Seattle Art Museum DISGUISE JUN-SEP 2015

Just how much fun are you supposed to have in an Art Museum (cue du-du-duuuuh music)?

This show at the SAM tried really hard to pull viewers in with every trick in the book – art that was off the walls and could be walked around in – video – audio – neon lights and this fun activity:

SAM disguise review (1) SAM disguise review (2)

That’s me on the left and Mz. Jane on the right. (Love her gray hair finishing off the mask.) Uncredited extra: you were in a public place…

The masks were attached to the mirror and one stood in place in front. The selfie phone had to be held to the side to catch the image.

The link (disguises) gives a better sense of the multi-media extravaganza that was the show.

But was it fine art? Was it some place to take fifth graders on a field trip so that would say “Wow”? Would fifth graders even say wow to it?

At least everyone could take photos of everything in the show to wow others. The show lasts as long as people pull out the photos to show their friends.

I really enjoyed the show, but I found it trying a little too hard to “wow” the viewers. The contrast I draw is with another show I saw at SFMOMA in 2007 (link!) by Olafur Eliasson. The two pages I posted links to give a pretty good sense of the difference and the similarity: immersive and interactive. While I enjoyed both and would look forward to another show like either of them,  Eliasson’s stays with me as a more affecting emotional experience.

Are these kinds of shows the Disney-fication of fine art? There will always (?) be the other galleries, so “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

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