It is time to move off of New York City as a topic for this blog, at least for the time being. We went, we saw, we drank. It was good. It was very good. But if I’m going to set aside discussions on what makes New York City interesting for me, I need to replace it with something else. The question was what?
The answer came after visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and walking into the Modern and Contemporary Art exhibit. We left feeling as if something was being said, and yet we were unable to understand what was being conveyed. This lead to visible frustration on the part of my friends and myself, and in talking afterwards, it became clear that we simply didn’t have the skill set to even begin to comprehend what was going on. And much like anyone who wants to know, but is continually frustrated in that goal, we responded with anger.
This is a bias, pure and simple. We hate modern art, because we cannot comprehend it. Because we cannot comprehend it, we dismiss it as childish, with the phrase “my child could do that!” being uttered so often that it has become a cliché.
It was over drinks that we recognized this bias. We admitted that the fault in mis-comprehension may not be with the artist, but with us. As such, it was up to us to learn the “language” enough to come to an educated opinion, rather than a reactionary one. Thus, the new topic for Accidental Hedonist – Modern Art.
This is a big topic, one which may last longer than nine months. A good dollop of art history needs to be covered in order to set up the modernist movement. This is going to require time.
But it sounds like something we need to do. Anyone else want to come along?