Sunday, March 30, 2008


At the SF MOMA I found several images to be compelling. However, I came away with questions regarding how imagery, (since we were looking at photography) becomes MOMA worthy art. I greatly enjoyed looking at the "small wars" which was visually compelling. We, here at home, do not know what it is like on the ground in a war zone. This show helped bring the of loneliness and abstraction of war home. However, the more I am exposed to "high" or critically acclaimed art I leave feeling like I missed the point. I don't understand what makes an image MOMA worthy, rather than IKEA worthy? 


Michaela said...

I agree? What makes a piece worthy of being shown? and who decides this?

Alysson said...

This is a question I have been struggling with for years, ever since I went to the Guggenheim in New York. Where is the line between art and everything else? Or is there a line? I have always felt slightly inept when it comes to appreciating art because I don't understand a lot of it, especially modern art. Is it okay to not understand it? Is it supposed to be understood, or just interpreted by the viewer? I could go on and on about this...

dvisser said...

Hey all,

We touched on this a little in class, but here are more thoughts.

It's definitely ok not to like it, to be confused by it, or repulsed by it, angered or even unmoved by it. However, the question of museum-worthyness (like the question, "Is it art?")is perhaps a trap that only magnifies the frustration.

Curators are individuals with subjective tastes, just as we are. We hope (and even assume, rightfully or no) that their tastes are also informed by a knowledge of art history, theory, and contemporary practice, but it's nonetheless subjective. It's also important to trust that museums are not the be-all and end-all of art practice - that many artists are working in ways that reach many more and more diverse groups of people.

All that said, sometimes we see work in museums that moves us, challenges us to think differently...remember that the work is enlivened and takes on meaning by our interaction with it.

I'm glad you're thinking about these questions.