Space and Art

Neil Cummings's flicker
I saw and loved this film called "flooded mcdonalds." It's by an art collective called superflex and it's showing at The Hirshhorn. It is of a McDonald's devoid of people and people's things, but remaining are burgers and fries and drinks, as if everyone just left in the middle of a meal, and the place floods with water. I love how the movie changed my understanding of what a sacred place is.

A great way to get a lot of people to see something is through TV or internet. Both are experiences we have in common with many other people; TV and internet are both part of our reality. So, if one can watch this thing on the internet (but you can't, I'm just saying, hypothetically), why is it important to show it in a museum?

Keeping in mind that it's a privilege to live in DC and a privilege to have metro fare and a privilege to be available at a time when the museum is free and not be homeless, raising the interest of the guards, which is all kind of undemocratic and not-sacred, I think that the museum is a sacred place.

Part of what the film expresses is that we have places that we all go to, and that those places are important because we go to them and we gather there and we identify communally with the surroundings. Like, McDonald's is a powerful, iconic place. Seeing a McDonald's drown made me feel a little bit of shock and anxiety. I mean, besides all the political/environmental stuff that this film alludes to, that sense of place/home/belonging (even, I think, for those who don't eat at McDonald's) is the thing that really hit me emotionally. It's kind of cool because I've been spending a lot of time thinking about if, as a person who doesn't have an investment in supernatural stuff, I have the ability or opportunity to feel that something is sacred.

I think that it's kind of fetishistic to preserve things (even art) as singular, exceptional and sacred, but perhaps traveling to see the art lends it gravity and importance. More importantly, it might lend the experience gravity and importance. The idea that you came to see something lends more personal responsibility and investment than clicking a link or turning on the TV. The space itself can have significance, is what I'm trying to say.

Here's a link to a review.

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