Inaugural podcast with Prof. Arden Reed

Listen to the inaugural Slow Art Day live podcast recorded Tuesday, June 13, 2017 with Slow Art Day hosts around the world and our special guest Professor Arden Reed discussing his forthcoming book, Slow Art: The Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell.
You can download the podcast or listen to it below.

View Dr. Reed’s slides simultaneously while listening to the podcast by downloading his powerpoint here.

About Professor Reed
Professor Arden Reed is the Arthur and Fanny Dole Professor of English at Pomona College. Recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Clark Art Institute, he writes on the visual arts and literature, including Manet, Flaubert and the Emergence of Modernism and the prize-winning Romantic Weather: the Climates of Coleridge and Baudelaire.

He was one of Jacques Derrida’s first American graduate students. Trained in comparative literature, Reed authored a prize-winning study of Coleridge and Baudelaire (mentioned above). His career as a scholar of literature was interrupted in 1984, when he experienced a conversion. An encounter with Max Beckmann’s triptych The Actors at the Fogg Museum pivoted Reed’s field of study to the visual arts. His Manet book mentioned above has been translated into French and Spanish.

His forthcoming book 
Professor Reed’s latest book Slow Art: The Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell (University of California Press, to be published late June 2017) is about attending to visual images in a culture of distraction, specifically extending the six to 10 seconds that Americans, on average, spend looking at individual works on museums walls and why that matters.

The research and writing of his latest book was supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, and residencies at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center at Bellagio, the Clark Art Institute, and the American Academy in Rome. Reed has given presentations on slow art, among other venues, at the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, King’s College Cambridge University, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the École normale supérieure in Paris.

Buy and read his book
Professor Reed’s newest book is a foundational book for the slow art movement and we highly recommend that all Slow Art Day hosts read it.

Listeners to the podcast can receive a 30% discount to the book if they order from the University of California press. To get the discount, order online via www.ucpress.edu. Just enter code 16V6526 at checkout.

Inaugural Slow Art Day webinar with special guest Dr. Arden Reed

Slow Art Day is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, June 13 at 11 AM EST for the slow art community and other interested participants featuring special guest Arden Reed.

Dr. Reed is a professor of English and Art History at Pomona College. His latest book Slow Art: The Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell (University of California Press, French translation Editions Hermann) is about attending to visual images in a culture of distraction, specifically extending the six to 10 seconds that Americans, on average, spend looking at individual works on museums walls and why that matters.

Dr. Reed will discuss his new book (which will be published on the date of the webinar – June 13) and answer questions from participants.

More info and registration here: bit.ly/2p5TSvr

First Slow Art Day in Hamburg, Germany

Slow Art Day 2017, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Friederike Redlbacher

Host Friederike Redlbacher of Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germany writes of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience:

“We looked at three different works of art by Lorrain, Chagall and Böcklin. To connect deeper with the artwork and ourselves I guided the group with reflective questions like ‘What in the artwork is drawing your attention?’ or ‘How did this situation came about and how could it develop?’. This encouraged the participants to deeply engage with what they saw. After a silent period of looking we shared our thoughts and perceptions. Listening to what the others saw, opened a whole new perspective to the artwork but also to the way of looking at art. To look slowly and engage oneself with the art is a truly inspiring experience.”

Slow Art Day 2017 in Cologne, Germany

Slow lookers at Jorn Keseberg’s studio in Cologne.

Host Sabine Klement writes,

Slow Art Day 2017 in Cologne took place at Jörn Keseberg’s studio in Köln-Ehrenfeld, one of the city’s most vibrant and trendiest districts, home to many artists’ studios and creative entrepreneurs.

There was a tough competition going on between beautiful, sunshine, the local soccer club having a derby and our quite avantgarde, subcultural, non-profit art event – yay! But it still worked out fabulously with about a dozen curious participants, willing to communicate on art with each other.

Instead of looking eight seconds at each artwork – the average museumvisitors’ attentionspan – we donated ten minutes to six (oops, one plus…) pre-selected art objects. As a result of hosting Slow Art Day for several years, I decided to give a signal every ten minutes to let the visitors know when to change their site. In the beginning most find it challenging to fix their attention for “such a long time” at one item. But the ability (or willingness?) to concentrate and to get involved more deeply grows swiftly.

As an artist, Jörn Keseberg is engaging with the connections between technology, nature, art and man – topics that concern every modern human being. He composes objects that captivate every viewer’s interest instantaneously with an unique mixture of beauty and weirdness, even horror. He frequently combines natural materials like time-worn rare timbers, small animal-bones or leaves with electronic components as parts of hard disks and draws on unlimited resources of aesthetically appealing bits and pieces. Accordingly there was an abundant supply of inspiring details to detect and ideas to discuss for the participants –
we couldn’t manage to wait until the obligatory “after-show-meeting!” Very happy visitors and promoter had coffee and cake afterwards at the café around the corner!

A huge THANKYOU♥ to the artist for inviting us to his studio! Looking forward to do it again next year, April 14 ;).

The Museo de Eduardo Carrillo’s Virtual Slow Art Day event

The Museo de Eduardo Carrillo is a virtual museum with a web-only presence, but they didn’t let that stop them from participating in Slow Art Day 2017! On April 8, they encouraged their audience to engage in a virtual slow looking and discussion session.

Their instructions to their followers were:

Starting at 7AM, use your cell phone to visit Museo Eduardo Carrillo’s online gallery, presenting art by painter Frank Galuszka with an essay by Christina Waters.

Richly textured paintings and narrative complement each other. As does the exploration of the central theme in many of the paintings highlighted here “On View.”

On Slow Art Day choose one of Galuszka’s paintings, spend at least five minutes looking slowly at it and then post a comment on Museo’s ON VIEW page.

Comments from participants included:

I’ll tell you what I see in Frank’s beautiful works of art. I see various demonstrations of how the our quantum universe works shown in a painting. As important to me is what isn’t the focus of the paintings (the background) and its relationship to the focus or central theme. They are great demonstrations of the “particle-wave” theory of quantum physics. Out of a background of uncertainty or potential (waves) is contrasted a central character or theme (particles). But the painting shows the visual and the non visual world it is all “one.” What materializes out of a field of unlimited potential is what the observer (artist) wants to see.

 

I had already viewed Frank’s paintings. The one that I liked the most was “The Threshold.” I interpret that as 2 individuals on different journeys, about to step over the threshold from their journey to the journey the other has taken. Neither journey is better than the other person has endured. Each one trying to leave pain and sorrow behind,
i.e. the broken glass, the dead rabbit, the sharp saw blades, the broken/leaking pipe, the rough road – all obstacles along their way.

Slow Art Day 2017 at the deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum

Host Rachael Nease at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA, writes of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience:

This was the first year that deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum decided to take part in the event, but it will not be our last!
Our museum guide, Judith Scott, led some close-looking of both painted and sculptural artworks featured in our Expanding Abstraction: New England Women Painters, 1950 to Now exhibition and our permanent sculpture park collection. The sculptural piece was a brave choice – a male nude formed in cast iron that has been intentionally allowed to age over the years with a rust patina. One of our Slow Art participants admitted he had been coming to the museum and avoiding this sculpture for years, but the opportunity to look closely and discuss the object had given him a new appreciation for the sculpture.
The photo is of part of the group with Maud Morgan’s Gold Coast II. Taking time to really look at this seemingly simple painting, our visitors were surprised at the details they were able to pick out and discuss – we actually had to pull them away to move on to the sculpture!
At the conclusion of the event, one of our participants summed up her experience, telling us that she had never thought to slow down to appreciate the art that she loved and often visited. The experience, she said, will change the way she looks and experiences artworks.

Slow looking with Maud Morgan’s Gold Coast II at the deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum

Slow Art Day 2017 in Paris

Hosts Alexandra Fadin and Isabelle Martinez of Upstreet 13 in Paris write of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience,

“We regularly co-organize original creative and artistic visits to street art destinations in Paris. Isabelle’s specialty is Wutao (an energetic art form), art history and a focused knowledge on street art; she is used to inviting people of all ages to connect with their body, emotions, sensations and creativity, which leads to a new way of discovering art and life.
As both a dancer-choreographer and a visual artist, I have created my own concept, La Matière en Mouvement, based on the relationship between dance and visual arts. I explore the interactivity between artists, works of art, public/visitors, time and space(s) though performances and happenings in everyday life locations. The purpose of La Matière en Mouvement is to invite us to connect to all our sensations and to the feelings of freedom, happiness and wellbeing in order to create a work of art with our bodies (living sculpture postures and improvised dancing moves) and/or with the material (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, video).
Regarding our Slow Art Day 2017 event in Paris, we had 12 participants.
The content was:
  • Take time to wander in the streets in order to discover the works of art in the street (observe the city and feel)
  • Information on the Street Artists and story/meaning of their works
  • Wutao initiation in order to relax
  • Living sculpture postures and photography in order to create new street works of art with our bodies
  • Creation of a collective mandala on the ground
  • Drink and debriefing with the group in order to share our feelings of this Slow Art Day experience (11 people very happy, 1 person not aware of the goals and content of the visit before joining the group despite our information available on our communication supports)
Isabelle and I are very happy. We intend to organize a new event with Upstreet 13 for Slow Art Day 2018.”

Slow looking with Upstreet 13 in Paris

Slow Art Day 2017 at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Host Rachel Massey at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park writes of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience,

“YSP launched Mindful Moments on Slow Art Day, inviting 10 people to a private one hour viewing of Tony Cragg’s A Rare Category of Objects. Participants were invited to focus their attention on five specially selected sculptures and given cards with guidance and suggestions for mindful viewing – they were encouraged to close their eyes on arrival and before departing from each art work, allowing time for the experience to settle, perhaps noticing sensations in their body to help ground them in the moment.

Invitations for ways to view the work included, “Notice the edges of the piece. Take time to trace the edges with your eyes. Move very close to the piece and look slowly. Move further away – what do you see now?”

The atmosphere in the gallery was tranquil, yet there was a sense of intent focus and quiet energy. People moved reverentially around the space, but felt comfortable to lie on the floor, crawl around and under sculptures, move their bodies in response to the shapes.

This was followed with a delicious breakfast of tea coffee and pastries in the restaurant and conversation about the experience.”

Visitor feedback:

“Slow Art Day at YSP was truly the best way to start the weekend. We’re spending the day here, and we will do it differently after that.”

“If I’d gone on a normal visit I wouldn’t have even looked at that sculpture. Now I feel a real connection to it and it’s my favourite one.”

“All my ideas about the work changed as I looked at it longer.”

“A great privilege to have this private experience with a sculpture.”

Slow Art Day 2017 in Turku, Finland

Host Pauliina Nyqvist of the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art in Turku, Finland writes of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience:

“Our Slow Art Day went well, even though there was only few attendants. We took a close look at a small selection of sculptures by iconic Finnish artist Wäinö Aaltonen and had some eye-opening discussions. We added our own touch to the Slow Art Day program by giving the option to draw the sculptures while looking. That appeared to be a very good idea.”

Works by Wäinö Aaltonen highlighted in Slow Art Day 2017 at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art.

Slow Art Day 2017 in Brussels

Host Lieve Raymaekers at BOZAR in Brussels, Belgium writes of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience,

It was again (our second) great experience. Very mindful and peaceful, joyful…We started with a group meditation of 5 minutes around a Pol Bury fountain. We walked in silence throughout the exhibition before starting the slow looking exercises. The guides used hourglasses to measure the time and bell to mark the beginning and end of each exercise. The participants chose works themselves to look at. Most works of Pol Bury move very slowly and in unexpected ways. They invite you to look slowly and take your time. The drawing exercise – choose one work to draw (what you see, feel, imagine…) for 10 minutes – worked very well. The discussions after each exercise and at the end (we took 2 hours) were very inspiring.
Some quotes:

– When you look slowly you’ll remember better what you’ve seen
– Slow looking helps to better understand the artist
– When you look at less works you see more
– The experience of Slow Art Day makes the experience of the visit of the exhibition so much more interesting than when it’s “just another exhibit you’ve seen”
– When you take your time to look you can feel emotions coming up

Slow lookers at BOZAR, Brussels. Image © Amélie Detienne.