Today I went to the Bell Gallery at Brown University. I had to park several blocks away, but it was okay because the walk was nice. The lobby area had this sweet exhibit of Andy Warhol photos and silkscreens. Many of the photos were these Polaroids of people, some famous, such as Rick Ocasek or Maria Shriver. I was in total love with “Dracula” it was this cool silkscreen that was mostly shades of black with what appears to be this pink line drawing over it.
The main gallery had and an exhibit called, “Knot” which is the collaboration of artist, Annabel Daou, and David Markus, who is a writer. Allegedly there were three parts to the exhibit – I got threw two of the three. The first part was all these notebooks laid out on a table, it was alright. I think they were the sketch phase of Daou’s installation. The next space (maybe part 2 of the exhibit?), took up most of the Bell Gallery, you had to walk threw this doorway into the whitest, brightest space you have ever seen. There was so much white it looked like fog if you looked at the opposite end of the room. And because there was only that small entrance/exit it was as if you were swallowed up inside this white room. On the walls, was this ink drawing/doodle. The Providence Journal alluded to it being whimsical. If you find things that are institutional, slightly confining, nauseating and migraine inducing then, why yes its whimsical!
I would’ve loved to sit there and enjoy every aspect of this ink drawing with all its scribbles, words and unrelated images on the walls, however there was so much white and blinding light it was hard to enjoy at all! The artist statement says nothing about the environment that it creates so I guess ‘institutional’ and ‘anxiety provoking’ was not an intention on the artist’s part. I was most likely in this room a good five minutes before I had to just leave, because I felt warm and/or as if I was going to collapse right there on the floor… I had tried to close my eyes but when I opened them again it was blinding white. It gave me a migraine! I’ve never been to an art exhibit that has caused this kind of physical reaction. If the point was to make the viewer completely uncomfortable, than kudos to Annabel Daou! I felt the cold air, grey skies and an excedrin were such a relief after this exhibit.