Mar. 20th, 2015

Apparently going to an art museum for the first time since I guess last year in Munich made an impact--I was definitely a bit manic as I was seeing more and more of it, and I sent an email home about it, posted on FB about it, and am posting twice here about it. That's a stunning endorsement for the museum. :)

But I did want to remember that I was standing in front of a piece by Wilfredo Lam, an abstract piece all pointy edges and round eyes and 3D shading, and seeing in it the echoes of his surrealism and cubism and the Brazilian spirits of his earlier work that had been included in the exhibit, but also the echoes of Guernica and Hieronymous Bosch, and the graffiti at this one corner that I drive past going to work every day. It was a weird experience of being highly aware that what I was seeing was not just the picture but the overlays and resonances of my previous experiences and memories; that I could not experience the painting in itself because my neural networks were already shaped and tuned based on everything that had come before for me.

There had been a big reflecting piece in another room, that was a curved set of polished facets; it didn't reflect back the room exactly but gave an overall impression and effect of the room, with the floor and ceiling inverted and broken up. As you stood in front of it of course your reflection changed what was in it--which meant no two people could ever experience it the same way at the same time, because they would be at different viewpoints seeing different patterns.

In a sense, the mirror piece made obvious what was going on in front of every other painting, but I was only highly aware of it in front of the Wilfredo Lam piece. No two people will have the same response to a painting, at some level, because the sum of their previous experiences is never identical so the context for the perception, the resonances and responses, is different.

Which is not particularly deep, but it was pretty cool to have it bouncing about due to a museum visit. :)

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jaipur

August 2015

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