A Day at the Museum: You Are Here @ NCMA

For the last three months, the newest exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art has been flooding my timeline with perfectly framed shots of people enjoying the heck out of some art. When I realized that this weekend was the LAST weekend the special exhibit would be open, I knew I had to jump on it.

So my friend, Jacqueline, and I got our tickets and headed east to Raleigh for an afternoon full of art and culture.

Within the first few moments of being in the exhibit and the museum, I was reminded of how art is something that is really special to experience. Allowing yourself to interpret art into your own words reveals something about yourself. It’s also a great way to understand how you and your friends see things differently. There were times when Jacquline and I would look at something and have a completely different response to what it meant or how it made us feel. It’s those open and intimate conversations that deepen friendships and take them to different levels.

Look, I know art lovers always sound cliche and pretentious when they talk about art, but it really is super cool. Imagine having so much creativity and love and hate and anger and sadness and wonder, and the only thing you can do with all of that is to make something magnificent.

(As I expressed in my last post, it’s hard for me to create when conditions aren’t ideal, but I can appreciate those that can. And until I can hone my mixed emotions into works of art, I will continue to gawk and fawn over those who can.)

But anyway….

NCMA11The particular exhibition that we were dying to see was entitled “You Are Here.” It was a unique collection of light, color, and sound experiences from various groups of artists and creators. With it’s stunning displays and it’s innovative use of AV, it was intriguing to see how creative minds can put things together in a way that can provoke the most intense thoughts and emotions.

Some of the artists challenged us to feel uncomfortable and to think about our current existence and impact in the universe. (There was even an interactive voting area where you could let the museum curators know which installation made you feel uneasy.)

Out of the 18 amazing exhibits, with two situated outside the museum, my favorites came from the artists Bill Viola and Janet Cardiff. One was a visual journey and one was a journey through sound.

Without spoiling the details of what each art installation entailed, I will say that they gave me a lot to think about. Viola pushed me to my limits with his infamous piece, “The Crossing” in which he forced me to think about my views of mankind and how I perceive others. In a much different experience, Cardiff’s “Forty Part Motet” produced an emotional response in me that I wasn’t expecting for a random Friday afternoon in July. Her vision for how “Spem in Alium” should be heard was both intense and calming, taking everyone in the room on separate journeys for ten minutes or so.

I know my amateur reviews of these works of art are by no means groundbreaking or insightful. I know my thoughts won’t shape the thoughts of others, or even impact the artists’ oringial intentions of what their art means. But to me, that’s the best part about art. Whether it’s written word, spoken word, film, or music, some artists have intending meanings behind what they produce, but you can still examine it with your own perspectives.

Life is just a series of personal art installments that break us down and build us up, and everyone is experiencing them differently.

Now that I’m done being profound….

The playlist that I have so ~art~fully crafted is a mixture of classical operas, cathedral chorales, funkadelic jazz instrumentals, and a hint of some Italian and French classics from the likes of Bruno de Filippi and Édith Piaf. Please enjoy some of my own sounds and colors from my “day at the museum” and keep pushing your creative boundaries and go explore the art around you.

– m

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