Friday, March 21, 2008

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Today we visited the Laumeier Sculpture Park to see the installations by Deborah Aschheim. ( and It was a really interesting exhibit and some of us were fortunate enough to also attend her talk at WashU. Deborah has found a way to combine science and research and her artmaking. A lot of her pieces center around memory and the way that her memory is stored, and as a by-product they have become about the viewers memories and responses to her work. It was an active exhibit that brought you into the pieces. In regards to research these pieces are testaments to the value of arts based research as well as submersion in your topic.

On a personal level I enjoyed the exhibit, although after being in the gallery for a little while, the many sounds became a bit overwhelming. Some of my initial reactions were that they reminded me of Dr. Seuss pieces (maybe I am just a little obsessed with Dr. Seuss!) and that there was a pretty limited color palette in her installations. I was also enamored by what it must have taken to hang the exhibit, having hung several exhibits in the past.

This is one of her earworm pieces. She said that earworm was derived from a german word that described the snippets of songs that got stuck in your head. She wanted to design a backup system for her 25 favorite words and so had a musician write songs about them, so that she could then hopefully remember them, even if her memory failed. This is based on the idea that even when people lose the ability to form sentences (such as with aphasia that her aunt suffered from) they can often recal songs and sing them.

This was probably my favorite piece, because the viewer literally became part of the piece. There were several cameras and small tv's and you were simultaneously viewed from several angles... some very bizarre and not what you are used to seeing!

And here is all 10 of us lovely ladies...

These were really neat "chairs" that forced you to sit in positions that might seem somewhat foreign to us.

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