BMA `revolution' is matter of perception

Audience is focus

exhibit meant to be experienced

Arts: museums, literature

October 09, 2003|By Meredith James | Meredith James,SUN STAFF

What do beer, salad and statues have in common? While seemingly unrelated, the Baltimore Museum of Art unites them in its innovative show, Work Ethic.

Art is pushed to the limit as the BMA celebrates its newest exhibition, which includes work from more than 80 artists, with three hours of interactive displays. The presentation showcases the transition in creative process since the 1960s, which has revolutionized the way the public perceives art.

"It's a completely different experience," Anne Mannix of the BMA says. This Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., attendees will be able to not only view the exciting pieces, but actually take part in them. Mannix explains that the kickoff will exemplify the show's focus on the audience, with "the artist as an experience maker."

The afternoon begins at 1 p.m. with a guided tour of the exhibit by curator Helen Molesworth. She will detail how art has changed since the 1960s, when artists such as Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Robert Rauschenberg began their works. In total, five of the highlighted artists will be at the opening festivities.

This (literally) groundbreaking event includes Baltimore artist Hugh Pocock drilling for water in the sculpture garden. His work will be shared with all BMA visitors; the water he attains will be incorporated into the museum air system, with streamers on vents as a reminder of his toil. His work continues through the duration of the exhibit.

Contemplation of the six-pack begins at 1:45 p.m. Tom Marioni will explain his project The Act of Drinking Beer With Friends Is the Highest Form of Art.

At 2 p.m., Hope Ginsburg, whose art includes marketing and sales to her audience, will give a multimedia presentation about her form of artwork: temporary tattoos. Little Black Moustache and Rosy Red Cheeks will be for sale in the gift shop.

Become a sculpture yourself beginning at 2:30 p.m. with Erwin Wurm, creator of One Minute Sculptures, and sample Alison Knowles' Make a Salad in the sculpture garden at 3:30.

Kids will be able to imitate Roxy Paine's Paint Dipper, a machine that constructs paintings by creating their own apparatus, such as every child's dream, a "Homeworkerator." This is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the BMA's continuing hands-on family activities.

Mannix assures that while visitors may not like everything, "there is nothing boring," and that the Opening Day festivities, like the exhibit itself, will be "lively with a strong element of humor." Grab a beer mug and a fork for an afternoon at the BMA.

The Baltimore Museum of Art is at 10 Art Museum Drive. Admission for Opening Day is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors age 65 and over and college students, and free for children 18 and under. Call 410-396-6314 or visit www.artbma.org/ events/ for more information.

For more art events, see Page 44.

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