The Gift: Rebel in the Museum
If you don't like to get in trouble, put it on your mental list never to visit an art museum with me. I have this crazy philosophy that art is for our enjoyment and participation. I don't just "ooh" and "aaah" over art; I photograph it (no flash, okay?), get too close for the guard's liking (just looking, not touching), and sometimes talk and laugh loud enough to get a hearty "shhhhhhhh..." in my direction.
It's my humble opinion that many art museums have somehow gotten off track by acting too protective. Maybe they've had some bad incidents. Still, Lewis Hyde's words about scientists who horde their ideas seem like a good parallel. He notes, "The ends of science require coordination." And when scientists forget this, they end up isolating themselves. The result? "Seen from the outside, trade secrets... inhibit the advancement and integration of knowledge. Each trade may be its own community, but there will be no 'community of science'; there may be pockets of expertise, but there will be no mechanism whereby a group mind might emerge, nor a body of theory be drawn together." (p.105, The Gift)
This past week, I was fortunate enough to have my twelve-year-old artist daughter respond to an exhibit she'd seen, by creating the dress sculpture at the top of this post (Yup, photos of exhibit to come. Shhhh, don't tell the guards). Anyway, my daughter was generous enough to let me touch and photograph her work in different settings. What began with her vision and touch continued in mine. I hope she'll keep this rebel generosity long into the future; I'll be sure to show up, laughing and talking, marveling and responding.
Dress Sculpture, by Sara. Used with permission. Chiffon & Feathers Cape in the museum. Used. :) Photos by L.L. Barkat.
OTHER BOOK CLUB POSTS:
High Calling Blogs The Gift: All Our Kin
Laura's Gift of Community