Visual Delight. Visual Horror.

Today I was reminiscing Tristan’s visit, and realized I hadn’t done a blog entry about the art exhibit we went to see. We went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal where I had a strong emotional response to the work of Robert Polidori and Spring Hurlbut.

The gallery had on display 58 large-scale photographs by Polidori which I couldn’t take me eyes off of. I found the images of Versailles, New Orleans, and Pripyat/Chernobyl to be most striking. They showed such history and decay. So devastating yet so alluring. Its hard to explain them properly through words.

I was totally captivated, but happy to step outside the sculpture garden when invited to by Tristan. The photographs were so intense, it was a good idea to leave them for a moment for some fresh air. We sat by the fountain, enjoying the scent of lilacs, and appreciating the sunny blue skies above us. When we went back in, I was about to go straight back to the photo exhibit, but Tristan encouraged I go see Hurlbut’s installation. I’m not a huge fan of installation, so probably would have not gone to see it without a push. I’m so glad I did, because it took my breath away!

Turning the corner and found myself in a dimly lit room with grey walls, with a sea of wrought iron cribs before me. I was so stunned I couldn’t move. There was just row upon row of white Victorian cribs, children beds, and doll beds. It all looked so eerie and macabre for some strange reason. A woman soon entered the room after me and began walking through the maze of beds. I decided to follow suit, and paced the room as well. It gave me such a thrill. The cribs still has a ghostly feel to them up close, but also great beauty. Paint was peeling off them, revealing spots of rust. Their design was so delicate, yet the iron was so strong. It was wonderful.

It was splendid going to a gallery and having such a strong emotional response to two of the exhibits. So often I go to art galleries and museums and feel nothing, but seeing both Polidori and Hurlbut’s work in person was so stunning. I strongly suggest (if you are in Montreal) to go check it out. Both exhibits run until Sept. 7th.


4 responses to “Visual Delight. Visual Horror.

  1. I’m glad the show raised an emotional response from you. Art is mostly emotional in our time, I find.

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