Unless you're an art history major, what's hanging on those soaring walls and placed on those marble floors at the big art palaces like the Louvre, the Rijksmuseum and The Met is filled with cranial-clanging mystery, intrigue, obscurity, beauty and repulsion that can crash the whole neural system in something approaching Stendhal Syndrome. There's only so much visual field one garden-variety brain can take in. You need to pace yourself, preferably over several days.
With hundreds of final works in media arts, sculpture, industrial design, ceramics, illustration and visual arts packed into two buildings I take the cavernous rooms of randomness in small bursts over a few days, usually with one friend at a time — a sort of playdate. But the only thing organized about this date is the area of creative work we're going to linger in. It's the difference between sports on a school field and free play in the forest.
The real play is in the conversation that is sparked just by being in the milieu of this cacophonous visual field. It might start off as first impressions of an individual piece but often ends up in a whole different kind of thinking, and that's where the exhilaration lies. It's all just as important in the creative process as working in the studio.
The beauty of online column-writing is infinite space, so, in the spirit of the gargantuan art museum and its daunting theme-free collections, as well as the need to let the brain out to play, I present here a few of my own pics of emerging visual artists at this year's Emily Carr grad show whose works contest the two-dimensional tradition.