Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ars Gratis Ars

I’m not really an art aficionado. I like to visit the CMA and other venues to see interesting stuff but I’m not a student of the field by any means.

So it is unusual that I would be at 2 arts events in a few days. Sunday I went to the Cain Park Arts Festival. It’s only a few miles from home so I popped in to check it out. Tons of people on a sweltering day and lots of interesting pieces from Cleveland and around the country (and even a booth from Israel).

Tuesday I only had to travel a couple miles more to get to the NEO Show at the Art Museum. Hahn Loeser is sponsoring the NEO Show - formerly the May Show - and they had a private viewing with some tasty drinks and hors d’oeuvres. It was sweltering again so not many people ventured out to the gardens where a harpist and other musicians played. Lots of bigwigs in attendance and CMA Director Katherine Lee Reid spoke for a few minutes.

The show itself was pretty wild. Some interesting pieces and mediums but a few items just flabbergasted me. One was some crates stacked with what the artist claims are exactly 100,000 clippings from the phone book. Another was a horizontal freezer. You were invited to lift the lid and yep, it was a freezer. Empty. That was the entire piece! Someone clue me in to the art behind that one. ;-) I see the same on tree lawns the night before trash pickup.

The best of show had me scratching my, admittedly untrained, head too. It was a black and white video displayed on one of the walls that featured the head and torso of a man screaming and contorting his face for 2 minutes and 27 seconds. That was “best in show.”

Well, it least it got people talking.

Maybe the coolest thing is that I could see these 2 shows without travelling more than about 4 miles.

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