There's a great articel in the new edition of Frieze magazine Kirsty Bell called 'Open Eyes: Online or in person? The different ways of paying attention today'. You can read it here.
In it she references the Von Heyl's exhibition at Tate Liverpool, an exhibition she hasn't been to in person but has seen a short film of on the Guardain. She sates she became aware of the paintings holding their own in the airy light filled space of Tate Liverpool's upper galleries, but questions what kind of seeing this really is? What kind of potential does a screen bound experience allow us for paying attention?
Having been to the exhibition in person I can say a whole new world of attention. When I visited the vast upper galleries housing Von Heyl's work a couple of weeks ago I was stuck by the juxtaposition of the light and energy created by each of the paintings and the views of the River Mersey from the galleries many windows. The light changing by the second as the clouds pain their own pictures on to the refractions of the rivers water. This in turn reminded me of Ed and Nancy Kienholz's installation at the National Gallery a few years ago that recreated Amsterdams Red Light district. When questioned whether the instalation was a statement about the age old industry of prostitution they replied that it was "all about the light" that you find in the red light district. Light and the way something is lit being an ongoing fascination of artists for eternity (both literal and metaphorical).
That's what I took from the in person experience that I never would have from an online experience. And it led me to think about my idea to save the world with two pieces of A4 paper idea. I was talking to Rob and Molly about it the other night and they were asking how much input I'd had to it so far. I had to admit than in reality is been a bit light, and limited to the ever helpful James so far. But then we got talking to whether online input was the right channel for the task, as they'd had three or four conversations about the idea but just hadn't got around to adding anything online. So perhaps I should have hosted an in person exploration around the idea instead. In a coffee shop, with clever people. Perhaps I should have just converted the idea into a conversation, but a real life conversation? Perhaps we should all be striving converting things into real life conversations.