When I consider what Fine Art is, I think about work with multiple layers of meaning. I think about art like the installations of artist, Doris Salcedo. A large portion of her work is in response to what she witnessed in her Colombia homeland. Using personal articles of those who were victims of war and merciless brutality, her art is documentation and undeniable evidence of crimes against innocence.
Although work like this is painful to observe, it is absolutely necessary in order to expose crimes and criminals, give voice to victims, and advocate ethical principles.
This week Betty and I rode to the Museum of Contemporary Art to experience the 2006 installation of artist, Alfredo Jaar.
In the group exhibition, Witness, The Sound of Silence is roughly an 8 minute immersion into an observation, a story, a crime. When entering the gallery you are met with an enclosed room-sized cube where a singular, florescent lit side confronts you. You are then guided to the opposite end, invited to sit on a bench and wait for a green light invitational signal.
Upon entering the dark space, you sit, read minimal relevant text and witness.
The genesis of the piece is a singular photo. One that tells the story of millions. The same image is part of what destroyed the artist who took it. And in that very same image is the result of lost humanness.
This piece will exhibit until February 12th and is a part of the permanent collection at the MCA.