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Happy Thanksgiving

Perusing the IMA’s collection for a Thanksgiving appropriate work of art, I came across a number of beautiful images of family and food, both presidential and otherwise.  I actually realized we have quite the collection of Lincoln-focused prints…more on that in a future post.  However, I thought this work by Vito Acconci could be an interesting interpretation of the holiday:

Vito Acconci, “Round Trip (A Space to Fall Back On),” 1975. materials stools, boxes, audio tape. Gift of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. 1989.35.

The installation Round Trip (A Space to Fall Back On) echoes a space found within a traditional home, but quickly distorts your feeling of domestic comfort.  A viewer sitting on the stool in the center is disoriented by the placement of objects and a blinding light — a woozy effect that might not be too far from our post-meal haze on Thanksgiving.  Noises, such as the artist’s voice and knocking, move throughout the space, competing for the visitor’s attention and adding to the general sense of unbalance.  Sounds a bit like the cacophony and confusion of a big family gathering, doesn’t it?  Acconci plunges the visitor into the experience, controlling his or her sense of space by “inserting unexpected color, sensory experiences, and laws of physics into the gallery.”  Now if that doesn’t sum up Thanksgiving, I don’t know what does.  Here’s wishing you a day of blissful disorientation and the cacophonous sounds of family and friends.

Filed under: Contemporary, The Collection

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