Wonder at the Renwick

This was not the first time I have been to the Renwick Gallery. I first visited in December with friends from my floor. After winter break, I went two more times for one of my other classes. The Renwick has become my favorite art gallery/museum in DC. The incredible verity it displays and the quality of the pieces sets it apart from many other installations. Everything that goes in is exceptional. The current exhibit, Wonder, consists of 9 different modern art pieces, each one taking up an entire room.

This being the fourth time I visited, I already was familiar with the exhibit. During my previous trips, I had taken numerous photographs of each piece. When I went this time, I tried something new. Before I went into each exhibit, I tried to recall how each piece looked, down to the tiniest details. Once I did that, I went through my phone and looked at the images I took of that piece. Finally, I entered the room and viewed the piece. Each time, I would compare what I remembered with the image I took as well as what I was seeing in front of me.

What I discovered was very interesting. My remembrance of the piece was understandably different than the picture I took as well as what I saw in front of me. Memories fade and always get distorted to one degree or the other. What was fascinating was that the pictures I took were also significantly different than what I saw the fourth time I went there. There were subtle lighting changes due to the time of day, but that was not all. Pictures are two dimensional, they have no depth. What made the photos I took look so different what that I was taking a still photo of a three dimensional object that changed shape as you looked at it from different angles. This was a perfect example of how photos can be inaccurate. Photography captures an object from only one angle. In reality, these objects or events change depending on the angle you view them.

 

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