How many people can say that they had a some of their photographs displayed as a respected museum? Not many. Thanks to the Macaulay snapshot event, we can say that. It was fun to be going somewhere to see our own art rather one that has been created by another. It was obvious from the photos that people had so many varying interests and it showed how diverse New York City is in terms of how we see it. Another fun highlight of the event was getting to see the vintage costumes and comic books being displayed in the Superheroes of Gotham. I thought it was a little funny how a respected museum can put superheroes such as Superman and Spiderman in a room that is called “Superheroes of Gotham” even though they are not from Gotham. All in all, it was a great experience.
Abraham, Mark, Sandy, Katherine, Melissa and I went as a group with the original intent to the Museum of Feelings. The line was massive and the moment we got there, they told us they would be not allowing anymore people in the line. Obviously disappointed, we pondered about what other type of art places we could go to. Melissa came up with the idea of going to the Irish Hunger Memorial which was nearby in Battery Park. We followed our phone maps, and upon arriving, we had no idea we actually reached it. If you aren’t observant, it looks like a simple park you find all over the city. However, once you walk in deeper the amazingness of the structure becomes apparent. The park like nature is actually elevated on a metallic structure with lines that are lighter up that have facts about the Irish Potato famine. It also includes facts about how much food America wastes and how obese as a country we are. It was obviously trying to impart the lesson that we need to be respectful and mindful of the food we eat and not be wasteful. It quickly becomes apparent the park like nature of the memorial is supposed to represent the Irish landscape. There were no trees and it looked like hilly plains. Built near the Hudson river, the memorial was absolutely stunning. It was a great experience that made me mindful not only of history, but how we carry out the present.
Out of all the events that we have been to, I must say that the one that was way different than I imagined was the Latin Jazz concert. It was nothing like what I imagined. It still boggles my mind how the free style aspect of it works. The way you can jump in and do your own thing while still maintaining the groove of the unifying music must take a huge amount of talent. What I also really loved was how passionate and into the music everyone was. From the bouncing of their heads to the beat, to the smiles, to the eagerness on their face to do a solo, it was such a lively event. I think that gives it a certain advantage over a regular concert. It is much more engaging and the audience is pulled in by the jovial atmosphere. My favorite performance was “Baby Jack”. It was really funny when a solo would happen and that person would play in a high note to mimic the crying of a baby.
Another important aspect about this event that was different than the others was the clear difference in setting. The events such as the Opera and ballet were clearly high class and you can see and feel that right away upon entering the building. The room that the jazz concert took place in was nothing in comparison to those settings, but I think that actually benefitted the atmosphere that the music and performance seeks to illicit. It’s supposed to be close up, fun, non-pretentious, and engaging. The room it took place in complimented those aspects.
I never realized how many misconceptions I’ve had about Opera until we actually went to one. I used to think opera was some lady who had powerful vocals singing solo for a long period of time about God knows what. I don’t remember where I got that impression in my head, but it stuck all the way up to the opera. Maybe a little before considering we were told about the opera by the Opera singer who visited us. I didn’t know that Opera really had much of a story/play aspect to it. I thought it was mainly focused on listening to the vocals and with little to no action other than a person standing and singing. Now I know it’s obviously way more intricate, complex, and developed than that. I know people preferred the ballet and disliked the long intermissions, but I personally didn’t find them that long. That’s because instead of just sitting I went and explored the actual building itself, and that adds the crucial that I believe comes as a package with the experience. You are supposed to take in the high class nature of the event and listen to the sometimes incredibly pretentious conversations because that’s what the opera has always been; a high class social event. It probably takes age and money to really enjoy it, but nonetheless, I did.
Ballet never interested me. Even when we saw videos of it in class, I still was not too engaged. This applies to dancing in general, but ballet especially never appealed to me. My reaction to the ballet completely transformed upon actually watching it at the theatre. It is really a testament to the fact you need to experience something with your own eyes, and not a screen, to really appreciate it.
At first, I was mesmerized by the body movements. When I put on my binoculars and payed close attention to individuals, I actually felt physically hurt upon observing some of their movements. The way they stretched and moved their bodies is really a feat of human ability. The quality of their movements wasn’t the only amazing thing, but the quantity as well. It is beyond me how they memorized all the diverse set of moves as elegantly as they did.
The music element of the ballet performance was in my opinion essential. The dance choreography fitting with the beat of the music made it all the more powerful. It also helped to tell the story more. Often it was difficult to make out the story from the choreography, but the music added that extra information (via atmosphere and tension) for me to better understand and contemplate.
It was not only the ballet itself that caught my attention. Often I found myself taking the binoculars and focusing on the conductor’s (of the orchestra) hand movements. That was an art by itself and it was really entertaining to see just how engaged and in tune the conductor was with the music.
I really appreciate being able to experience this. I doubt I would have ever gone to the ballet on my own initiative. I’m glad I was there.
My favorite highline photo was of Ryan Gandor’s “Zooming Out”. It’s a medal model of a an iPhone, a wallet, and a USB drive. At first I didn’t even see this work of art. It’s very inconspicuous. I walked past it but knowing that on the map given to us, it was there. I ended up being too curious and went back to look for it. I’m glad I did because it turned out to be my favorite. I love how realistic it looked. I almost thought someone really forgot their stuff when I saw its figure from a far. I think its commentary from what I understood is actually pretty interesting. Who doesn’t have a phone and wallet in there pocket or bag anymore?Candor took a minimalist approach to adding beauty and fascination to the Highline and I think he it did well.
The reasons I joined Macaulay were affirmed by my experience at the Brooklyn Museum. Even though I lived in New York City all my life, I haven’t fully took advantage of the rich cultural institutions and landmarks that it provides. I want to see them, and even if we go over a fraction, it’s worth it. Macaulay for better, not for worse, makes sure I will visit these amazing places. And that makes me extremely appreciative.
The moment I got out of the train station, I was already amazed. The Brooklyn Museum building itself was something straight out of ancient Rome. The building was beautifully designed and was much larger than I was expecting it to be. As I walked in to the friendly greetings by the staff at the lobby room, I already felt a sense of luxury. It’s hard to explain, and maybe luxury is not the right word, but it felt like walking into a 5 star hotel. Knowing that the museum was reserved to us really gave me a feeling of being spoiled. I was lucky to find my friends right away and when we joined together into a group to discuss the art, I think we really all entered the mojo of what it’s like to absorb and experience famous and exquisite art. When I entered the art exhibits, there were many pieces of art that I just glanced over, but to my surprise, the amount of times that a piece of art caught my attention exceeded my expectation. Sometimes when the art was vague and I really was mesmerized by the atmosphere it made me feel, I quickly pulled out my phone and opened wikipedia. I wanted to know more and that’s I think how you know a piece of art is really something special. It was particularly exciting when I was art that we discussed and saw on the board in class. It really is true that you can’t appreciate it until you see it with your own eyes.
If all our visits are going to be as special as my experience at the museum, then I know this class is going to really be something special and something that I won’t be forgetting. I’m particularly looking forward to the opera.