Too Divine To Be Seen (2018)
An interactive installation questioning the general rules of museums.
The rules we are enforced to follow in museums spaces are mostly set for certain types/genres of arts – we’re not supposed to touch or get too close to them since it might harm their quality; we’re not suppose to be too far from them either since we would miss out the details.Take Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, for instance, being kept in Louvre.The small painting have a giant acrylic protection box covering, and a fence going around it.The audiences are to fight for there own way to get closer look of the artwork. The question here is: what is the point of going to a museum to see a work anymore? What is the museum existing for anymore, other than a well-equipped archive?
Now, we need to stand as far as possible to get the cleanest view; as closer as we get to the actual being, we lose the view, we lose the detail, or we lose it.
As the audiences enter the space, a gentle audio description of the Arnolfini Portrait is filling the exhibition space, inviting the viewers to get a closer look at the details of the painting. The painting will be clean and focused seen from further, but as soon as the viewers approach the painting – when they go over certain invisible line -, the painting would start to distort itself or switch to another images. Mona Lisa twitches and switch itself to the real view of the Louvre gallery; the Arnolfini Portrait switches into various medieval prints/drawings, contemporary album cover of a french band, and a ruined painting of Jesus, etc. Along with the visual interruption, a buzzing/high-frequency sound will disrupt the viewing, so that the whole experience would be frustrating - following the direction of the guide of the audio introduction will only lead the viewers to fail to do so.