Saturday, November 28, 2009

day at the museum

Black Friday wasn't even on our post-Turkey Day horizon. We decided to visit the Smithsonian instead. First stop, a show at African Art by artist Yinka Shonibare MBE. I loved the headless sculptures, almost anti-tableaux vivants. The staged photographs, inexplicably not in his Dutch wax fabrics, seemed very late-80s, early-90s to me, and not in a good way. Ditto the films. I'm an artist, and I love movies, but I have to say, that artists should not do film. They invariably come out slow, boring and repetitive, all features that are antithetical to the forward motion of celluloid. No matter how many Turner prizes you receive, if someone suggests you should expand your already interesting oeuvre with a foray into film, please, just say "No."

On to the American Indian museum and another look at Brian Jungen. This is still one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. It's ingenious, of-the-moment, ambitious, and good to look at. With these two shows and the recent acquisition and installation of the Roxy Paine sculpture in the National Gallery Sculpture Garden, DC proves that there is definitely interesting art to be found in the nation's capital.


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