Being from New York, I have been able to experience art musems such as the MoMA and the Whitney where the art, like the Renwick, is all over instagram because it is unique. This was the first time I actually went to the Renwick, so I was going into it with an open mind; however, I feared that I was going to witness tons of people blocking the artwork to the point where I wouldn’t be able to take photos without someone’s head being in the way. Like Professor Troutman, I also do not like the people who walk around with the headsets because I feel like that defeats the purpose of experiencing the artwork and trying to figure out your own interpretation of the art. From Maura Judkis’ article in the Washington Post and personal experience, I could see how people just go to these museums just to check it off their to do list and take photos of the art work just to say that they’ve seen it. Photos are great ways to see what other people find interesting. It’s one thing to see pictures of the Renwick artwork on instagram, but seeing the art up close and personal made me enjoy the art a whole lot more.
When I walked in, I was surprised that the museum was not as packed as what the Judkis article made it seem like. I also appreciated how photography was encouraged because a lot of museums do not allow photography or only allow it in select areas. As Kayla said in her post, I was relieved that there weren’t any selfie sticks. There were two things that I became when I walked through the museum: the photographer and the tourist so focused on taking photos that I disturbed and bumped into other people taking photos. I would take photos for myself because I was just amazed at what I was witnessing. I got so close to the Tara Donavon index card piece that the security guard got worried and asked me to move away from the art. I then walked through each room and took a couple of photos of each piece. Even though I took photos identical to the one’s on instagram, I felt my photos had more value.
There were a couple of things besides the fact that I photobombed (not on purpose) that hindered my experience at the Renwick. First, I was annoyed at myself that I did a lot of tourist like things such as taking photos from the same angles as many people there. I basically took photos of “1.8” while sitting on the ground. Regardless of that fact, I found that piece to be really interesting because of what that piece of art was supposed to represent. Another thing that bothered me was the fact that people would stand around in one area for and just take photos of every square inch of one room. That also defeats the purpose of going to a museum since experiencing the art is just as important than taking photos of everything and the Judkis article would agree.
I really enjoyed a lot of the art work there and in particular two of them. The first was Jennifer Agnus’ In the Midnight Garden. I am usually creeped out by bugs and I have a phobia of bugs, but for some reason I was just amazed. I was amazed at the dedication it took to find all of those bugs, not alter them at all and fit them together to create what she did. As you can see from my panorama photo (thank you Apple) , the consistency of how she designed the walls made it very appealing. By looking at the up close picture, it amazes me to see the variety of bugs and how the insect’s shape and size helped create the designs. Look, I am not a huge fan of insects but using them as a form of art in this case was an exception to me. The second one was the Gabriel Dawe’s Plexus A1. The way the threading is set up makes it very appealing and I belive it was one of the most popular art pieces besides “1.8” when I went due to the crowding in the room. As you can see from the room, the art piece pops out which makes the photo really enjoyable. However, this is where I bumped into people taking photos because I wanted to take a photo of it really badly. No matter what angle you took the photo from, the art piece was just enjoyable to look at. Even though I did not take a selfie, this exhibit was very nice to see and I think seeing it for yourself is a lot better than seeing it in photos. I think the photos also do what the gallery tries to do. The photos on instagram make you wonder what these art pieces are then when you see them for yourself, you just wonder what the big picture question of the gallery is. The art is there to open your mind and that is what it did for me. I think the one quote I found sums up the idea of the gallery. Emerson says, ” Man is surprised to find that things near are not less beautiful and wonderous than things remote”. The majority of the art pieces were made from resources near the artists or memories that the artists had. This also why the pieces are art were a lot better seeing in person than on instagram. You are actually able to see that actual sticks, bugs, index cards and rubber tires were actually used. Photos, like I said, are great ways to find out what is interesting and popular to people, but actually experiencing what is in the photo makes it a lot more memorable.