the same opportunities/ privileges, therefore not the same chance of having a good life. With the artwork seen today, I realizes that art can be the motor behind change, so that everyone has the same chance of a good life.

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