Today, I'll review our field trip to the Walker Art Center yesterday. Let's start with the company. Half of the company was pleasant and curious. The other half was petulant and eye-rolly. I'll let you guess which person fit each description. You can use the photos above to help you.
In any case, I forced both companions to view two exhibitions. First, we saw Ordinary Pictures, which considers the photograph via stock images, advertisements, and other photos for profit. One piece is a large-scale photograph of a green screen. I think it could actually function as a green screen - the artist (I didn't get her name) likes to make things that function as the things they depict. "Why is this art?" asked my skeptical eye-roller. Another striking installation in this collection is the same photograph - a widely circulated postcard, the placard told me - fancily framed maybe 16 times. "They're all the same," the tween commented, gesturing unappreciatively at the wall where they hang.
Onto Hippie Modernism, which is what I really wanted to see. Here, pieces from the mid-1960s are loosely categorized according to Timothy Leary's well-known directive: "Turn on, tune in, and drop out." There are lots of "Whoa" moments in the exhibition. Psychedelic films, event posters, funky furniture, large-format photographs, and remarkably, something called the "Knowledge Box," which you stand inside as iconic images from the 1950s and 60s via 20 or so old-school slide carousels flash all around you. It's really something.
Overall, I'm very glad I forced the children to view this art. I'm sure they both liked it, deep down inside.