It wasn’t until I left the exhibition that I began to consider the different ways in which, we as participants, were being choreographed. The fact that the sculptures were structures that could be physically engaged with was only one aspect of it. The layout of the exhibition and the order of the works, were another. There was a sort of paper structure, suspended from the ceiling that curved round through the different areas of the gallery space. It seemed to be leading the way, giving some sort of route to follow. The fact that there were invigilators watching us, in some cases telling us what to do and what not to do, definitely effected our actions and how we perceived the whole experience. When I arrived at the exhibition, I was surprised at the number of people there. There were queues for some of the works, which was quite a shock. I should have expexted it, considering it was a Saturday. The exhibition was amazing, but I couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like if it was emptier. It gave the exhibition a certain type of movement, so this is not really a criticism but a part of my running commentary. Busy places with lots of people and queues are just part of life and if anything is another way in which we are being choreographed.
I asked my boyfriend what he thought about this.
What did you think of the exhibition as a whole?
I thought it was good. Really interesting to have that interactive element. It didn’t so much raise the question of ‘is this art?’, but I think it did sort of raise questions into and explored how art can be interactive and the way different people can use it and get different things out of it. So I thought that was quite interesting.
That did you think of the layout of the exhibition?
It’s sort of what I was anticipating really. I did expect there would be lots of big things and you would be expected to move around things and touch things and get involved. One thing I wasn’t actually anticipating that there would be lots of queues, but I suppose I was a bit naïve. Also I was quite surprised that there were so many children there, which in retrospect I shouldn’t have been. I think that a lot of parents took their children because it was a fun event, but I think the sort of art side and the more serious side went over their heads and they were just like “Wooo!! Lots of pretty colours and you can touch things, yeah”.
What were your thoughts on the fact that there were so many people there? Do you think it would have been a different experience if there was no one else there?
Oh yeah, definitely because of all the queues and everything you always felt a bit pressured to sort of get on with it and experience it and move onto the next thing. I think if it was empty and I was let loose to go crazy, I would have seen and done more interacting.
Stephanie Rosenthal, the curator of the exhibition, sad some very interesting things in one of the exhibition trailers on the subject of choreography. I recommend watching the link below.