May 01, 2007

Coolest Thing On The Internets Of The Day: The Met's Zoom Function

Here's something I hadn't seen before. It's a very cool zoom function at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's website. I linked to Poussin's The Abduction of the Sabine Women, because there's a lot going on in there. But you can find and zoom in on pretty much everything they have at the Met. It's my favorite museum.

Also, while we're on the subject of art, click on the extended entry if you're interested in a tour of the National Gallery's Jasper Johns exhibition. I thought it was interesting.

h/t on the Charlie Rose thing goes to Blu, who sent me a link to the Michael Crichton interview. Rose and Crichton discuss Jasper Johns, among other interesting things (when Rose shuts up long enough for Crichton to talk). Crichton thinks Johns is tops, along with Rauschenberg. I'm not as familiar with Johns as I am with Rauschenberg, whom I like a lot. I saw a retrospective of his work during my Scandinavian art museum overdose.

The Rauschenberg exhibition was at the ARoS museum in Århus. My aunt and uncle's farm was about a half hour away from Århus, so we spent a day seeing the sights there. Basically, there are only two things worth seeing in Århus. The ARoS museum is excellent, as is the living history park called Den Gamle By. ("By" is pronounced byoo.)

While I'm on this meandering digression about art, when I should be writing a paper, now is as good a time as any to post a video I've been meaning to share with you since last summer.

I love video art and check it out whenever I can. On our Scandinavian art overdose, Chris and I saw some really wierd video art at Louisiana and at ARoS. Some of it was indescribable. There was one room at ARoS that was set up like an apartment that you could walk inside. There was a couch, and a tv, and a little kitchenette, and a balcony with laundry hanging on a line. The entire room was wired and lit so that you could watch the whole day go by in about ten minutes. It was fascinating. The sun would rise and the coffee pot would start to work, for instance. Then the light changed as the day went on, birds sang and the laundry blew in the breeze, and stuff like that. Then as evening came, the tv turned on and dinner started cooking. As it got dark outside the lights came on. Overnight, the room lit up with little pinlights embedded in all the walls and floor, which was supposed to be like a dream. It was a really incredible installation, but unfortunately I didn't get any pictures.

I did take a video of one installation, called Unk, by American video artist Tony Ousler. You can see it below, but the video does not capture the full effect of the installation. It's basically a video projection of a man's face onto a 3 foot white egg submerged inside a giant plexiglass cube of water. His face contorts and you hear him groaning as he struggles to hold his breath. The entire thing is in the center of a dark room in the basement of the Kunstmuseum.

Even though the surface of the big egg was smooth, the projection made it look totally three dimensional. Watching the giant head try to hold its breath underwater made me slightly uncomfortable, like I couldn't breathe either. Really eerie and disturbing.

Posted by: annika at 07:37 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Perhaps it's my parent's blue-collar DNA, but I just don't "get" modern art. I watched the John's video and just couldn't get over how fucking ugly it all is. And can somebody please explain to me how taking a bite out of a picture is art. I am sure that I'm missing something fundamental, but I can't imagine placing something on my wall that looks like it was created by a bunch of 1st graders throwing random paint colors on a canvass and then haphazardly smearing it. Oh well, count me as one of those middle-class Philistines who prefers his art to be attractive.

Posted by: blu at May 01, 2007 11:16 PM (NntAN)

2 You are not alone Blu. I think its the most horrible crap, and really it is indicative of a certain type of mental and moral degradation. I suggest you read Tom Wolfe's "The painted Word". it is a great dissection of modern art. BTW, I never really understood how mass rape was always considered "heroic" when the ancient Romans did it.

Posted by: kyle N at May 02, 2007 01:47 AM (we5pa)

3 well it is an acquired taste. others have done the "what is art" subject before, so i haven't done a full post on it. but basically i think one of the essential elements that make something art is difficulty. either in creation or in conception, it must be something that is difficult to do, or that most people would have a tough time duplicating. while this is not true of all art, i do think it is a good rule of thumb, because it draws a line between johns and serrano for instance. look at johns or rauschenberg, and even though it looks simple, ask yourself if you could duplicate it.

Posted by: annika at May 02, 2007 07:57 AM (WfR6S)

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