This weekend I went back to the museum on both Saturday (2/27) and Sunday (2/29) to make additional observations of the space and finalize my 5 concepts/experience for the presentation on Monday.
On Saturday, I was one of the first people at the Museum, just before it opened at 10am. There was some type of event going on for RISD Precollege in the Chace Center Auditorium, and I observed a lot more activity throughout the museum on a Saturday as opposed to during the week. There were classes for children and adults held by the Museum, and docent tours. There also appeared to be a field trip of high school students who were sketching about the museum. It was nice being able to work alongside other students and sketch in the space as less of an oddity.
Sunday, I got to the museum around 11am. The woman at the reception recognized me. Today was a free day at the museum and there were flocks more of people: families, couples, children. The staff seemed a bit more on edge, today.
On Saturday, I made observations of the context surrounding the pieces of art work. Building off of the absence of the Matisse painting, Still Life with Lemons, I decided to make prolonged observations and sketches of the context surrounding works of art as an observation of setting and placement. Despite Matisse’s still life having a prime location in the gallery, not many people noticed that there was a piece missing. Or paid much attention to the IOU sign in its place. While I was sketching the space around the Great Buddha, a docent tour came in with some elderly folk and I was able to listen to the docent’s explanation of the piece and her personal affiliation with it.
Before Mr. David Rockerfeller gave a generous donation to remodel the Asian Art wing of the museum, the display of the Great Buddha was much more humble and bare. It was a much darker room, that many of the museum docents and staff would return to for peace and solitude from the rush of activity of the rest of the museum. She even mentioned that one time, Buddhist monks came and gave flower offerings and worshipped in the space. I found that really compelling.
This morning, Sunday, I went to the museum and wanted to focus on observing the mediation of observation through looking through spaces created through the windows of the museum. Essentially, looking into a window through a window into a space and out an additional window. Stimulated by that idea and the reading Paul had assigned, “The Museum Interface,” I thought about the idea of perception and perspective via mediation and lens.
I also had a nice conversation with one of the guards who I had spoken with on Wednesday, Susan.
I have prepared my presentation for Monday and look forward to the feedback I will receive hopefully solidifying a trajectory of how I can pursue this project further.