Personally, I don’t even like museums. I mean, I’ll visit them and think there are cool aspects, but it’s not something I would do often. I find that I actually get bored of an exhibit if it’s too long or if I’m not really interested in it; I’ll just walk straight through without really a second thought. Art museums in particular, don’t really spark anything in me. Given, I can’t produce anything even remotely as beautiful, I’m just not passionate enough about art to really give a damn. The “Wonder” exhibit at the Renwick is a different story.
I enjoy photography very much, so after seeing countless Instagram posts and Snapchat stories, I was excited to check out this exhibit. There are times when I take my Canon Rebel with me wherever I’m going, but there are also times when I try to stay out of the lens and actually enjoy what’s going on around me without thinking of an ulterior motive. This was my issue when I entered the museum. I immediately pulled out my phone and tried to find the coolest angle to show all of social media. I had to stop myself a couple of times so that I could just enjoy the “wonder” of it all.
I’m also usually one of those people that tries to get the best shot that no one has thought of yet. Most people take vertical pictures with their iPhones, so I’ll try a horizontal frame. Everyone is taking a photo of the Plexus A1 straight on, so I’m going to look up. It is frustrating for me, however, that it’s often not possible to find an original picture to take in a popular museum like the “Wonder” exhibit. They actually encourage the photography! In a couple of museums I’ve been to, they don’t even allow their viewers to take pictures. I think that’s because they want to preserve the art and allow the artist to receive the respect they deserve. I think when taking photos of art, you loose the purpose of it. For me, I didn’t even remember what any of the displays were named. I’m positive I looked at each when I visited, but as soon as I pulled out my phone I had already forgotten. I think in a place like Renwick, the people can’t necessarily appreciate the art as it stands. Sure it’s cool and you want to capture every moment, but a photo of a piece of work like the ones in “Wonder” just doesn’t do it justice. Unless these pieces were created for the intention of photography by their viewers, I believe the constant photography takes away from the actual art.
Though the amount of people at this one exhibit constantly taking pictures did bother me, I would most definitely go back to the Renwick. The art is intriguing, interesting and very much visually appealing. There’s always something to look at and even though people will always be more concerned with how their photo looks instead of how the artist could have possibly spent all that time putting together small wooden blocks to make a tree. The creative ideas that go through some people’s minds will continue to amaze me, both in front of and behind the lens.