Exploring the “Wonder” Exhibit at the Renwick

When we were first given the assignment to visit the Renwick art gallery, I had very high expectations. I had heard many great things about the exhibit and people were constantly telling me I had to check it out. Furthermore, every time I passed the gallery, there was always a huge line out the door. Naturally, I expected to be blown away by the exhibit. IMG_1953

Indeed, I was blown away. When I first saw the Plexus A1 by Gabriel Dawe, I could not keep my eyes off of it. It was unlike anything I had ever seen, and it made me feel simultaneously perplexed and inspired. I usually don’t talk so highly about modern art because most of the time I find it difficult to understand why most modern art is considered art in the first place. I’ve been to a few modern art exhibits in the past, and in my experience, I usually just view modern art as objects that people try to pass off as art. However, the Renwick totally changed my perspective on modern art. IMG_1955

Another thing that I found interesting about the exhibit was how people interacted with the art. When I entered the room that contained Janet Echelman’s 1.8, I was surprised to find dozens people sprawled out all over the floor staring up at the work of art in awe. I had never seen anyone behave like that in an art exhibit before. Usually in an art exhibit, there is a sense of decorum that most people retain. However, just by seeing how the people acted in the Renwick, I could tell that this was an exhibit that was intended to change the standards of experiencing modern art. Even as I waited in line to see the rest of the exhibit, I watched a group of little kids running around and roughhousing underneath the enormous work of art, and nobody was there to stop them. It was clear to me that the Renwick had entirely different standards when it came to museum etiquette. In a way, I was a bit appalled by this. I understand that the Renwick is trying to let everyone experience the art in the way feel most comfortable doing, but I feel that museum etiquette is an important part of experiencing an art exhibit. It is important to have  silence and order so you can fully appreciate what you are looking at.

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Another thing that I disliked about the exhibit was the constant picture taking. I understand that the art is incredible to look at and is indeed photo worthy, but all people are doing is taking a photo of the same things thousands of other people are taking pictures of. Having said this, I do feel that that taking pictures in an art gallery is extremely distracting and unnecessary. I felt as though that I couldn’t fully appreciate the art in the exhibit because I constantly had to avoid walking through people’s pictures. Personally, I also feel that my own photos hindered my experience in the exhibit because I became more focused on the photos I was taking as apposed to the art itself. Therefore, I feel that photography in an art exhibit should be strictly prohibited or at least limited. I think that people would enjoy the art much more if they were not staring at it through a screen. Despite all this, I did enjoy my visit to the Renwick and I would definitely go again in the future.

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