Last week, a story made the rounds about some visitors to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art who had been tricked into believing that a pair of glasses on the floor was an art exhibit. Noticing the glasses on the floor, visitors approached them at a respectful distance, taking photos and attempting to interpret the art's meaning. It was later revealed that the glasses had been left there as a prank, to see if anyone would be so foolish as to believe that such an ordinary object could be a piece of art.
It would be easy to think of the visitors as fools for believing such a thing, and indeed, some of the media coverage seems to paint them in this light. But I think that those visitors got it right, and the ones who are fools are those who are unable to see the beauty in the everyday. Those visitors took the time to consider that a simple object like a pair of glasses could be a work of art, that it could be beautiful and tell a story. What a wonderful thing, and how much happier would we all be if we took some time to appreciate the art all around us?
Well, that's the question. To try to answer it, I've set myself an assignment over on my brand spanking new Instagram account (look at me being all social media-y). Every day during the month of June, I will take and post a photo of an "everyday exhibit", an object or set of objects that I see and that I find beautiful. I've set myself a few ground rules:
- The photo must be taken of the object(s) as found - I cannot touch or move the object, or add other objects or arrange the object in any way to try to create a more pleasing composition. The idea is that I shouldn't have to! The only adjustment I will allow myself is to change the lighting, such as to open a curtain in order to get more sunlight on the object so I can take a clear photo.
- For this assignment, the central subject of the photo must be a man-made object (although it can be in a natural setting). It is pretty easy to see the beauty in nature. I'm interested in capturing the beauty in the things we surround ourselves with.
- I will use no filters or photo manipulation of any kind. That would kind of defeat the purpose.
- I must give my photo a title fit for an art exhibit!
At the end of the month, I will post all the photos here with a report on my findings, and you can follow along on Instagram as I go. Better yet, participate yourself (using the hashtag #everydayexhibit)! I'd love to see the artwork you find in your part of the world and at the end of the month, it would be amazing if you'd let me know about any discoveries you made along the way.
Let's get foolish!
Pssst...you can now also find Joy to the Girl on Facebook. I know! What the hell is happening around here?