Sunday, September 25, 2005

a couple days ago i went to moca to see their xanadu variation show before it closed. the show was mainly made up of video work which i was quite happy to see. there was even a video short by werner herzog. the screening rooms were all dark so that the images looked pretty good when projected. it's something that the taipei fine arts museum hasn't seemed to learn as i've encountered work there projected in a white room which makes the images very faded. is it so difficult to paint some walls black and turn off the lights so that the work can be seen properly?

i think my favourite piece at this show was ba-de area by chen chien-jen. it was silent and basically about some people who move office furniture. but the way it was shot, the composition, the movement or lack of movement really created a special atmosphere.

the last couple of times i've been at moca - it's felt like they haven't utilized their space to the best of their ability. this show was no different. most of the smaller rooms were used quite well, but upstairs they have a rather large open space for work which was practically empty. all that stood there were some flat screen tvs screening movies. i'm not a big fan of screening work this way, and to use such a large space and only use it for this was quite a disappointment. were the curators unable to find more work to fill the space better? were there budget restraints? i don't know, but hopefully it'll be better utilized at future shows.

normally, i really like going to this museum, but this time i had the worst time i'd ever had there. museums often host tour groups. well, on the day i was there there was a tour group. i don't know if it was museum sponsored or not. but the group would come in and sit down to watch part of a video installation and the tour leader would get up in front of the film and start lecturing over the work! this may be appropriate for a sculpture or a painting. afterall, other patrons can come back to see the work once the group has moved on and the work is still the same. but a video is not a static image. it moves. when someone comes in and starts talking over the image it ruins it for the other patrons that are trying to enjoy the work. if a film is 30 or 50 minutes long - it's very difficult for someone to go back and see what they missed due to the rudeness of a tour guide. when it comes to video/film work - the work should be discussed prior to seeing it or after it or both. there is no reason to discuss the work while it is being shown. this whole experience ruined my enjoyment of the show so much that i almost asked for my money back.