tags: architecture published on:
An exhibition is typically an occasion and an event which plays the role of a showcase. Exhibitions are sometimes also called previews because they are afraid to become events. They want to remain tentative pre-events and inflate the idea of the potential event to larger than life proportions.
But to begin with, without previews and pre-events, exhibitions try to become events. An event is an occasion to centre - both in terms of the fragmentation of time and of attention. Visitors to the exhibition can experience this event if and when the points of attention and the programme of the exhibition come together simultaneously and in a desired manner.
How does one ensure this? How does one ensure that the production of the event and the programming of the event go hand in hand? Intensity of experience can vary, but art is loved for precisely the reason that the experience of art is consistent. It is equally intense At all points of time. Art has an exaggerated price because it is always supposed to work. It does not work for everyone, but it works for some people some times.
Art exhibitions are the densest form of exhibitions. If something is art, it supposedly means that it will always work. And that is nothing but a sacred token.
This sacred token is only an imagination. It does not exist in the flesh. It is an ideal that is never realised.
But we are not concerned with art exhibitions. We are not artists, we are people leading our lives and accumulating data of all kinds as we go along. We want to exhibit this data to do a few things. We want to inspire curiosity, solicit interest and aid in the formation of sharp and distinct memories.
How do we mount objects in exhibitions? How do we offer the viewer a buffer of distinctness?
We have to learn to unseen what we have seen time and again. We have to learn to see things as if we are seeing them for the first time. We want to go back into the recesses of our mind and capture the child-like wonder we once possessed. We have to wipe boredom and cynicism from our lenses.
For as the exhibition-maker, your eyes are also the first set of eyes that will see the exhibition. If you have tired eyes, it will become a tired exhibition.
We need to become adept at measuring buffers, at locating zones of insulated attention and in seeing only one thing at a time.
The idea for the exhibition will need be dissected until you reach the essential idea that needs to be communicated to everyone, every time. That idea will need to be expanded. You will have to find ideas adjacent and parallel to that idea. Do you know how to recognise the form of ideas?
Ideas are thoughts which are complete within themselves. Ideas demand action. Ideas make you get up if you are sitting. Ideas bring excitement along with them.