The other night, I went into a little discrete block in the back of Brooklyn to a place called Jack.
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There I saw an art installation called She Talks to Beethoven. The idea of a "non-seated installation/performance" sounded extremely intriguing to me - another event that I wasn't too sure what to expect. It was thirty minutes long and when I entered I was encouraged to walk around during the performance. When I turned the corner from the tiny corridor, I saw a huge abstract contraption made from wood in the middle of the room. The walls were metallic and the room's lights were slightly dimmed. I was uneasy but wondered what was to come. As I walked around, being engulfed by foreign dub-step from the surround sound speakers, I noticed a story preparing to unfold. The audience became intimate bystanders watching the mind of Suzanne Alexander and her conversations with the famous composer, Beethoven. I was completely entranced - watching the performance from every angle, getting every perspective. At times, I would be captivated by the words of the actress while the actor would be wandering around the room and end up right beside me. It was eery and strange and beautiful.
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Over the last month or so I have grown obsessed with art. I used to trace my favorite cartoon characters - that was the furthest I’d ever gone into the world of visual art. It was pretty much a foreign country for me but now I’ve begun to pick up on the language. Every weekend a few close friends and I have gone to at least one or two art galleries. It’s become our weekly routine.
How powerful a piece of art can be. The poetry that screams from the silence echoes through my brain - I only want to see more.
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A week ago, I was invited to my friend Candace Lee Camacho’s event at the MoMA. Candace is a young Queen’s native and current NYU student. She is also a songwriter and musician who has always loved fine arts. During one of her many trips to the MoMA, she was captivated by the Rene Magritte’s paintings.
This inspired her to create a 10 track project called, “This is Not an Album” naming each piece after one of the paintings. I went to the museum with the songs on my phone excited to hear her creation. When I got there, she handed me a booklet which guided me through the gallery showing which track complemented each painting.At first, I was a little confused on where to begin but when I turned the corner,
the painting Le Perreux-sur-Marne, caught my glance and the clashing chords of piano keys boomed through my ears. Le Perreux-sur-Marne is the painting were there is a sky within an eye. Transfixed by the painting and sultry melody I began to see the frame vanish and I was within the painting. Floating behind the pupil feeling lost in vision. As the last words, “she knows she's alone”, began to ring through my skull and the track came to an end, I felt myself return to the crowded gallery.
Everyone around me suddenly returned from their own out of body experience and together we moved to find the next painting. This continued throughout the gallery, I would find another piece, press play then jump into the canvas to explore the emotions of Margritte, but also exploring the emotions of Candace as well.
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I see the beauty of art and how it can impact a person. It continues to show me all the ways we can communicate through it. It gives me the chance to see how another artist's mind functions. It helps me get a better understanding of myself. Art is universal.