Wednesday, December 30, 2009

too scary for buses

I can now almost understand why Calgary Transit thought that the ads for the current Real Life exhibition at the Glenbow Museum would be too distracting to put on the sides of buses. Encountering that hyper-realistic enormous newborn with the clenched fists and the scowl might just be startling enough to make some drivers drop their cell phones in alarm and goodness gracious we can't have that.

Ron Mueck's exhibition is quite startling in scale, featuring the aforementioned massive angry newborn, as well as a gigantic disembodied infant head. Contrasted with the tiny sculpture of the frail old woman in bed, these massive babies really do speak volumes about what every parent of a newborn knows - that baby is the biggest thing in the room. It's oppressive, judgmental and demanding. Looking at those gigantic babies reminded me of the moments of helplessness and panic that I remember feeling as a new mother.

Also part of the Real Life exhibition are installations by Guy Ben-Ner. The Offspring and I were particularly taken with his video, Stealing Beauty, in which Ben-Ner and his family carry on their lives inside IKEA showrooms and discuss the nature of private property, while shoppers shuffle by and through the display rooms, checking out prices of the Snits bowls and the Ekeskog sofas.

That's one of the things I love about these extended holidays, such as Christmas, the chance to peruse the museums and other places that I don't go to nearly enough.

Did you do anything outside the norm this Christmas?


Wandering Coyote said...

I never do anything outside the norm at Christmas. Except wish it was over!

mister anchovy said...

Sometimes I find that kind of hyper-realism scary. Everyone seems to want HD everything though, don't they?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Maybe doing something different like going to a museum or a gallery or something might help make the dreaded season pass more quickly, Wandering Coyote.

The hyper-realism is disturbing, Mr Anchovy, right down to the goosebumps on the flesh. Combine that with the exaggerated scale and it's downright frightening.

kelly said...

sadly no I didn't. I should have

Wandering Coyote said...

We have no museums or galleries!

Allison said...

Ah. I just opened up this page on the hotel computer, which is like the size of my television and that photo scared the crap out of me.

Besides that...sounds like an interesting exhibit. ;)

Haven't done anything out of the norm this holiday season. Just drive 2500 km in the past week visiting people. I'll be planting some trees in the new year.

Happy New Year!!

dguzman said...

I spent it with my immediate family for a change. Haven't done that in about ten years.

John Mutford said...

I saw that exhibit a couple years back in Ottawa- loved it! They weren't all scary though. The small one of his dead father was quite sad. It's quite something how he can capture emotions with something as deceptively simple as scale.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

When you've got a teenager around who is getting bored, it sort of forces you to get out and do something different, Kelly.

Silly me. Well that certainly makes it a little harder, Wandering Coyote. I'd be more than ready for it to end then as well.

You get the idea then, Al! Startling, yes?
You have done an insane amount of travelling this Christmas. Certainly out of the ordinary.

I hope it was lovely, D! I ran into a lot of people at the party (myself included) who went to a new year's party for the first time in ten years. The rule of ten!

You are right, John. It's such a simple concept, yet it speaks volumes. There was an tiny dying grandmother at this exhibit, that was very poignant.

S.M. Elliott said...

Heh heh. I took my stepdaughter to this in Edmonton and she was a little freaked. I like Mueck, tho. I'd love to see more of his work. Did you notice you could even see veins beneath the baby's "skin"? Every wrinkle was picture-perfect. Incredible.

I wasn't as impressed with Ben-Ner's work, except the treehouse. Seemed a little generic.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

That baby creeps me out.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

The skin on the enormous baby head was what particularly fascinated me, SME.
I found Ben-Ner's work to be rather amusing. It was somewhat generic, but I took that to be part of the whole point.

You should see the thing in real life, Dr M - it's about 15 feet long! Just like a real newborn.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was just reading your Blog about the Glenbow, and I was wondering "Is that guy Jewish?" Don't tell me you didn't check, so you can probably answer immediately. Happy New Year!