show timestamps

Don't shoot the artist

How I visited a contemporary art museum and didn't get it

Today I visited Ludwig Museum in Budapest, which hosts a contemporary art gallery.

I don't think I generally 'get' contemporary art. However I don't get conventional either! I'm quite an unsophisticated person, some of art I like and appretiate, some don't. So I'm usually trying to expose myself to it just to keep up.

Anyway, by the time I got to the third floor of the exhibition I started to get irritated. Usually, I can appreciate at least some of art objects, but none of the ones I had seen so far made any sense.

Some irritation was directed internally: "Ugh why am I doing this to myself, I should have gotten a coffee, sat on grass and enjoyed reading Penrose instead". But also a bit at the artists: "Ok, it's 2019, hasn't humanity seen enough white squares and various kinds of gradients?".

So as I walked among popart on the last floor my mind wandered and I remembered a post I read on SSC. The idea that I had absorbed from it is that I shouldn't really judge people who are trying to come up with new ideas and things; they are already a minority and it's not worth wasting my mental resources as long as they are not harming anyone.

Perhaps it's similar with art? They are exploring new territory, new mediums, so they are quite likely to make mistakes, such as things very few people get, if not hated by many. But the 1% that does manage to push the boundary would result in something beautiful that no one else would otherwise make (I'm sure you fancy at least some contemporary buildings or art works unless you were born in 1830).

Not sure what happens to the remaining 99%. Maybe they give up on trying to invent new art and just become decent designers/architects? Would be interesting to check if that's actually the case.

This realization made the irritation go and made the rest of exploration a bit more pleasurable.