Monday, May 18, 2009

RISD Graduate Student Show

This week I went to the opening of the RISD graduate student show at the RI Convention Center, conveniently across the street from where I work. The opening was mobbed, mostly students and teachers, so it was hard to really see the work, but the snippets of overheard conversations were priceless. I wished I had brought my audio recorder so I could do a sound piece. Hmmm, then I could have loaded it onto an ipod, come back and surreptitiously attached it to the wall, hung a pair of headphones nearby....and yes, I'll accept that MFA now for my brilliant thesis project, thank you.

I went back yesterday for another look, and found my first impressions, or lack thereof, lingered. Nothing really struck me, I left feeling very flat, and I'm not really sure why. A few pieces were interesting. I played with a piece that recorded my movements and rendered them with sketchy lines, that was kind of amusing in a techy kind of way...

This hot pink sculpture was covered in cotton candy at the opening, and a few students added "interactivity" by handing out wads of the stuff. A few days later, this is what cotton candy looks like. Who knew? Much more interesting than the original piece.

And of course, what would a exhibition these days be without the obligatory bunch of stuff piled in a corner.

I just got the feeling that a show of brand-new art should have more of an impact. I reject the idea that I just didn't "get it", because even if I didn't understand it, it should have made me curious. Some pieces just looked so bland I wasn't tempted to invest any time in trying to figure out the point. Some seemed to be heavy handedly illustrating an ironic idea. But sometimes an idea is just an idea. I dunno, maybe I just DON'T get it...

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