MOCA Jacksonville Urges Patrons to Look Slowly

The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a new host for Slow Art Day 2013, is exploring the concept of slow looking in an exhibition SLOW: Marking Time in Photography and Film that runs through April 7, 2013. Exploring the work of seven internationally known artists- Eve Sussman, Kota Ezawa, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Chris McCaw, Idris Khan, James Nares and David Claerbout- the museum challenges visitors to engage with the works for an extended period of time.

The exhibition features work that explores topics of time and duration through the fields of photography, film and video. In an age of mass production and instant gratification, the works in SLOW compliment and challenge one another as they confront typical perceptions of photography and the time-based restraints of a work of art.

Artists such as Eve Sussman and Sam Taylor-Wood give life to paintings past. Sussman, in 89 Seconds at Alcazar, animates the famous painting by Diego Velasquez, giving the viewer a look into the life of the painting’s characters before and after the composition. Along the same lines, Taylor-Wood, in Still Life, explores the work of the 17th century Dutch paintings by filming the decay of fruit plates, altering the viewer’s perception of time.

Other iconic videos that speak to one another are that of James Nares and David Claerbout. Nares’ Street, is a video work in which passersby seem to be frozen in time as the viewer moves along in real time whereas Claerbout’s work explores the relationships between the still photograph and the moving image, forcing the two to co-exist in his large, video installations.

The exhibition SLOW, also showcases the work of artists who explore different processes in photography such as Idris Khan’s appropriative work that consist of multiple layers, created the illusion of extended gestures and moments in time.  And, yet, the viewer’s sense of time continues to be affected with Chris McCaw’s sun-etched photographs that track the sun and Kota Ezawa’s cut paper assemblages of iconic photographs.

Curated by MOCA Jacksonville director, Marcelle Polednik, Ph.D. SLOW is the museum’s landmark exhibition for 2013. Of the exhibition, Polednik says, “Time is not only the conceptual thread that binds all the works in the exhibition together, but also the real dimension that connects us to these explorations, providing we devote the seconds, minutes, or even hours to see them unfold. In taking the time to fully engage with these photographs, films and video works, we gain infinitely more than the minutes we spend.”

If you are in the Jacksonville area, be sure to stop by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville to see this exhibition for yourself. And don’t forget to take your time. We look forward to seeing what MOCA does on Slow Art Day to continue the dialogue they have started with SLOW: Marking Time in Photography and Film.

-Dana-Marie Lemmer, Global Coordinator

The Nationalmuseum Showcases Artists That Slow Down

Featuring contemporary art and design made by artists using a slow creative process, the Slow Art exhibition launched recently at The Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and continues for another week. We know about this exhibit thanks to Slow Art Day host, Nadin Mai. She is running the Slow Art Day event at the The McManus Art Gallery & Museum.

Slow Art at the Nationalmuseum highlights thirty works from the Nationalmuseum’s permanent collections, including examples of silver, textile, glass and ceramic objects. Showcasing the work of artists such as Helena Hörstedt, Eva Hild and Jane Reumert, the exhibition features items that have been meticulously crafted, through a slow, and painstaking process.

The art ranges from Eva Hild’s ceramic sculptures to Helena Hörstedt’s handcrafted garnets, which emphasize structure and technique, to Jane Reumert’s work in porcelain and salt-glazed vessels.If you are in Stockholm, then be sure to stop by and appreciate the work slowly. If you can’t make it to the Nationalmuseum, download their free app for a virtual tour here.
-Dana-Marie Lemmer, Global Coordinator

SFMOMA Google+ Hangout Features Slow Art Day

Slow Art Day Social Media Manager, Alie Cline, was invited by SFMoMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) to speak on a Google+ panel that was part of their first-ever crowdsourced program, #ArtMicroHubs.

Led by Suzanne Stein head of community engagement at SFMoMA, her colleagues at SFMoMA, and people like our own Alie Cline, the discussion is well worth watching.

Alie (at about 42 minutes in) talks about Slow Art Day in the context of this broader conversation about social media, visitor engagement and innovative programs. “Slow Art Day”helps people feel more relaxed in a museum space. Just the act of looking can spark conversations and a more personal response to art that doesn’t feel as intimidating.”

Be sure to check out Alie’s great work on our Tumblr blog here:

And also look at Alie’s Cave to Canvas Tumblr

– Dana-Marie Lemmer, Slow Art Day Coordinator

In Birmingham, Slow Art Day is every Sunday

We at Slow Art Day are excited to learn that Kristi McMillan, assistant curator of education for visitor engagement at the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA), recently launched a new free program: Slow Art Sundays.

Slow Art Sundays, led by museum docents, presents participants with one artwork to look at slowly from a collection of 24,000+ paintings, sculpture and multimedia works from around the world.

After gathering in the designated gallery space, visitors are provided with stools for their slow looking. Importantly, the experience does not start with a lecture or context-setting by the docent. Instead, it begins with 5 minutes of silence so that participants can quietly observe the artwork.

Following the quiet looking, there is a period of discussion. Docents kick it off by asking simple non-directed questions like, “What is your immediate response?” or “What part of life does this artwork capture?”

McMillan, who works on ways to engage visitors says she believes “in the power of internal and external collaboration in order to address the visitor experience holistically.”

While the museum has experienced great success with their new, regular program, they are also excited to continue annual Slow Art Day events. The BMA is a veteran host museum. In fact, Caroline Wingate, master docent there, started hosting it in 2010 and has since become a leading member of the global Slow Art Day volunteer team. For Slow Art Day 2013, the BMA has decided to invite participants to look slowly at two different artworks at two different times during the day.

We at Slow Art Day plan to introduce Kristi McMillan and Laurel Fehrenbach, public programs coordinator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Last week we profiled Laurel and her initiative “Is This Art?” that includes a similar slow looking approach.

Part of our mission at Slow Art Day is to support these kinds of events at museums throughout the year – and also to connect progressive museum educators and curators with each other so that they can learn from and help each other. If you know of a museum or gallery pursuing slow programming we should know about, please comment here on this blog post or contact us.

And if you’re in the Birmingham area anytime in the coming year, stop by and experience a Slow Art Sunday. The BMA is free and open to the public as is this program.

-Dana-Marie Lemmer, Slow Art Day Coordinator