Monday, September 27, 2010
Click! from Oklahoma City
Above, a gallery at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and below, the main label for that gallery. I thought it was great because it was so direct. If I had been there with children, it would have easily given me the tools to have a great conversation about the works. At the same time, it didn't talk down to anyone.
I found intended and unintended messages at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. We approached the site from one direction and this is the first thing we were greeted with:
Not the friendliest. On the other hand, as you waited for the elevator to go up to the exhibits, the museum had this screen alerting you to where you could find them online which I thought was great.
Upstairs at the museum we found it curious that the small alcoves where you could view videos from survivors and rescuers contained only one stool. Wouldn't you want to do this with the friends or family you came with?
At the memorial part of the site, a friend and I spent a little time debating whether we could walk on the grass where the chairs honoring those who died are placed. There was a low fence, but in one part, no fence, but no one on the grass. We decided to step on and see what happened--and two things did. A ranger approached and asked if we wanted additional information; pulling out a laminated card he explained the chairs' arrangement and answered our questions. But equally interesting, as soon as we stepped onto the grass, others began to do so as well. There wasn't a physical barrier, but a conceptual one.
And finally, back at the art museum, just a beautiful immersive space, with a ceiling by Dale Chihuly, a reminder to use all four walls when we think about exhibits.