By Sarah Korpan
Art galleries can be intimidating. We may think that a keen sense of art interpretation is a mandatory prerequisite for a full and meaningful experience at the gallery. Fears of intellectual inadequacy may keep us from the opportunity to experience a new, refreshing angle of our society and culture.
Hello, My Name is Art is a new program intended to change that. Through this program, the Art Gallery of Alberta will introduce you to Art and offer a friendly connection to artworks from exhibitions worth seeing (spoiler alert: they’re all worth seeing). The purpose of Hello, My Name is Art is to foster expanded perspectives and collaborative learning on a feature piece.
Last month, we were introduced to John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea (2015). Spanning across three custom-made screens, Vertigo Sea is a time-based video installation that portrays humanity’s conflictual relationship with nature, time and himself. Executive Director and Chief Curator Catherine Crowston provided us with interesting background information about the work, including the screens it projects onto and its relationship with other pieces within the Turbulent Landings: The NGC 2017 Canadian Biennial exhibition.
The group engaged in thoughtful discussion after the screening. The conversation ranged from simple but important questions to deeper themes. Catherine was happy to give a primer on some Art 101 terms, like time-based media (media that unfold over a set amount of time, such as film or audio), but also led a discussion on the themes of conflict and displacement. Participants connected to the work and to each other through a common appreciation of the art, regardless of each person’s experience or familiarity with it.
December's edition of Hello, My Name is Art will feature the exhibition WordMark: A New Chapter Acquisition Project for a close looking experience focused on Amy Malbeuf’s Kayâs- ago (2013). Join us and introduce yourself to Art.