A few years ago, while visiting a friend in Philadelphia, I experienced a sudden shift in everything I ever thought I knew about art.
Especially in regards to how to communicate through it.
Originally going to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see Duchamp’s “The Large Glass” (a personal favorite I just HAD to see in person–– and it was awesome) but the piece around the corner, you know (and if you don’t know, GO, and you will know) the one that’s just a large wood-planked gate..
This piece change my life.
Basically, it’s a permanent installation that’s an amazing cerebral distortion on the boundaries between voyeurism and art. And I’m not talking about seeing 30 naked models standing at the Guggenheim voyeurism I’m talking about stumbling on a naked, violated female form, and not being able to look away. Train wreck voyeurism; and that is the POINT.
The only way to view the installation is to peep through holes in the wood, and from the first discovery that you ARE supposed to snoop around, that this is part of the experience, and the experience roller coasters your emotions all over the place.
The range of emotions I experienced while staring at this work was incredible; seemingly all at once I felt confused, then excited, then I realized what I was looking at and then nauseated, uncomfortable, excitement for realizing that I was uncomfortable, and then the reality that this was all planned was just too much for me, and I went back to being ecstatic.
I can’t attach any image that would do this experience justice. It’s something that needs to be seen, felt, simply for the gravity to take ahold of you. It’s one of the main reasons we’re planning a long North East vacation; just like Jersey pizza and Brooklyn hipsters, this is an experience that REQUIRES sharing.
Realizing that the artist could be so masterful with the manipulation of environment was an incredible learning curve. I was a fully aware person STANDING in a museum, and there I was, wholly and completely transported to this unsavory situation.
It’s a moment that has very much stayed with me since the 5 years I’ve been away from Philly, and I know one of the main sources that has nurtured The Kubrick Project into being.
Without the experience of an artist being so air-tight with communicating their vision, I would have easily accepted the dichotomous experience of a Kubrick film as uncomfortable or too violent, without ever paying mind to the intention of that discomfort, and it’s something I’m eternally grateful for; not only in my own work, but how to appreciate another’s work as well.