Saturday, January 14, 2012

Light Years

I was at the Art Institute yesterday.

I know--can there be anything more delicious than taking a day off work to go to the art museum, alone. Well, yes there can. It was free, for Illinois residents (that's me). And, on top of that! There was snow, piles of it, laying on top of fences post, pilings at the lake, park benches etc etc etc all like confectionery sugar, drifting, puffing a little with the wind, and sometimes--when the pigeons startled it, plopped down. All along the city sidewalks there were signs: Watch for Falling Ice!

I made it to the museum in one piece, and there I found a delightful show. Now I know very little, less than little, about contemporary art, but there was a special exhibit entitled Conceptual Light, which was all about artists whose work requires light to be a. illuminated or b. to make sense. Some made no sense. Again, this is beside the point.
 I walked into a small room buzzing with projectors--that alone made the trip down worth it! Film whizzed through the reels. Standing there was an art experience, in the chaos and semi darkness with images flashing upon the 4 walls! Maybe like day 1 of creation.

Often my husband and I have shook our heads at deluded film students who think they'll make a Hollywood movie. Not that there is something wrong with that--someone has to do it, and doing it they are. But many of those students don't make it and rack up debt and are left either plying their talent making commercials or are working at video stores--WAIT! there are no video stores. Or are unemployed(able).

But a person who says I'm going to make a little film, not about anything, but as an experiment--well there is a brave brave person. To make a little film takes more risk than being a writer. Because we can work in our "off time", it takes little to no money to write words, but a film artist must be fully invested or else get all their friends to help. On top of that film is almost a dying art--in this age of digital. Someone on a budget has to work twice as hard if they want to make film vs digital. And then, here's the kicker, to say in the end, there is no plot or point (they have a statement, but only their art director or prof will care about that). Concept is what drives them. How the materials work or don't work. Why someone reacts or doesn't interact with the image. All for what!?

I loved it. It, to me, was art. Also I could tell the older African-American lady who was guarding that particular room with the whirling projectors liked the look on viewer's faces when they wandered in. She smiled at me.

So going on a brief hiatus to pack up Ann and Harold's house. Never thought I'd be writing that sentence.

No comments: