When art eludes us.

Season 6 of Sex and the City recently came back into my life.  And while watching this youtube clip, I suddenly recalled an exhibition that I went to see with E @ the Vancouver Art Gallery.  If I had thought it would be ok to take pictures of what I saw, I would’ve.   But generally, this is not allowed.  So even though there was no security in sight, I didn’t pull out my phone to snap pictures.

It wasn’t the primary exhibition that I had gone to see.  But it was on the upper floor, and you have access to any floor of art themes once you pay your admission ticket.  So I went upstairs and ended up wandering to one hall that surprised me.  To the walls on my left and right, was one empty canvas after another, all neatly hanging up there in a row.  There was no art on it.  They were blank and as white as snow.

It actually freaked me out.  I didn’t know understand what this was for, and the art gallery never has empty space set aside.  I then happened to come up to one piece where two adults stood in front of me.  And to my greater surprise, they were discussing what they could see on that massive empty canvas.  One guy excited pointed towards the blankness and actually told his friend, if you stood to one corner and stared at it, you could see the outlines of a shadow that was the art itself.

I had no idea what they were talking about.  I tried to stand at that angle after they had left, and again, willed for some image to show itself through the emptiness.  Nothing.  It was like some version of The Emperor’s New Clothing.  Were they seeing something I wasn’t seeing?

I love art for all that it does to stimulate us. But sometimes, I am just baffled.

This clip – art meets cynicism:

 

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