Saturday, March 31, 2007

Today I went to the new De Young Museum for the first time. It was recently rebuilt and it's a pretty impressive structure, all metally and airy and textured and coppery, and that's just the outside. The inside is stuffed full of art.

Despite the fact that I'm an uncultured and unappreciative idiot, I am really good at museums. Whereas most people take forever to view a gallery full of art, my discerning eye can make split-second decisions, instantly determining what percentage of exhibits in the room can be ignored. And the answer is.... Most!

I don't think there are many people who can beat my Gallery Dash time.

Daisy had her heart set on getting the audio guide though. It's a computerized headset thing, that allows you to type in an exhibit number and listen to a short lecture about the given piece of art. It's definitely educational, but it really wreaks havoc on any chance of setting a Gallery Dash personal record.

The featured exhibit today at the De Young was a display of the "art" of Vivienne Westwood, who is apparently a famous fashion designer. Thus, there were several rooms filled with her groundbreaking t-shirts and hoop skirts that stunned the world, or at least the part of the world that could possibly be stunned by a hoop skirt.

I'll grant you that I'm astoundingly ignorant of fashion, and that I did a near sprint between occasional listens to the audio guide, but I'm not quite sure that Vivienne Westwood deserved a big exhibit at the De Young. For example, one of the audio lectures explained how Vivienne used unconventional fabrics, like dish towels, in her dresses and everyday items, like tin can lids, for buttons.

Does the use of mundane materials turn her clothing into art? If I put wood chips into my cereal, am I a museum-quality chef? What if I fill a blog with trite material like meaningless analysis and boring anecdotes, is that art too?

Sounds like I needs me a gallery showing.


Anonymous said...

The de Young is having a rash of appallingly banal "art" exhibits. If you thought Vivienne Westwood barely qualifies for exhibit space, you'll be glad you didn't waste your time in the Elliot Anderson dross.

Don't forget there's a chasm between art and art museum curators' mission to justify their jobs.



Mike said...

Yeah, the Elliot Anderson stuff probably deserves to be a link off of Digg instead of a De Young exhibit, but I still found it much more appealing than dresses on mannequins.