So its been an eventful week in washingtonland. A new exhibition opened at the Sackler Gallery where I work, called Encompassing the Globe. It features art from all over the world produced and influenced by Portugese explorers and traders. Its HUGE! Apparently the biggest exhibition the museum has ever put on for some reason nobody I work with can figure out.
Its such a big deal, the president of Portugal came to visit last week and the secret service was out in force. It sounded like a madhouse, when he was apparently walking around the exhibit being flashed by thousands of flashbulbs, in a place mind you, that really shouldn’t have all those brights lights.
I walked around the exhibit myself and it is quite something. Maybe not worth quite the hooplah it had but still not too bad. The Portugese were quite wealthy and showed their love of art from around the world, influencing the creation of art from various world cultures.
I went to the zoo this weekend, but not to see animals. Zoos seem like a real strange, antiquated, victorian way of looking at our animal brethren. Sometimes I wonder if we’re the ones really in the cages! ok, sorry.
I went to a talk this weekend that was in conjunction with the exhibit Foto. It focused on Modernist film in central europe during the 1920s and 30s. The man giving the talk was a Polish guy who kept saying uhhhhhhhh….. instead of pausing, which was very annoying, however it was an interesting lecture, and some of the films were pretty cool. The last one was rather humorous. It was an ad for tires where the guy who made the tires was singing to them about how great he thought they would be as tires, and that he hoped he would keep the drivers of the cars safe from danger. Then the tire began to sing, about its duty as a tire, and the car too began to sing along. It was even better since the tire sang in a high pitched voice.
Today I went to the first day of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Every year the smithsonian puts on this festival showing cultures from around the world. This includes crafts, music, food! My kind of festival. The cultures this year are Virginia, Northern Ireland (my people), and the Mekong Delta (Parts of China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.) This part was especially amazing since it is so removed from western culture. Amazing food, music, dance, crafts, everything you could imagine was displayed. It is definitely something I will go back to.
One thing did make me feel sorry for some of these professionals. The poor tibetans were dressed in full garb, including fur hats, boots, and layers of decorated fabric. The heat was incredible, reaching almost 100 degrees. It seemed unfair that all of us were hanging out in our loose fitting, light clothing, as we watched these people dance around in clothing made for the sub-freezing temperature Himalayas. The Thai performers on the other hand, looked pretty comfortable. This weather must not be too unlike their native climate’s.
I will be photographing the events for my museum, so there will be pictures up you can look at showing the festival in all its glory.