Palais de Tokyo

1:11 PM

If you want to get to know somebody, go to the museum with them.

I think one of the best ways to get to know someone is through quiet observation. It sounds kind of creepy, but let me explain, haha! The idea occurred to me during a night at the museum with friends. We visited Palais de Tokyo, a contemporary art museum in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. They presented 'Do Disturb' a festival combining art, music, and theatre under one roof. I'd describe it as a chaotic playground of art. Alternative music permeated through the concrete walls of the exhibition. Eclectic would be an understatement. Depending on your preferences, some would say it's art, others would say the contrary.  

As my friend puts it simply, art is supposed to make you feel something. I would add that it creates dialogue. It challenges us to assimilate colours, lighting, textures, and moods in order to share our interpretations with those around us. How we decide what to read, scan, skip, and stare at fascinates me. Especially when it's contemporary art because you will come across some outlandish, and quite frankly, disturbing things.

"Hey, what do you think about this?" My curiousity gets the best of me and I cave in. I'm desperate to hear my friends opinion on the work of art in front of us. Their response can say so many things. First of all, if they are willing to share their opinion with me. Then, how seriously they take the work or art, if they have a light sense of humour, their maturity, their sensitivity to outlandish things or lack there of, etc.

What are they drawn to? I find it fascinating that we are all drawn to different things. From the moment that you step into an exhibit, you make choices. Your eyes scour the room, eager to devour the first piece of art that catches your attention. After the first collection, you feel yourself loosen up a bit as you saunter over to next piece that sparks your curiosity. Are you both drawn to the same things?

After much debate, we decided that this piece should be donned "la liberté cassée"
More importantly, going in a museum with another individual requires a special technique. You wander off, both going your separate ways, all the while keeping an eye on each other. Panic sets in when you haven't seen them in your peripheral vision in the past five minutes. You stay still and thoroughly survey the crowded room. At last, your eyes connect from the opposite end of the exhibit. Relieved, you join them and move on to the next room together. When you struggle to create a system for moving around the museum, it can feel like you're dragging someone around rather than enjoying it together.

Interpretation: criticism of religion, the empty search (fishing) for truth.
Next, their analysis of the work shows what kind of thinker they are. My favourite part, haha. For example, my friend, who studies law, kept everything concise and practical. This must be x because of y. He always had a theory to explain how everything worked. My other friend, majoring in English, explored ideas around the unknown. She produced ideas not only outside of the box, but outside of the whatever room that box was originally in... I chuckled in amusement, delighting in all of their witty answers.

An important one. Are they patient? You'll know towards the end of the museum visit. My friend and I examined the photos below for about twenty minutes. My other guy friends huffed and puffed, then finally resorted to texting on their cellphones. So, are we ready to go yet? Seeing them visibly irritated, I felt sorry for holding them up, and we returned to the welcome area.

Have you ever experienced the same thing? Let me know :)

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