Nam June Paikʼs wonderful TV Cello now sits quietly up in the Shape of Time exhibition and as I wander in the galleries, I often wonder how cool it would have been to see it in action. What would it sound like if I could hear Charlotte Moorman play it? What was it like to actually see the performance happening?
Nam June Paik,TV Cello, 1971, Formerly the collection of Otto Piene and Elizabeth Goldring, Massachusetts. Collection Walker Art Center, T.B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 1992.
As several of us were cleaning up after our most recent Arty Pants ended and I was struck with a similar wonder.
Arty Pants goers were presented with paint, paper, a large musical staff mural, foam mallets and some music. As kids streamed into the room, they picked up their mallets and began to bang away. Youngsters got into the flow art-making, literally, as they ran from one end of the large musical staff mural to the other, pounding expressive notes all along the way. A family friendly selection of music provided the sound track for spontaneous dancing through out the morning.
I stared at the large mural we had made that day, but instead of being curious, I knew how cool it was to be in room of more than 100 people experiencing and participating in the moment of art making. Like Nam June Paik’s cello, I am now left with a relic, the musical mural, to remember the sound of creating art.
Thanks to Frannie, Sara, Courtney and Mari for their hard work. And a special shout out to Morgan for the stupendous musical staff!