Art is not just a one-time experience. To really understand it, one needs to return to it and study it or contemplate it. My first time visiting TURF: IDADA Art Pavilion was rewarding in itself but I knew it needed a second visit. My first visit delighted me with the ambitious nature of the project (showcasing Indiana arts and artists) and allowed me to be amazed with my initial experience. I left with favorites. I knew my experience was incomplete so I went back where I gained a deeper appreciation for the installations I enjoyed and those I didn’t understand. TURF: IDADA Art Pavilion is open through February 5th—just two more days! (Three if you count today.) It is part of the Super Bowl XLVI event and is worth taking time to visit.
A cascade of monitors featuring waterfalls flows down the wall, through the rough terrain of black umbrellas, and under a bridge—the very bridge I cross over to move to the next installation. As one of the first installations, it crosses me over from the mundane world outside and takes me into the world of art and metaphor.
A snake or dragon slithers across a screen, each scale alive with smaller videos of a night market. I pause to watch it undulate up and down the screen. Time stops for me as I stand mesmerized by its hypnotic movement.
I didn’t understand this installation the first time through. I was too focused on the rusted cans and the beauty inherent in their abandoned character. Because of this, I didn’t see the complete installation. This second time through, I stood back and all at once I noticed the odd juxtaposing of progress and the debris it leaves behind.
I once lived in a house with a hole in the ceiling. The bathroom tub sat precariously over this hole. I look at the fridge, broken through the ceiling and crashed into the floor, and see a bathtub and I think, That could be me under there.
I sit in a chair and contemplate the swirls on the floor canvas. Each swirl chalked in with a charred bone. Each swirl a microcosmic similitude of the macrocosmic heavens.
A diorama of a fox contemplating drums and a movie of a man turning to nature; one a still life, unable to fulfill the suggested idea, the other real life, quite capable of becoming what it suggests.
The sanctuary of an outhouse amidst a cacophany of sayings and slogans and surrounded by ravens. Nevermore
Vinyl pours abundantly out of a spout, bubbling over the ground and splashing across the walls. I long to be immersed in that liquid. I long to stack vinyl three or four deep on the post in the center of the turntable and listen to, not just the music, but the mechanical sound of the arm settling into the grooves, of the arm retracting when done. And I even miss the scratching sound as the needle jumps across the vinyl when I am careless.
I enjoyed the second time through as much as the first time through. I was wowed the first time but the second time I began to understand a deeper meaning each artist included in their installation—whether they intended that meaning or not. As a viewer, I bring my own background to the installations and add my own meaning to it. That’s the nature of art. It’s a dialogue; a dialogue between the artist, the art, and the viewer. And that is why I like to go back, to return and continue the dialogue.