The experience at the Arlington Arts Center was phenomenal. I walked into the exhibit open-minded with no background knowledge on the artists. The process of parting the black, heavy curtain truly played with my psyche. The act of opening the curtain and ducking underneath the next curtain made me question my own actions. I wondered why I was still walking through the gallery? Was I insane? What are they trying to say? I panicked but tried to remain calm. I humbly read through the text, analyzed the photos, studied the video footage and connected the audio to the visual. The audio bothered me because I could not ignore it. The audio flooded my ears and drowned my aesthetics. I didn't have a choice. The audio pulled me further into the piece. The voice of televangelist stunned me. My initial reaction was, "What does this mean? I see dirt with TV screens, I hear fire, I see a tombstone, and I see black." I tried to find the relationship between the televangelist, September 11th, Orf, death, and President Bush. So many thoughts were racing through my mind. I was determined to interact with the piece to get a deeper understanding. I noticed that the footage was nicely edited. The installation flowed cohesively. Every component of the piece seemed purposeful and nothing seemed random.
The discussion was very helpful. On my previous blog I wrote that I would have to dive head first into the collaborative art-making process to build a definition. But I was proved wrong. It was there, during the discussion that I understood the purpose of collaborative art-making. The purpose is to learn from each other. The artists created a narrative and used each other strengths to create the piece. Randall is skilled in music and John is skilled in fine art. Randall, John and others brought their artistic skill to the project to create a well-thought, engaging piece. I believe with a team it is possible to create a dynamic piece. There are several artists sharing views, sketching and further developing the narrative together. I was also intrigued by their willingness to go further with the piece. For instance, Randall visited Oral Roberts University, Bible seminars and conventions to capture authentic footage. The fact that the piece is still in progress surprised me. I had the opportunity to develop a greater appreciation for the work.