Sunday, March 8, 2015

{#sol15} The World Through Art 8/31

hosted by Two Writing Teachers

During my visit to Madison yesterday, I was finally able to go to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. It's housed within the Overture Center for the Arts. I enjoyed seeing one of Deborah Butterfield's horse sculptures in the lobby. Immediately the horse sculpture at the Walker Art Center came to mind. I checked later, and yes, they are both her work.

The stairs are a slightly unsettling experience. They appear to be glass planks fitted into a metal frame. The whole structure bounces just the slightest bit with each step and there are open spaces between each stair. All of the glass everywhere does make it feel very open and light though.

I was disappointed that the sculpture garden on the roof isn't open during winter, but now that I know it's there, I'll definitely be visiting when the weather is warmer. 

My favorite part of the museum was the photography exhibit, Lands in Limbo, by Narayan Mahon. The collection of photos is part of a book project he's working on centering around unrecognized countries - Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, Trandsniestra (Transnistria), Nagorno Karabakh and Somaliland.

One photo that really caught my eye was Barber Shop, Lefkosa, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, 2008. There is a slice of life feeling to the picture. Men are getting haircuts or a shave and conversing all the while. What made it even more interesting was the way the photographer caught the mirrors so viewers see from the front and the back. Beyond that, the photo was mounted on a wall that faced the street. As I looked at it, I realized that in the reflection of the glass in the frame, I could also see the Madison street scene outside the museum. All of a sudden, people in Madison, WI became part of this moment of time from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Without meaning to, the people walking past the museum on the sidewalk were stepping in and out of the scene in a barber shop thousands of miles away.

The world consists of so many, many people going about their daily business, but we are moving through life together even if we are separated by great distances, language, and politics.


  1. I love it when art collides with the surrounding to create new art. What a treat for you on your day of fun. Those steps are very cool, but also disconcerting if you look down when walking up or down.

  2. It sounds like a wonderful place to go, Crystal. I immediately wondered about those stairs, glad you explained a little about them. My daughter is the program director at Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art. I wonder if she knows this museum? I know she knows people at the Walker. I just took my students to ours early this year & they loved it. There's something about art that reaches adolescents so, so much. Thanks for sharing this trip with us.

  3. Art museums are one of my special places. I respond to the visual storytelling and get captured in them. The space that houses them is often, as in this case, another visual feast. Thank you for taking me here.

  4. Those steps! I hate bridges that bounce, I think steps would make me nervous too. This was a lovely reflection!