I think I was unnecessarily mean in my last post, and now that I’ve had a couple of days to think about it, here are some more thoughts:
It sucks that the mainstream media has clout and access, and that’s why I don’t mind aligning myself with them. But that makes me kind of sucky, too. But man, have I ever been spoiled in my career. When you’re with a daily newspaper, people really work to accommodate you. It’s awesome. Sorry for my sense of entitlement; I will try not to be too petulant in the future.
On the other hand, I was still surprised at how many people showed up simply to document the building, which is redundant considering how much coverage that angle has had. The value of writing about the building at this point is to really critique it honestly, but so far no one has really done so aside from the obtuse “waste of taxpayers’ money” kind of argument.
My two cents? It’s a fantastic improvement over the last facility. I can’t wait to see what they do with it. So much more proper, climate-controlled gallery space which will enable proper exhibition conditions for tours. The public areas are beautiful, though I might miss the big donut in the middle of the second floor, which was kind of nice for people-watching across and all the way down the stairwell. I hope, too, that Â in the new galleries there are secret pockets and corners for intimate discussions, like the weird little appendix on the far Â north east part on the upper level of the former building, or the kitchen gallery. And the theatre really does seem like an afterthought. If the most interesting feature of that room is the ambient lighting, yikes! It makes me worried that the acoustics and other technical considerations were given the short end. I really, really hope I was misunderstood when I asked about projection formats. An art exhibition theatre without 35 and 16 mm film projectors, at least, would be odd considering how uptight media artists are about stuff like that.
I do think that social media types are a long way from legitimacy, and part of the problem is quality control. Some bloggers seem to be heavily invested in the idea of being outlaws, rather than merely independent. And though an outsider view is sometimes valuable, outsider does not equal willfully ignorant. This causes institutions like the AGA to regard us with some incredulity, and rightly so.
So, here’s what I’m doing. I’m having another look, and doing some penance, by volunteering for 9 hours on Sunday. I’ll let you know how that goes.