This past weekend, one of my best friends came down to visit me in Austin for half a day. Given we didn’t really have that much time, we spent our time mostly on campus. UT actually has a really nice art museum (the Blanton Museum of Art), and it just so happened that there was a Blanton Block Party going on the day she came, so we stopped by that (before we went to go get some amazing Indian food and boba, of course!)
The top floor of Blanton consists of permanent exhibitions ranging from Ancient Greek kraters to contemporary works. On the lower floor are temporary exhibitions: currently on display is Nina Katchadourian: Curiouser. As the BMA describes, “Katchadourian’s practice is at once conceptually rigorous and alluringly accessible. Her work reveals the creative potential, to use the artist’s words, that “lurks within the mundane” and underscores the remarkable freedom and productivity that can come from working within limitations. Using ingenuity and humor, her work encourages us to reinvigorate our own sense of curiosity and creativity, and to see our everyday surroundings as a site of discovery and possibility.”
Some of the works that stood out to me were Accent Elimination and Talking Popcorn. Accent Elimination (2005) is a six-channel video installation inspired by posters advertising courses in “accent elimination” that the artist encountered around New York (BMA) and Talking Popcorn is a popcorn machine with a morse code reader attached to the back — essentially, it translates the popping of the popcorn into actual works!
The Blanton Museum of Art is actually an incredible asset here at UT — last semester, Goya’s etchings and the Book from the Sky were on display. I’m a huge art nerd (see my MFA adventures here) and I think it’s so awesome that so many exhibitions are (literally) a ten minute walk from my dorm, though unfortunately too many people don’t bother to go… Anyways, if you ever make it to Austin, Blanton Museum is certainly a must!