Monday, 1 December 2014

Zero at the Guggenheim

As part of my study tour I spent an afternoon at the Guggenheim. Honestly I didn't know what to expect from this art museum, I'd heard of it before but I was more familiar with the building rather than its contents which apparently is common.

Prior to the formal tour of the museum I explored each level to ensure I got to see everything the Guggenheim has to offer.  I was captivated, I felt that the unusual layout of the building added to the experience of the museum. The artwork on display was phenomenal. The current exhibition is on the Zero art movement. I find the Zero art movement is fascinating as it started many years ago in Europe and was deemed avant-garde due to their focus on technology (which was new then) and the absence of expressionism. I found this reflected in the pieces on show through the use of industrial type materials and the use of light and mirrors amongst other things. I think how people react to it in the present day is vastly different to when it was created as we are surrounded by ever-advancing mind blowing technology.

In the present it isn't  usually deemed unusual or avant-garde when art uses technology however, when the Zero artworks were created it was highly unusual and avant-garde which I find fascinating.  This made me think of how technology may be applied to and/or appropriated for other creative purposes. My favourite example of this was the light ballet that was a part of the Zero exhibition where great structures were pierced with holes and light then filtered through as the structures moved creating changing/dancing patterns on the walls in the dark room, I was mesmerised. To bring this back to my discipline, I have seen a few examples of this starting to happen within fashion, where technology can be used to better fashion production, but also to produce avant-garde clothing such as clothing items that have lights embedded in them or fabrics that react to the flash of a camera. The main things I learned and took away from this experience is that things that are avant-garde now probably won't always be and that technology may be used within creative fields in many different ways.

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