Sunday, February 24, 2013

Art and Artifacts

Been having a rather arty week.  One of the graduate students in the art department will be doing a display of Pre-Columbian pottery at FSU's Museum of Fine Arts in the fall, and I'm working with her to do a display of the pre-Columbian textiles as well.  More on that later.   This week she was meeting with art students from FAMU to discuss the pottery, and I joined in.  The pottery is beautiful, but what makes my little heart go pitty-pat is that is from the Nazca culture--the same one that made the mysterious line figures in the desert.  We were holding (very carefully!) items that are 1,500 years old.

When we finished, I had about a half-hour before I had to go meet Bob--not enough time to go back to the office and do anything, so I wandered upstairs to the art gallery instead.  The Museum of Fine Arts is about a block and a half from my office--which means I rarely get there.  When we go on vacation we always spend hours in any museum that we can find, but somehow you never get to the one next door.  The current exhibit is on science-based art--and was so interesting that I took Bob back there later to spend some more time with the pieces.

One installation is a modern-day version of Tibetan Prayer flags.  Traditionally, prayers are written on cloth, with the idea that the wind blowing the flag will take the prayers heavenward.  These flags are printed with the genetic code for currently incurable diseases.

A very moving piece was one dedicated to the World War I veterans who were treated with early experiments in plastic surgery.  The writeup wrote of these men who returned home to a culture "that glorified the war dead but recoiled in horror from the survivors."

A series that I found attractive but disturbing were all done in a very compelling shade of brownish-red.  The artist gives his work a personal touch by painting with his own blood.  This piece is a Victorian-inspired floral work, based on a Rorschach blot.

Continuing this week's arty theme, we spent this afternoon at the Quincy Music Theatre watching a production of "Oklahoma!"  Our young friend Eliza (previously seen in this blog as Rosie the Riveter and at the Downton Abbey exhibit) was in it.  Good singing, good dancing.  I enjoy live theatre--but, like going to the fine arts museum, don't get around to going very often.

Finally, we did an art installation of our own.  The wall above the couch in the den seemed a little blank, so we installed a couple of shelves, covered in carpeting.  In the best tradition of "if you build it, they will come" our object d'arte soon appeared on the shelves.

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