Monday, May 19, 2008

Life on Mars - Rivane Neuenschwander + Thomas Hirschhorn

By far, Rivane Neuenschwander's I Wish Your Wish is the most popular work in this year's International. During my visit to the Carnegie Museum, I passed this piece several times. There was always a crowd gathered around it, sorting through the ribbons to find the one sentiment that matched their own wish.


It is a visually appealing work, with its bright, sun-drenched colors. Installed in the main entrance to the building, it faces a glass wall, so the lighting was full on.

The other piece that I have heard widely acclaimed is Thomas Hirschhorn's Cavemanman. I really wasn't going to mention Cavemanman since it is not a work that I find intriguing. But it was obviously well traversed and several artists that I know here in Pittsburgh were thrilled to see it or were looking forward to seeing it when they visit Life on Mars.


What the inclusion of this piece demonstrates to me is that the curator is offering the fullest exploration of the theme within the art sphere that he is most knowledgeable about. That does not mean that everybody is going to feel in accord with all of the expressions of the theme.

Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, I will say that I found this piece to be too blunt. I prefer work that is asking questions. Cavemanman did not make me explore. Perhaps it is familiarity with the politics that infom this work, about which I have already drawn my own conclusions.

The exercise of writing about CI08 is definitely an unabashedly biased appraisal of what I experienced in this exhibit. And I am finding that I enjoy putting these thoughts down. It is helping me to catalog what and why I am reacting.

No comments: