Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Your Teenager's Room as Installation Art

by Drew Martin
My middle kid, Calder - my thirteen-year-old son is on a French class trip to Montreal, Quebec this week. I stayed home sick today and found myself "working from home" in his room because it is the most private space in the house, as well as the warmest. It is the nicest room, and I am now starting to understand why he never leaves it. I also spent time in my daughter's room when she was in Europe this summer. 

I do not poke into their things, but usually read or work on the computer, if I am not tidying up their personalized messes, and just take in the environment. It is not unlike what installation art set out to imbue in art goers who had previously, and historically focused their senses on objects, and which the commercial world later usurped as experiential marketing. When I studied installation art in the late 1980's with the best (Ann Hamilton) this type of art was becoming more popular before it faded, or maybe merged is a better world, into the art-world background. 

One thing I was critical of back in the day was the stand-offish attitude installation art maintained, whereas I was trying to be more interactive/more people-focused, so I am happy to see that Ann's latest work “the event of a thread” at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, which was up for the last month of 2013, was more in tune with "the people formerly known as the audience."  Just as while it is nice to appreciate the stillness in a living space, it requires the inhabitant to bring it to life.