Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Museum Visit: MoMA: Man in Piano

The NYTimes photograph of the event.
Uma and I went to the Museum of Modern Art to see "Stop, Repair, Prepare," a performance, art event at the MoMA, by Jennifer Allora (American, born 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (Cuban, born 1971) The event combines the mediums of performance art and sculpture. It featured a player inside a piano, playing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."

The piano had a hole cut out of the middle. The player stood inside the piano, and leaned out over the keyboard to play the piano keys, upside down. Sometimes she plucked the strings inside the piano.
Uma walking toward the piano.

We saw Mia Elezovic perform. She played the "Ode to Joy," sort of. It was mostly bits and pieces of the music. The piano was on wheels and the player rolled the piano to different places in the room, paused and played a few notes.

Uma asked lots of questions like, why does the piano move? Why was she plucking the strings inside the piano? It reminded her of when she plucked her violin strings. The event had inspired a dialogue about what art "wants to be." I realized you're never too young to ask some good questions.

Afterwards, we had a snack in the MoMA cafe on the second floor. Then we visited a special exhibition about kitchens. Uma was enchanted with the tv monitors and headsets and tried each one in turn.
Uma learns about kitchens

We visited some galleries that displayed MoMA's new acquisitions. Uma loved a Yoko Ono video of people on the street talking and doing what people on the street do.

Uma investigated a video in front of a Robert Indiana painting.

We were going to play "The Matching Game," our favorite museum game (see note). We were would start with a hunt for the original Van Gogh "Starry Night" reproduced on the MoMA membership card. But feeling a little tired, we decided to save the game for our next visit.
We headed toward the escalators that would take us downstairs. We stood looking through the glass walls, watching the passengers glide past, when Uma, following the movement of the passengers said, "It's like a film." Wow! What a child!

During our taxi ride home, Uma and I agreed that the MoMA would be "our club." We would visit it again, very very soon. There would always be new exhibitions to see.

* Note: "The Matching Game" is a fun game for young museum-goers. It's a kind of treasure hunt. We start in the museum store, where we select postcard reproductions of paintings in the collection, and then hunt for them in the galleries.

Here is the link to the MoMA event: "Stop, Repair, Prepare"

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