Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Ohhh crazy Tate Modern!

September 14, 2009 · No Comments

I know that the Tate Modern was not a required blog post, however I had to write about it simply because it was one of the craziest museums I have ever been to. I am still debating as to how I feel about the overall experience…I mean, I really can’t decide whether I loved it or hated it.

 It was somewhat shocking at times and other times somewhat bland and even meaningless. But I briefly wanted to reflect upon the evolution of modern art and how it marks a change in culture and politics. I know very little about the modernist artists themselves, but this particular museum inspired me to do a little more research on the background of these artists so that I may be able to understand the meaning of their art a bit better.

What I discovered through some online sources about their biographies, is that many of them were creating their works based on their childhood experiences or the social and political reformation that took place in their native countries. They discussed the meaning of life, of art itself, of emotional and physical struggle. And all of these things were created and presented in a way that was completely unique to each artist’s style.

Not one art exhibit resembled the next (though I think I could recognize “movements” in the content of the pieces so to speak). Yet some were just disturbing and I think we can all agree on which one I’m talking about– so I’m really not going to go into another further detail to describe it.  Mostly I had to ask myself while walking through the museum: Is this art? It’s a really difficult question to ask oneself because “art” is subjective. What may be the most beautiful work to me, maybe another person’s idea of complete crap. But as I wandered through the Tate, I began to think that maybe modern art is simply taking what is abstract and turning it into the concrete, allowing the artists a kind of therapy in their process of creation. I read somewhere that the closest a man can ever get to childbirth is to create a work of art and I can see the truth in this statement, especially because some of my favorite works were done by male artists.  I can see the sweat, tears, blood, and time that went into the evolution of the art and I can see that there is an effort to make other people understand, to feel more than what a pretty picture on a wall may stimulate in the observer. Modern art to me, felt like a battle- a struggle for connection, a raw and untamed effort to make others understand something greater.

I guess overall, now that I have talked my way through the Tate, I have found that it has inspired more thought and reflection than any other museum. And for that, I think I may like modern art more than I first realized.

Categories: Maddie · Museums
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