As indicated in my last post, my man doesn’t like certain aspects of modern/ postmodern/contemporary art. For him, art should be appealing and sophisticated with meaning. One should not have to guess what one is looking at. To explain my husband’s argument, I’ll reminisce about Nuit Blanche (=”White Night”) Paris or the all-night arts festival, which took place on October 1, 2011.
This was our first time attending this funky event. We’ve never been to any of the Nuit Blanches in Toronto since it started in 2006. So to explore it in Paris, the centre of arts and culture, was parfait.
Well, not really. We had un plan (a city map) of the sites to visit but everything was in French, of course. So when we stumbled upon Un Echantillon sans Etoile, I knew it meant something without a star. I liked it. It appealed to me, with the spotlights on it, making wicked shadows in the dimly-lit cloisters. It made me think, “What could this be, a lost spaceship?” So William and I were trying to guess what the artwork tried to demonstrate. But my man thought, “I like the cloisters. But this [installation] is bollocks.”
So when we encountered an installation called Le Yéti, I didn’t know what to expect because my French vocabulary is atrocious. We came upon a wall of tiny bright lights in a very large, dark room.
Me: Wow. Look at all the lights, William and Clarisse. Is that cool?!
William: What is it, mummy?
Me: I don’t know. But let’s get a picture of us in front of it.
Hubby: Denise, how do you know that’s the exhibit?
Me: Well, I don’t see anything else in this room. It’s so dark in here.
Hubby: Look. Everyone is going behind the wall.
So we all go behind the wall and realize that we were BEHIND the installation. Standing in front of us is this glowing, giant, orange blob, in front of a wall of lights, broadway-style. There are people everywhere, taking photos, gazing at it.
Me: Oh, I get it!! It’s Yeti, the Abominable Snowman.
Hubby: You DON’T get it! You just thought the back of the wall WAS THE INSTALLATION!!
William: Who’s Yeti?
Point made. In modern/contemporary art, sometimes I have no idea what I am gazing at and I do need the title for reference…but, it was interesting to look at and it sparks thought. But how open-minded does one have to be to accept modern art? I would have been satisfied with the wall of lights. Well, look at Le Yéti as a whole. Appealing?…To some. Straightforward?…It depends. Sophisticated? Maybe after a few drinks… Anything goes…