Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Have you ever listened to people in the museums? Have you ever listened to kids in front of a painting, a video art, or a performace?
Working in the gallery has showed me how people is barely interested (or able) to talk about what they have in front of them if they haven’t seen it before.
They usually just cross the gallery, stop for less than 2 minutes and leave with a soft “bye thank you”.
But at the museums you will find the opposite situation; those who don’t say nothing are the minority. Normally everybody is talking, kids make questions or just trying to lay down in every sit that they can find. And it was there today, sitting beside a 6 years-old boy who was completely annoyed for his parents insistence of him to look here and there all the time, when I heard the most sincere opinion since I started to study Art: “this is just a stupid painting”.
I couldn’t do more than looking at the boy and feel sorrow for him. Not for his opinion but for the fact that their parents were destroying the small possibility that their son had to start loving Art.
Yes, he opened his small mouth and said straight what he wanted to say.
People is no usually prepared to destroy someone’s work, and I must say that it is not a matter of being polite or not. Here in NY people is quite open to talk, is not normal to hear real critics, but since there is such a huge offer, they are more able to choose what they want to see, and that’s the critic.
When you talk with someone who has being in to a exhibition in which you are interested, they are not at all afraid to tell you that it is horrible, and they are usually even able to tell you why (which sometimes is surprising taking into account who is the person you can be speaking with).
In Spain, we are not so used to say “don’t go there, you’ll waist your time”. No. As with politics, we just listen to what the rest say and make a little comment, that most of the times is not so strong because you don’t want to hurt nobody (unless you are really relaxed with friends who by the way, usually agree with you).
Last week in the gallery with Max, we were talking about the differences between Spain and USA, and the ways that our History is still so present in us. I told him how surprising is for all of us, the discussions in the street about Obama and Clinton.
We, after years and years of repression and fear, aren’t ready yet to say what we really think.
We believe in the secret vote and in the personal taste.
I have heard in Spain things like: “this is horrible” or “THIS is not Art”, and I am ok with that, but I would love to hear more, I would love to hear one day “This is just a stupid painting” and then arguments explaining it with not a rest of fear in them.