In the interest of fairness, I’ll explain how Kendrick makes me feel first.
When I’m listening to Kendrick’s music, it calms me on a deeper level. The lyrics may not have that individual effect, nor the beat alone, but the finished product always relaxes me by making me deeply content. The Renwick has a confusingly similar effect. The art, while unconventional by my standards, does please me. But it’s not that I simply enjoy looking at the works. The atmosphere and ‘vibe’ which the art creates is equally rewarding. Those two effects combine to make me happy on a less superficial level, and with that underlying contentedness, I relax. Not the typical way, by temporarily forgetting or purposely distracting myself from tasks at hand and a seemingly-never-ending stream of problems, but the better, more real way of not thinking about them, to simply overwhelm it with happiness and be just too tranquil to be stressed. This is helped by the interactive nature of the Renwick- walking under, within, around and looking through the art is a more involved experience, which captivates the mind. In one of the pieces, it’s so immersive that you can’t avoid the smell, which I identified as rubber and leather – but which my friend and classmate identified as the smell of “Texas” (she was being serious). My favorite has to be the tsunami exhibit, which I photographed. The idea of laying is immediately calming, and it’s so much better once you’re looking up at it from down there (barring the distracting people photographing you, the museum-goer) because it takes up essentially your entire field of view. The beauty is fascinating and keeps your attention because the palette of colors is ever-evolving, one area goes slowly from orange to purple- but just quickly enough to hold your attention. Because of this, and the mysterious special effect that the lighting had on the net which made up most of the work, I was concerned that my photo would not reflect the reality which I beheld before my person. My concerns were unwarranted, however, as the photo produced by my Nokia more than did the exhibit justice. In the photo, the exhibit resembles to a certain degree an aurora, with streaky bands of colored light diffusing in and out of each other. Let’s not forget that as a college student, the notion [insert Marco Rubio joke here] of being on the ground horizontally is appealing, even if I won’t be sleeping, because it does allow me to take in the art from a position which I undeniably enjoy (and allows strangers to compliment your choice of jacket, to mention the important stuff). However, to pose a differing opinion to my classmate who referred to herself as a “traditionalist” , I would like to say several things. Firstly, I like to photograph art in museums, so I can look at it again when I want to. Secondly, that however, I never feel the urge to do that at the Renwick. And thirdly, most importantly, that I do not believe any of this detracts from enjoying the art itself in my way. This is because although I like to quickly (but well) photograph the art, I do believe that the art is best enjoyed through my eyes (Beauty must be in the EYE of the beholder), I see nothing wrong with quickly documenting the art before spending a majority of the time enjoying its presence.
Thanks, Renwick- until the next weekly appointment (I’m joking).